kids March 25, 2020
This week we tried to get creative with fun things to do around the house. Social Distancing is better when you can get outside for fresh air, and many families are going out for walks to break up boredom in their homes. What’s even better? When you can go out for a walk and find something fun like an outdoor I Spy scavenger hunt! As a kid, I loved I Spy books (which are actually buy 2 get 1 free right now.) My mother worked at a library and I would always check them out. They were so fun! I came up with an outdoor I Spy scavenger hunt idea for our front yard to encourage those walking by to participate in some extra fun. We hid items around our yard, put up a sign, and let passerby’s enjoy the scavenger hunt! As we finished putting everything out for our outdoor I Spy scavenger hunt we had 2 moms and their kiddos stop to play. Everyone enjoyed it for a good 10 minutes and it made us smile! Along with our fun I Spy scavenger hunt, I wanted to find a list of resources for you all as a guide to creating more fun for your kids outside! I think it’s great that many of us are getting back to basics and enjoying nature. I miss the good ol’ days of making mud pies with my Memaw in her yard and everyone getting outside again reminds me of those fun memories. 1| I Spy In Your Front Yard via The Vintage Modern Wife (above!)2| Nature Scavenger Hunt via Simplifying Family3| Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt via The Shirley Journey4| Road Trip Scavenger Hunt via Everyday Shortcuts5| Outdoor Treasure Hunt via High Chair Chronicles6| Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt via The Tip Toe Fairy7| Summer Scavenger Hunt via Merry About Town8| Spring Kids Scavenger Hunt Ideas via Two Kids and a Coupon9| Get Your Tween Outside: Scavenger Hunt Ideas via Staying Close to Home10| John & Mary’s Hunt via Life Anchored11| Easter Scavenger Hunt via Brooklyn Active Mama12| Pretend Play: Go on a Safari via All For the Boys13| Outdoor Scavenger Hunt via Thrifty and Thriving14| How to Set Up a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt via We Got the Funk15| Spring Activities for Kids via Babies to Bookworms16| Kids Scavenger Hunt for Easter with Jumbo Easter Egg Prize via The Denver Housewife17| Animal Safari Scavenger Hunt via Play Party Plan18| I Spy Nature Hunt via Free Homeschool Deals19| I Spy Vehicles via Preschool Alphabet20| Flashlight Nighttime Scavenger Hunt via The Tip Toe Fairy21| Nature I Spy via Busy Toddler22| Color Scavenger Hunt via Natural Beach Living23| Alphabet Scavenger Hunt via Play Party Plan24| Campground I Spy Game via Mama Cheaps25| How to Have a Disney World Scavenger Hunt at Home via Passports and Parenting 26| Printable Scavenger Hunt Activity via The Momma Diaries27| Fun Camping Activities for Teens and Tweens via Carla Schauer28| Outdoor Scavenger Hunt via And Hattie Makes Three29| 5 Senses Nature Scavenger Hunt via Childhood 10130| Photo Scavenger Hunt via Craftaholics Anonymous31| Backyard Scavenger Hunt via So Easy Being Green32| Outdoor Scavenger Hunts at the Playground via The Tip Toe Fairy33| Nature Scavenger Hunt via Carla Schauer34| Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt via Baby Savers35| Backyard Scavenger Hunt via Hey Let’s Make Stuff36-41| 5 Unique Camping Scavenger Hunts via The Crazy Outdoor Mama42| Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt via The Savvy Sparrow43| Sensory Motor Scavenger Hunt for Kids via The Inspired Treehouse44| Spring Scavenger Hunt via Moritz Fine Designs45| Island Scavenger Hunt via Counting Coconuts46| Hiking Scavenger Hunt via Make and Takes47| Summer Nature Hunt via Mommy Evolution48| Walmart Scavenger Hunt via Kid Activities49| Glow In The Dark Scavenger Hunt via Dating Divas50| Video Scavenger Hunt via Mom of 6 Can’t get outside? Check out these tons of amazing energy burning toys for your kids or at-home staycation ideas!
Amidst shelter in place directives and social distancing, birthday parties all over are being cancelled, and rightly so. We are all doing our best to figure out how to proceed with life while doing our part to flatten the curve. I had a train themed birthday party planned for Lawson’s second birthday, but with the big CV happening in our world, I quickly realized we would need to cancel. I didn’t want the day to be a complete bust for Lawson, so I decided to proceed with a social distancing birthday party. I have to say- I’m pleased with how it turned out and I want to share our best social distancing birthday party tips with you! Tip 1: Gather Decorations | In my opinion, decorations make a birthday party. Just because you’re having a social distancing birthday party doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Scout your closets and craft rooms and find anything that can be used for decorations. Don’t have anything? Have your kids get construction paper or computer paper and make chain link garland! Cut out pictures of balloons or your party theme for decorations. I keep a stash of leftover party supplies in our guest closet and found a Mickey Mouse tablecloth, plates, cups, napkins, and even streamers! Gather what you have or make what you don’t- don’t fret about it being perfect. The fun is what matters anyway! Tip 2: Make Your Birthday Dessert | Many people have stocked up on essentials like flour, eggs, sugar, etc. We happened to have 2 different boxes of cake mix in the pantry, as well as some cream cheese and raspberries in our fridge. I always keep a box of cupcake liners in the pantry, but if you don’t have any you can cut parchment paper squares or just bake a cake! Get creative with your cake and use jams or jellies as filling, holiday sprinkles, or food coloring to help make your social distancing birthday party cake more festive. Tip 3: Wrap Your Gifts | We we’re lucky that we had gifts at our home already for Lawson’s social distancing birthday party, and I made sure to find as many cute birthday bags from our guest closet as possible. I’m not the only person that saves birthday gift bags am I? Don’t have gifts? No problem! Order some fun energy burning indoor toys online ahead of time or print pictures of what the gifts will be and wrap those! Another idea is to purchase a movie like Disney + Pixar’s Onward on Digital as a gift and print out fun activities for it and wrap them. Tip 4: Have Guests Drop Off Their Gifts | Many of your original party guests will still want to be a part of your social distancing birthday party if it is possible. Invite guests to drop their gifts off on your porch! You can wait for them to leave, sanitize their gift, and then open the gift. I have even seen people get creative by leaving a big box in the driveway and inviting guests to drive by in a little caravan with posters and fun signs to drop their gift off. Everyone stays in their car and can even sing Happy Birthday with the windows rolled down. Not to mention, both ways allow for your guests to participate in social distancing which is great for everyone. Tip 5: Utilize New Ways to Sing Happy Birthday & Open Gifts | Since no one should be having social gatherings right now, it’s time to get creative with singing and opening gifts for your social distancing birthday party. You have lots of great options to try! FaceTime is an amazing option. Did you know you can make group FaceTime calls now? We were able to call both sets of parents so we could all sing Lawson “Happy Birthday” and it was great! Everyone felt involved and loved joining on the call. Zoom is also another way to stay connected during this time. Give everyone a Zoom link and a specific time to join so you can have many guests participating! You can also record as your child opens their gifts and text it to the gift giver as you say thanks. More than anything- my biggest tip for the best social distancing birthday party ever is to just make the most out of the situation. Things are hard right now. They’re really hard. The more you are thankful for the opportunity to celebrate this birthday, the better it will be. You will get through this and you will be stronger because of it. This moment is defining parenthood for many of us and defines the childhood of so many. Your mindset is so important for your kids. Let them remember that this was the most fun, creative, and silly social distancing birthday party ever. They’ll remember how much mom and dad tried to make it so special despite what was going on in the world.
I never realized how much we went outside until we were told we needed to socially distance ourselves and stay home as much as possible. We work really hard to stay healthy, and even though I didn’t think we went many places, I have felt much stress over not being able to get out like before. As an extrovert, staying put is hard for me, and I can’t even imagine how Lawson feels not being able to get all his energy out while we are socially distancing and having at-home staycations. I have begun pulling indoor toys out from the garage that were Addie’s for therapy so Lawson could use them, and I realized so many of them are amazing energy burning indoor toys from Amazon! If you are looking for indoor toys for your kids to use while you socially distance, look no further. Not only have we used most of these, but I’ve researched, talked to occupational and physical therapists, and as a former teacher, I totally approve of every single one of these indoor toys! CLICK TO SHOP 1| Mini Trampoline– This trampoline is a perfect energy burning indoor toy. The bar helps kids hold on for stability and it easily folds down to put under a bed or in a closet. Addie and Lawson have both enjoyed this one and it has lasted us several years and will for many more.2| Ball Pit and Extra Balls– We got one of these ball pits as a gift for Lawson and he loves it. Don’t forget the extra balls because you’ll want it to be full.3| Crawl Tunnel– These little crawl tunnels are so fun for kids! Such a fun indoor toy to play with and easy to store away! Play hide n go seek, army, or grab a blanket and lay inside. Endless possibilities.4| Basketball Hoop– What kid doesn’t love a basketball hoop? Practice hand/eye coordination (and of course some slam dunks) with this mini basketball hoop. CLICK TO SHOP 5| Cozy Coupe– This is the best indoor toy we’ve bought. This Cozy Coupe gets used daily in our house. Perfect for little ones and you can use it indoors or outdoors if you like!6| Fly Bike– If you need an indoor toy that doesn’t take up a lot of room but burns lots of energy, this Fly Bike is perfect. Teaches kids the beginning skills of bike riding!7| Gymnic Rody– Need energy burning? your child can hop up and down and all around on this indoor toy pony. This is one of Addie’s favorites on the list and is wonderful for core work!8| Teeter Popper– Kids can get creative with this Teeter Popper. Great for learning how to balance! CLICK TO SHOP 9| Inflatable Bounce House– This bounce house takes up a fair amount of room. Move the couches and coffee table and let the kids have a blast! 10| Gonge Top– This indoor toy is a massive spinning top! Get in, or just spin it, or balance on top! Kids can get really creative with this fun toy.11| Stepping Stones– This is great for kids of all ages. Little ones can touch the textures, toddlers and littles can hop from stone to stone, and big kids can play “The Floor is Lava” on these! Stepping Stones are a great indoor toy because they stack to put away!12| Crocodile Hop Floor Game– Get your kids hopping with this interactive indoor game. Easy set up, easy to put away, and kids get to do lots of hopping to burn off their energy. CLICK TO SHOP 13| Pikler Triangle– This is one of Lawson’s favorite indoor toys! He’s gotten really good at climbing thanks to the Pikler Triangle!14| Wooden Balance Board– Similar to the plastic one above but definitely allows for more creativity thanks to the simple, wooden design. The wooden balance board can be flipped to make a bridge or tunnel for toys!15| Sit N Spin– Let your kids spin til they can’t spin any more! This Sit N Spin is a child’s dream indoor toy and will have them giggling over and over.16| Bilibo– Creativity can soar with the Bilibo when kids can sit in it, spin in it, stand on it, wear it as a hat, and more. Definitely an indoor toy that kids will get a kick out of. CLICK TO SHOP 17| Swedish Wall Playground– If you have the space for this one, definitely grab it. This is a homeschool parent’s dream, but also every kid’s dream! The Swedish Wall Playground is the perfect indoor toy and is super versatile. Great for burning energy and learning lots of skills.18| Sunny Patch Tootle the Turtle Target Toss– This fun game from Melissa and Doug is great for all ages. Start a family competition to see who can throw it the furthest.19| Plasma Car– Low profile so kids can put their feet up, this Plasma Car lets kids get around the house just by moving side to side! So much fun and uses lots of good energy burning!20| Rocking Chair Seesaw– Need your child to stay in one place but burn off their energy? This chair seesaw is perfect for that! It’s bright colors and thin design make this cute and functional and fun! Do you have any of the indoor toys on this list? Which one will you be grabbing?
I had a reader approach me early last week about books about special needs life after reading my post on Secrets Special Needs Moms Won’t Tell You But Wish You Knew. I knew of a few books but really wanted to come up with a resource for not only her, but for those curious about different special needs, families looking for books about special needs for siblings, or books about special needs for children with those special needs so they have someone that they can identify with in a book. I polled my special needs mom friends on Instagram and in my Special Moms Summit (an upcoming respite retreat for special needs moms) Facebook group, and got everyone’s input.These books about special needs are all incredible and I hope you’ll make it a goal to grab all 25 books to add to your library. The first book is near and dear to my heart- Giraffes Can’t Dance, as it’s a book we’ve read to Addie hundreds of times since her days in the NICU. My friend Lauren gifted us a copy of it, and it makes me teary every time we read it. I hope you love each and every book on this list, that they teach you things you didn’t know, that they inspire you and give you hope, and that they teach you more and more of acceptance, love, and living life without limits. 1| Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae – A touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. with crooked knees and thin legs, it’s harder for a giraffe than you would think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend.2| The Girl Who Thought in Pictures by Julia Finley Mosca– When young Temple as diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet, the determined visual thinker did just that. Her inquisitive mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her invent groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe3| Billy’s Sister: Life When Your Sibling Has a Disability by Jessica Leving– Growing up with a sibling who has a disability can be hard. But it can also be awesome! Based on the author’s real-life experiences, this unique and touching children’s book explores how siblings of kid with disabilities are special, too.4| Chromosome Kids Like Me by Annette Fournier– A sweet, fun story that takes something complex- understanding chromosome disorders- and compares it to something we can all understand- socks! This charming book is the perfect way to teach children and adults about chromosome abnormalities and what makes the people who have them special.5| El Deafo by Cece Bell– Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful and awkward hearing aid. 6| Lemon the Duck by Laura Backman– Neurological issues make Lemon unable to walk, but with the support of a compassionate teacher and her students, Lemon is still able to become one happy duck! Through caring for Lemon, the students share in her victories and learn that acceptance, love, and extra special care can go a long way. They also come to understand that her difference doesn’t make Lemon any less special.7| Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds– This empowering picture book reminds children of how much their dreams matter, and while life will have ups and downs, he enlists readers to stay true to who they are, to tap into their most creative inner selves, and to never ever forget to dream big,8| My Friend Has Down Syndrome by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos– In this reassuring story, two children, one with Down syndrome and one without, learn that they are both good at different things and that by helping each other overcome their fears and difficulties they can accomplish a great deal together.9| The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game by Nancy Churnin– All William Ellsworth Hoy wanted to do was play baseball. After losing out on a spot on the local deaf team, William practiced even harder- eventually earning a position on a professional team. But his struggle was far from over. In addition to the prejudice he faced, he could not hear the umpires calls. One day he asked the umpire to use hand signals: strike, ball, out. That day he not only got on base but also changed the way the game was played forever.10| Some Kids Use Wheelchairs by Lola M. Schaefer– This book teaches diversity and tolerance to young readers, and helps them understand and appreciate those children who have health differences. Colorful photos show kids with disabilities enjoying activities with their peers. 11| Daniel’s New Friend (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) by Becky Friedman– Daniel and Miss Elaina are visiting Prince Wednesday’s castle for a play date. When they arrive they are so excited to meet a new friend Chrissie! Daniel has so much fun playing with his new friend! Then he notices that Chrissie wears braces on her legs to help her to walk. Even though Chrissie may walk differently than Daniel, she loves the color red and playing pretend just as much as he does! Daniel is thrilled to make a wonderful new friend. This delightful story is perfect for helping little ones understand that despite small differences, anyone can become a new friend.12| Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson– This powerful and winning picture book tells the story of a young man overcoming the odds. Born in Ghana with one deformed leg, Emmanuel was dismissed by many, but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability.13| Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis– Told in rhyme, this story follows Susan through a series of familiar activities. She swims with her father, works hard in school, plays with her friends, and even ride a horse. Lively, thoughtfully drawn illustrations review a portrait of a busy, happy little girl with Home at younger readers will identify. Not until the end of the story is it revealed that Susan uses a wheelchair.14| Don’t Call Me Special by Pat Thomas– This delightful picture book explores questions and concerns about disability in a simple and reassuring way. Younger children can find out what a disability is, and learn how people deal with their disabilities to live happy and full lives.15| A Rainbow of Friends by P.K. Hallinan– Friends come in all colors and sizes; they can be funny or serious, musical or athletic, outgoing or quiet. This book reminds children to celebrate their differences because that is what makes each of us so special. 16| Keep Your Ear on the Ball by Genevieve Petrillo– Even though Davey is blind, he is quite capable – until he tries to play kickball. After several missed cakes and a trampled base keeper, no one wants Davey on the team. But maybe, just maybe, there’s a solution that will work for everybody.17| Moses Goes to a Concert by Issac Millman– Moses and his school friends are deaf, but like most children, they have a lot to say. They communicate in American Sign Language, using visual signs and facial expressions. Today, Moses and his classmates are going to a concert. They are teacher, Mr. Samuel’s, has two surprises in store for them, to make this particular concert a special event. Isaac Millman tells Moses’s story in pictures and written English, and in ASL, introducing hearing children to the signs for some of the key words and ideas. At the end of the book are too full conversations in sign language and a page showing the hand alphabet18| Wonder by R.J. Palacio– August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more 5an to be treated as an ordinary kid- but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. The book begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.19| My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay by Cari Best– Zulay and her three friends Are all in the same first grade class and study the same things, even though Zulay is blind. When their teacher asks her students what activity they want to do on Field Day, Zulay surprises everyone when she says she wants to run a race. With the help of a special aide and the support of her friends, Zulay does just that.20| A Boy and A Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz– Alan loves animals, but the great cat house at the Bronx zoo makes him sad. Why are they all alone in empty cages? Are they being punished? More than anything, he wants to be their champion – their voice – but he stutters uncontrollably. 21| Just Because by Rebecca Elliott– This heartwarming picture book about being perfectly loved, no matter what, tells of a brother’s love for his sister. He is so enthusiastic about just how loving and special she is, and delights in telling us about all the fun things they do together. Only as his tale unfolds does the reader begin to realize that his sister has special needs… and by then we just accept as he does all the wonderful things about her. This amusing and touching story encompasses the issue of disability in a charming celebration of sibling friendship to which all children can relate.22| Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco– Patricia Polacco is now one of America’s most loved children’s book creators, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha starting school. Tricia could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at words on a page, all she could see was jumble. It took a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha’s dyslexia: Mr. Falker, who encouraged her to overcome her reading disability. She will never forget him, and neither will we.23| The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon– Ginny suffers from undiagnosed double vision, and seeing two of everything is causing her difficulty in school. On vision screening day, a nurse discovers the problem, and the prescribed eye patch gives Ginny a new identity– the pirate of kindergarten. With the help of her pirate patch, Ginny can read, Ron, and even snip her scissors with double the speed!24| Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor– Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges – and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: when we come across someone who is different from us but we are not sure why, all we have to do is just ask.25| Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability by Shane Burcaw– Shane Burcaw was born with a rare disease called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which hinders his muscles’ growth. As a result, his body hasn’t grown bigger and stronger as he’s gotten older – it’s gotten smaller and weaker instead. Not So Different offers a humorous, relatable, and refreshingly honest glimpse into his life. Shane tackles many of the mundane and quirky questions that he’s often asked about living with a disability, and shows readers that he’s just as approachable, friendly, and funny as anyone else. Which special needs book looks most interesting to you?
My daughter Addie has a chromosomal abnormality that has given her a myriad of medical complications. The first year of her life she spent 6 months in the NICU, came home for 6 days, then spent 4 months in the PICU. It was a very tough first year. Since that first year Addie has had her share of hospitalizations, but most of them were just a few days long. Most recently though, in October, Addie spent over a month in the hospital. Many people over the past 5 1/2 years have asked us how they can support us best during times like these and I wanted to create this post on the best ways to support families with special needs children in the hospital as a resource. My hope is that special needs families will pass it on to their loved ones that ask how they can help and it lessens the burden for them coming up with ideas! Bring meals. One of the best ways to support families with special needs children in the hospital is to bring meals. When our kids are in the hospital, we don’t want to leave their side. Bringing meals helps so special needs parents can eat without having to leave the hospital or walk down to the cafeteria. Here’s how this best looks: call or text either of the special needs parents and tell them you’d like to bring lunch. Ask what they like, and bring it to them. You can gauge whether or not it’s a good time to chat by body cues from the parent and if they’re ok with it, stay and chat. If things look busy or the parent looks frazzled, it’s best to give them a big hug, tell them you love them, and leave lunch with them. If a parent is home during this or the special needs family has other children, asking if you can bring something to drop off for dinner is always appreciated too. After a long day at the hospital no one wants to cook. Having dinner waiting at home is always so helpful. Give gift cards. Visa gift cards, gift cards to Starbucks, a gift card for a date night, or even an Amazon gift card is always appreciated by special needs parents. This is a favorite way to support families with special needs children in the hospital because they’re pretty universal but are so helpful. Special needs families can use gift cards for gas, bills if the parents need to take off work for an extended time, groceries, date night for after the hospitalization, or even just a hot cup of coffee. Throw in a thoughtful card and you have just blessed that family immensely with your gesture. Drop it off at the front desk with a room number for an anonymous surprise, or visit and slip it to the family before you leave. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Bring snacks. Typically families with special needs children in the hospital are there for days, weeks, and sometimes months. Bringing snacks is a great way to show you’ve been thinking about your loved ones. Ask them what their favorite snacks and drinks are. They’ll thank you because that means less spending money at the vending machines where choices are sub-par. Someone got this snack box for us once and it was pretty amazing. Offer to do housework. This one might sound crazy, but you have no idea how much this will support families with special needs children in the hospital. Ask if you can take their trash cans out to the curb on trash day and put them up. Ask if you can come work on laundry that’s piling up. Ask if you can come take care of the dishes that no one’s been able to tend to because they’ve been at the hospital all day and it’s the last thing they want to do when they come home. Ask if you can stop by a couple times during the day to let their pets go outside. Here’s the kicker though- YOU need to come up with how you want to help them. The brains of special needs parents are fried. They make so many decisions during hospitalizations that when you say, “Hey, how can I help you?” they usually reply, “I’m not sure.” or “Let me get back with you.” They simply don’t have the energy to tell you how they need help. BUT if you offer specific help, you’ll most likely get a swift answer back that they will appreciate your help. Join them on holidays. It’s hard being in the hospital during holidays. Our family has spent 2 Halloweens, 2 Thanksgivings, 1 Christmas, 1 New Year, 1 Valentine’s, 1 St. Patrick’s Day, and several other holidays in the hospital. It’s heartbreaking for us. We want so badly to do what “normal” families do on holidays. Visiting special needs families in the hospital during holidays is so welcomed. It means you were thinking of us enough to take time out of your special day to help make ours a little more normal. If that doesn’t say love, I don’t know what does. Bonus points if you bring something festive like glow bracelets, holiday headbands, or fun themed socks to wear at the hospital. Pray. This one is so important. If you want to support a family you know with special needs children in the hospital then offer to pray. Pray with them in person, call and pray over the phone, send a prayer through text, or pray on your own. Reach out and ask others to pray as well. Whichever route you choose, know that this means so much to special needs families and your prayers and God’s love sustain us during these horribly rough times. I love gifting Jesus Calling so families can read a small devotional daily and pray. Provide time wasters. Sending or bringing a goodie basket with time wasters like a hand lettering practice book, a nature puzzle with a roll up mat, sudoku, or even a word search are great. Hospital life is busy but also really slow. Bringing these is a great way to keep their mind off of the harsh realities of being in the hospital yet again, and are very appreciated by special needs families. Wait for updates. There is nothing more exhausting to a special needs family than getting tons of phone calls and texts wanting updates on the status of the child. While we know you mean well, there’s a lot that goes on in the hospital and things can change rather quickly. Please wait for families to update you as they can. Whether they update in group texts, email blasts, Facebook posts, or phone calls- it is easiest for them to gather as much information as they can from the day and then relay it to everyone once there’s a steady game plan from the hospital team. I hope this list of ways to support families with special needs children in the hospital has been so helpful to you! If you’re a special needs family, bookmark or Pin this so you can send it to your loved ones during hospitalizations. If you’re a loved one, thank you for visiting so you can best help those you love!