Hands-On Activities for Special Education Students

There are many different types of activities that can be done with special education students to help them learn. Many times, these students need more concrete and hands-on activities to help them understand concepts.

What are Some Teaching Strategies for Special Education Students?

Teaching strategies for special education students can vary depending on the student’s needs. There is no one teaching strategy that can work for all students with special needs. Each student requires a different approach to be successful.

Every student has unique needs, and what works for one may not work for another. However, there are some general strategies that can be effective for many students with special needs.

One important strategy is to provide clear and concise instructions. This means breaking down tasks into small, manageable steps and using language that the student can understand. It can also be helpful to use visual aids such as pictures or diagrams to accompany verbal instructions.

Another useful strategy is to allow ample time for the student to complete a task. This means giving them plenty of time to process information and avoiding rushing them through an activity. It can also be helpful to provide breaks throughout the lesson so the student can take a break from concentrating if needed.

It’s also important to be flexible in your approach and be willing to adjust your plans as necessary based on how the student is responding. Some days may require more or less review than others, and it’s important to go at the student’s pace rather than trying to stick rigidly to a plan.

Finally, it’s essential to build positive relationships with both the student and their family members or caregivers.

Special needs students often benefit from having a trusted adult they feel comfortable communicating with about their progress and any struggles they may be experiencing.

Hands-On Activities for Special Education Students
Credit: specialneedsforspecialkids.org

What are Examples of Hand-on Activities?

There are countless examples of hands-on activities that can be beneficial for children and adults alike. Here are just a few examples:

  • Arts and crafts: Activities like painting, drawing, sculpting and other forms of creating art can be great for fine motor skills development and self-expression.
  • Building with blocks or puzzles: These types of activities can help with problem-solving skills, planning ahead, and eye-hand coordination.
  • Cooking or baking: Following a recipe (or making one up!) can teach patience, measuring skills, and the importance of paying attention to detail. Plus, you get to eat the delicious results!
  • Gardening: Planting seeds, watering plants, pulling weeds…gardening is a great way to get outside, get some exercise, and learn about the natural world around us.

What are Some Common Hands-on Activities for Special Children?

There are countless benefits to incorporating hands-on activities into your special education students’ lesson plans. Not only do these types of activities help students learn and retain information better, but they can also be a lot of fun!

Here are some ideas for hands-on activities that can be used with special education students:

1. Use manipulatives when teaching math concepts. Manipulatives are objects that can be touched and moved around to help explain a concept. For example, use blocks or counters to teach addition and subtraction.

This will allow the student to physically see and touch the numbers they are working with.

2. Get creative with art projects. Art is a great way for students to express themselves and it can also be used as a tool to teach academic concepts. For example, have students create a collage to represent fractions or use clay to sculpt three-dimensional shapes.

3. Use movement breaks throughout the day. It’s important that special education students get plenty of physical activity throughout the day because it helps them stay focused and attentive in class.

4. Modeling clay – This is a great activity for helping students understand concepts like shapes, sizes, and textures. Plus, it’s just plain fun to get messy with clay!

5. Painting – Like modeling clay, painting is another activity that can help students understand concepts like colors and mixing colors together. It’s also a great way to encourage creativity and self-expression.

6. puzzles – Puzzles are not only great for building problem-solving skills, but they can also be very calming and relaxing for students. If you have some extra time, try working on a puzzle as a class!

7. sensory bins – Sensory bins are perfect for kids who need some extra tactile input. You can fill them with anything from rice to shaving cream to water beads. Just make sure you supervise closely so that the kids don’t end up eating any of the materials!

How Do You Engage Students With Special Needs?

When it comes to engaging students with special needs, educators must first understand the individual student’s strengths, weaknesses and interests. Once this is established, lessons and activities can be designed specifically to appeal to the student and help them succeed. Here are some tips on how to engage students with special needs in the classroom:

1. Get to know your students individually. This means taking the time to learn about their unique learning styles, abilities, and interests. When you know your students well, you can more easily target instruction to meet their needs.

2. Make use of technology. Technology can be a great leveler for students with special needs, providing them with access to information and tools that they might not otherwise have. Use apps, websites and software that allow students to work at their own pace and level of ability.

3. Be flexible in your approach. Not every lesson will go according to plan but that’s okay! Be prepared to adapt your teaching methods on the fly in order to engage your students with special needs better.

Try different activities or switch up the delivery of instructions until you find what works best for each individual student.

4. Encourage social interaction among classmates. It’s important for all students – including those with special needs –to feel like they belong in the classroom community. Help facilitate socialization by organizing group work or project-based learning opportunities where everyone can contribute equally.

Fun Activities for High School Special Education Students

It can be difficult to find activities that are both fun and appropriate for high school special education students. However, there are a number of options available if you know where to look. Here are some ideas for fun activities for high school special education students:

  • Sports teams – Joining a sports team is a great way for students to stay active and socialize with their peers. There are many adaptive sports programs available, such as wheelchair basketball or Special Olympics.
  • Art classes – Students can express themselves creatively in art classes. There are often specialized classes available for students with special needs. 3. Music therapy – Listening to music or playing an instrument can be relaxing and therapeutic for students with special needs. Music therapy sessions may be offered through the school or community.
  • Drama club – Participating in a drama club can help build confidence and communication skills. Students may have the opportunity to perform in front of an audience or work behind the scenes on a stage crew.
  • Outdoor recreation – Getting fresh air and spending time outdoors is important for everyone, including students with special needs. Many adaptive recreation programs are available, such as adaptive skiing or horseback riding.

Fun Activities for Special Education Students at Home

There are many fun activities that special education students can do at home to help them learn and grow. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Create a sensory bin: Fill a large container with things like sand, rice, beans, or even just water and let your child explore with their hands. This is a great way to work on fine motor skills and sensory exploration.
  • Make homemade pizzas: Let your child help measure and mix the ingredients, then top the pizzas with their favorite toppings. This activity works on math skills and following directions while being delicious!
  • Go on a nature walk: Explore your neighborhood or nearby park and look for birds, bugs, flowers, etc. This is a great opportunity to work on observation skills and get some fresh air at the same time.

Social Skills Activities for Special Needs Students

Special needs students often have a difficult time socializing with their peers. However, there are many activities that can help these students develop the social skills they need to be successful. Here are a few social skills activities for special needs students:

  • Role-playing – This activity allows students to practice how to respond in various social situations. They can role-play with each other or with adults.
  • Social stories – These stories provide information about specific social situations and how to handle them. They can be read together as a class or individually.
  • Group games – Games such as charades, Pictionary, and others can help special needs students learn how to interact with others in a fun way.
  • Conversation starters – Prompts such as “What did you do today?” or “How was your weekend?” can help special needs students initiate conversations with their peers.

Fun Activities for Special Education Students Online

If you’re looking for ways to keep your special education students engaged and learning, there are plenty of great options available online. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Use online games and puzzles to help with fine motor skills, memory, and problem-solving. Websites like www.abcya.com offer a wide variety of educational games that are both fun and challenging.
  • Utilize social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to create groups or pages specifically for your class. This can be a great way to stay connected with students and their families, share resources, and post announcements or reminders.
  • Take advantage of online video conferencing tools like Skype or Google Hangouts to connect with other classrooms or experts from around the world. This can provide some amazing learning opportunities for your students!
  • There are tons of great websites that offer free educational resources, lesson plans, activities, etc., specifically for special education students. A few of our favorites include www.teachtotalspecialedstudents.com and www.

Teaching students with Autism through hands on activities- special needs


Special education students often benefit from hands-on activities that help them to learn and retain information. In this blog post, we share some ideas for hands-on activities that can be used with special education students. These activities can be used to teach a variety of subjects, including math, science, reading, and writing.

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I am Dwight Hughes Sr., your specialist in Special Education and Preschooler topics at EduEdify.com. Holding a PhD in Early Childhood Education, I bring a depth of knowledge and experience to guide parents and educators in nurturing the younger minds. My mission is to share evidence-based insights, cultivated from years of academic and field research, to help every child flourish during their formative years.

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