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10 last minute activities to solve your half term headaches

Looking for half term activities for your disabled child?

Finding fun things to do over half term that won’t break the bank is a headache for any parent. If your child has a disability or additional needs, it can be a minefield.

To ease your half term headaches, we’ve collected 10 accessible activity ideas. These are listed for general information purposes. Please note that some activities may have a charge, so contact the organiser to confirm.

Ten last minute ideas to get you started

Parkour Dance Project 

Meet new people and discover your talents this half term. Sessions are suitable for disabled young people aged 14-26 years and take place at Goldcrest Youth Centre, New Addington. Participants will work in small groups alongside professional artists and no dance experience is needed. Places are very limited, so for more information or to book contact Gemma on 07887 781 361 or email gemma@slidedance.org. This project is run by SLiDE Dance.

Disability Youth Project 

The Disability Youth Project are holding an activity day for 8-14 year olds at Waddon Youth Centre on Tuesday 24 October, 9.30am-3.30pm. The day will be filled with fun seasonal games, sports, arts, cooking and weather permitting a small camp fire outside to toast some marshmallows. The cost of the day is £10, but reduced or funded places are available for families on a low income. For more information and to book, contact Paul Funnell on 07990 790 183 or email paul.funnell@croydon.gov.uk.

CASPA Activity Day 

CASPA is coming back to Crystal Palace Park this October half term, with a fun-filled activity day for children and young people aged 5-19 years who have autism spectrum condition and can engage independently in small group activities. On Thursday 26 October, 10am - 4pm, the CASPA team will be providing exciting activities for children and young people throughout the park including in the sports centre, farm, playground, maze and dinosaur trail. The cost is £26 for the day. Siblings are welcome, and parents and carers do not need to be present. Please email crystalpalace@caspabromley.org.uk for more information.

Storytelling and craft at the Horniman Museum 

The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill has a programme of half term craft and storytelling activities during October half term. Please note that some activities have a charge and must be booked in advance: www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/calendar. If you have any questions around disability access, contact the museum on 020 8699 1872 or email enquiry@horniman.ac.uk.

Is your child under 5? 

Children’s centres often run half term activities for children under five. Croydon Council has a list of local children’s centres and their timetables.  

Visit your local library 

Local libraries generally offer a range of half term activities, most of which will be free. Download Croydon Libraries’ events timetable for details.

Go for a swim 

All of Croydon's leisure centres should be accessible, with accessible toilets, changing areas, lockers and parking. There may be discounted rates for leisure centre activities for disabled people. If you are supporting your disabled child or young person to use the leisure centre, you are entitled to free entry as a carer. To receive these discounts, you must be a Croydon resident and proof of disability will be required.

Make your cinema trip less stressful 

Going to the cinema can be extremely stressful for some children, particularly children with autism. A number of cinemas run ‘autism-friendly’ screenings which reduce sensory overload. Dimensions has a list of forthcoming ‘autism-friendly’ screenings.

Use social media 

There are various Facebook groups for parents to share half term activity ideas. DLA Children Fun Days Out UK is an open Facebook group set up for parent carers to share their experiences and tips on days out in the UK: www.facebook.com/groups/DLAchildrensDaysOut. If you know of any other Facebook groups or online forums that are helpful for parents, please let us know!  

Reasonable adjustments 

Your child may want to take part in mainstream as well as specialist groups and activities. Under the Equalities Act 2010, service providers must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled people who may otherwise be put at a ‘substantial disadvantage’. If you feel a service isn’t following the Equalities Act, or you want some advice, contact the Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) on 0808 800 0082 or visit www.equalityadvisoryservice.com

Got more ideas?

Got any more accessible half-term activity ideas? How do you plan to make the most of half-term? Email your ideas to amydeakin@carersinfo.org.uk

We'd like to thank Parents in Partnership, the Disability Youth Project and Croydon Learning Disability Team for their support in compiling this list. Please note these activities are listed for general information only and are not recommended by the Carers' Information Service. 

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