School is a great place for children to learn new skills that can develop into leisure options. The school curriculum will expose your child to a variety of areas that have the potential to develop into leisure time activities. Some of these could include:
- Literacy- reading, writing
- Creative activities- drawing, music, dance
- Technology- used for creating, investigating, games
- Physical activities- athletics, team games, swimming, bike riding
Your child may need your help initially to understand that they can explore these same activities at home. By engaging with your child in these activities at home you are also consolidating the learning that has occurred at school.
School also has the potential for your child to develop a social network with the other children. This can develop and continue outside of school by pursuing sporting activities, playing at each other’s houses and attending parties.
Once children are at school, parent’s lives become a little more hectic. You are going to need to be organised to manage the demands of your family, their needs and your needs. Remember the purpose of leisure is to engage ‘ones self’. As soon as your child is showing some independence in activities allow them the freedom to pursue activities. This will help them to develop self confidence in being able to do things by and for themselves.
If your child’s ID is severe or they have a further associated learning disability such as Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) home activities may require structured activities to be a component of their home life. It may also require you, another adult, sibling or carer to be involved as well. Initial support is always needed in new activities for children until they grasp the concepts of the activity and experiment for themselves.