Summer is here! Unless you’re in the UK or Ireland, where 'summer' is basically meaningless because July looks suspiciously like November.
But for people in habitable countries, proper summer is here, and parents are looking for activities to keep kids busy and away from the Disney channel and PlayStations.
If that’s a tough task for most parents, it’s reinforced-steel-tough when one of your children has mobility problems.
If your child has cerebral palsy or another neuromuscular condition, all activities take a lot more planning: you need to take more equipment, check destinations for the right facilities, ensure each place is accessible, and make sure the planned activity can entertain everybody regardless of their mobility.
But families found they overcame a lot of those challenges when they ordered an Upsee.
It suddenly opened a lot of opportunities, the most common of which include visiting play parks or hitting the beach.
So with that in mind, we drew up a list of fun stuff to do for your inspiration and convenience this summer.
Check them out…
1. Crazy golf
You don’t need to know your 5-woods from your Tiger Woods to love crazy golf, it’s good fun for everybody in the family. And the best part is it works really well with the Upsee.
You and junior can walk round the little course without worrying about big distances and it’s obviously one sport where no running is involved so it’s played at a leisurely pace.
And because everybody’s hands are free, everybody gets to take their turn and you can help your child wherever needed.
2. Water fight
Water fights are one of the best bits of summer, and now a lot of kids with Upsees can get involved too. They are durable and easy to wash so you don’t have to worry about getting them a little wet or dirty.
Water fights aren’t for everyone, though, especially since they typically involve running, and if some kids may have sensory issues with water.
But all you need to do is adapt – make it a walk-only game (harder for your enemies to escape!) and try minimising the sensory overload by using little squirty or spray bottles instead of water pistols or water balloons.
3. Fly a kite
The whole family can enjoy this one too. If it’s not a very windy day, you might need the help of a good runner to get you started, but once the kite is airborne it only requires minimal movement to steer and control.
It’s not expensive to get started and you can even try making your own kites at home together.
4. Pooh sticks
Any game invented by Winnie the Pooh is good in our book. Never heard of it? It involves finding a good stick from a forest or park, then taking it to a bridge spanning running water.
You and your opponent drop your sticks simultaneously into the flow below and watch them race to a designated finish line. First one there wins – easy and fun!
Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt taking place right now. About 6 million geocachers take part in hunting for ‘treasure’ (trinkets and quirky items) known as geocaches.
Participants register online, choose a nearby geocache, and then go hunt it down via GPS. It turns a nice walk into a fun adventure, and there are almost 2.5million active geocaches worldwide so there will be some near you.
6. Treasure hunt
Or make your own retro-geocache – otherwise known as a good old treasure hunt.
It does take a little more planning on behalf of the grown-ups; you’ll need to think up some good hiding places around the house and garden then write some clues so the treasures can be hunted down.
But with your Upsee in tow you and your child can access a lot more of those hiding places and locations.
7. Hide and seek
Hide and Seek is a classic and children with mobility problems don’t always get to play it properly. But throw on an Upsee and suddenly they have the chance to be a lot more mobile with mum or dad’s help, and can head off to find new places to hide from big brothers.
8. Gone fishing
You don’t have to take to the high seas for this one – using a little net in a local pond is enough to discover lots of new creatures and learn all about wildlife.
And you should probably treat yourself to a nice picnic while you’re there.
9. Wash the car
This sounds like dad’s suggestion, getting everyone else to clean the car for him, but it can actually be good old messy fun when everybody is involved.
Plus it’s a good way to make chores more bearable. Get them onto the dishes next.
10. Dance class
Whether it’s possible for your family depends on your child’s development and progress, but it’s such a simple joy that kids with mobility issues miss out on that it really is beautiful to see and a lot of fun too.
One parent we know even put noisy things like bottle-caps, coins and crinkly paper on the floor to add an extra fun sensory element to their boogying.