An Education Assistant’s Guide to Fun and Inclusive Summer Daycare Activities

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Summer is well on its way, and for education assistants working throughout these beautiful warm weather months, their job might entail working at a summer daycare. Working at a summer daycare means planning and successfully executing fun activities that are educational, entertaining and safe. Of course, education assistants know that when planning any activities, they must first ensure that they are inclusive for all children, including those with disabilities.

Students pursuing education assistant careers will work with children living with cognitive, physical, or behavioural disabilities. Read on to learn how these education assistants can modify popular games and activities at a summer daycare to ensure they are inclusive for all children.

Education Assistants Can Plan Fun Water Parks

While a giant public water park filled with hundreds of other children might not be the best place to plan a daycare outing, graduates of education assistant colleges know that building a makeshift water park right on daycare grounds is quite simple and makes for a great alternative when it’s hot outside. Oftentimes, summer daycares are equipped with an outdoor play area or a section of grassy land. By simply filling this outdoor space with a small kiddie pool, garden sprinklers and beach balls, education assistants can create a fun and safe area for all children to cool off and escape the heat!

How an Education Assistant Might Create an Inclusive Water Park

It is important for these professionals to bear in mind that some children might need a little help enjoying these activities. For instance, if a child has a physical disability that limits his or her capacity to run through the garden sprinklers, an education assistant might help that child put on a personal floatation device and get into the mini pool. Even if the child is unable to run through the sprinklers, they are still able to experience the fun of a water park with their friends.

Education Assistants Might Plan Treasure Hunts

Every young child loves a good treasure hunt—this activity provides children with the opportunity to become detectives for a few hours, and in some cases, they are rewarded by being able to keep the objects or prizes that they find. Students enrolled in education assistant programs know that creating a treasure hunt is as simple as hiding a range of items around a classroom, or perhaps in an outdoor park.

Alternatively, education assistants might arrange an outdoor scavenger hunt, an activity that is not only entertaining, but can help teach children about objects in nature like pinecones, leaves and different types of flowers.

Modifying Treasure Hunts to be Inclusive

Children with ADHD are generally easily distracted, and have difficulty paying attention and focusing. A standard treasure hunt might pose some problems for children with ADHD, because it can involve being meticulous about details. In order to customize this particular game for children with ADHD, an expert with education assistant training might ask children to partner up for the hunt. This way, if a child becomes distracted or misses a clue or object during the game, there’s a good chance that the other child will catch it!

How would you modify other common daycare activities to be more inclusive, while working as an education assistant?

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