Activities for child with limited range of motion
April 15, 2019 9:21 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for fun activities for that a 7-year-old - with very limited range of motion of her upper body - can play with an 8-year-old who has complete mobility.

7-year old is in a wheelchair. She can flex her arms at the elbow, but does not have shoulder capability. This means that she can move her arms "in and out" or an "closed and open" position, but cannot raise her arms. To get a better understanding, put both your elbows on a table and move your arms about without lifting your elbows.

She has an 8-year-old friend who does not have any mobility issues.They both want to spend more time together, but it's hard to find activities that they can both do.

Currently they watch TV and play with playdoh, but I was hoping for more inspiration.

Ideas that come to mind:
- Outdoor scavenger hunt, where they have to solve puzzles to get clues as to where they need to go
- Card games - but what type?

And that's all I got.

Do you have any ideas? I can be present to act as a game-master or moderator, so don't let that hold you back!

posted by bitteroldman to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Cards, board games, puzzles, computer games. Baking, making art, drawing, painting, collages.
posted by Oyéah at 9:25 AM on April 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

My daughter, of that age, really likes the card game Rat-a-Tat-Cat. Family favourites are Skip-Bo and (of course) Uno.

That range of motion sounds like it could easily accommodate jewelry making/beading.
posted by sacrifix at 9:25 AM on April 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Craft projects? Painting boxes to keep treasures in. Shrinky dinks. Decorating cookies. Lego.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 9:26 AM on April 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Can she do Minecraft? That is ~all the rage~ and it seems to be somewhat social? (The details escape me, unfortunately).
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:59 AM on April 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Maybe you could make up your own nature bingo based on what they might see in this season in your area.
posted by Botanizer at 10:03 AM on April 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nerf gun target practice.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:05 AM on April 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

At that age my daughter liked to do lots of craft projects with her friends - painting boxes or other wooden things from the craft store, hot glue gunning rhinestones and pompoms on things, fake stained glass things, etc. She also really liked these low-mess but sophisticated watercolor sets.

For games with a friend, she liked Guess Who (requires very little mobility) and Sleeping Queens.

(Links are amazon but I hope you'll support your local game/toy stores!)
posted by nkknkk at 10:16 AM on April 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Dang, that link to Guess Who is some modern version. Go for the Classic Guess Who.
posted by nkknkk at 10:27 AM on April 15, 2019

Theater! Can go along with crafting to build props and sets, of child size or puppet/doll size. Or could just be readers' theater--check your local library for short plays aimed at kids. They could also make a video to share the production with family and friends.
posted by asperity at 10:27 AM on April 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Twenty questions. Spent hours playing that with my sister when I was that age.
posted by greta simone at 10:29 AM on April 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

My mother is wheelchair bound and sounds like mobility is similar limited.
What works outdoors is grandma sits in her wheelchair defending her goal and has a light and loong tool, we used a light net intended for getting leaves out of a pond, and my son kicks a light foam ball to her which she swats at. She has limited shoulder movement so she swings it low in front of her. Sounds weird but both enjoy it. He is 10.
posted by 15L06 at 10:42 AM on April 15, 2019 [6 favorites]

Wirecutter has board and card game recommendations for that age group. I suspect Dixit would be a hit, but haven't played it.

Regarding video games: Mario Kart is fantastic for groups with uneven skill levels. Splatoon, Super Smash Brothers, Minecraft, Stardew Valley, Pokemon, and a lot of other video games with multiplayer modes might or might not be enjoyable, depending on the kids' personalities.
posted by bagel at 10:56 AM on April 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

At that age, my daughter and her friends had a great time making paper fortune tellers and telling each other's fortunes with them. There are lots of videos online showing how to make them; you or other caretaker could learn first and teach them.
Another favorite pastime as the weather gets warm, depending on where you live: a lemonade and cookie stand. Both kids can decorate the cookies and make signs to tape to a card table; both can sit outside together, at the curbside stand/ table and collect the money. Bring a small chair for the kid not in a wheelchair. They can let the customers pour their own cups of lemonade.
posted by nantucket at 11:05 AM on April 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Board games! There are so many, so much more fun games for kids now that there were when we were kids. Is there a game store in your city?
posted by schwinggg! at 12:15 PM on April 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Join Girl Scouts together. (Yeah, it's my answer to everything.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:49 PM on April 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

Heck, 7/8 is just about the perfect age to start getting into D&D or other RPGs. You don't need much arm mobility to roll dice.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

They can play old fashioned, no-materials-needed games like I Spy and 20 Questions and I'm Going on a Picnic. Hangman would work -- the 8 year old can makr out as many letters as the 7 year old instructs when it's her turn and keep do the drawing and fill in letters. They could also do MadLibs books together!
posted by DarlingBri at 2:14 PM on April 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

If they have the manual dexterity how about macramé, learning knots in general, or string figures (i.e. “cat's cradle”); the latter as I understand is internationally competitive.
posted by XMLicious at 2:42 PM on April 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Kids that age love playing exquisite corpse. It's the drawing game where you fold a piece of paper into three and usually start by doing a head in the top panel, leaving a couple of lines to meander onto the next section. Revolving the paper to hide the first section, the second player continues from these lines, drawing some kind of whacky torso and then so on for the legs on third panel. You'll probably need to join in to get them started - try to do some kooky stuff, like have the torso holding a giant fish. Less than amazing drawing ability is often an asset in this game.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:38 PM on April 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thanks for all the answers and suggestions! i love them all. once i get these darn income taxes out of the way i hope to be able to get my butt in gear and organize some fun activities!
posted by bitteroldman at 6:57 PM on April 15, 2019

Make slime! My daughter and her friends have been making slime for years and are still quite excited about it. I had to order some extra fancy glitter lately. Get clear Elmer’s glue and borax.
posted by artychoke at 7:49 PM on April 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Origami! My 7-year old is really into folding fortune tellers, swans, and throwing stars.
posted by rube goldberg at 12:30 AM on April 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

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