Three Fun Materials for Children with Intellectual Disabilities

As many of you know, my family and I are expecting baby number three in just a few short weeks. As I take some time off from work and blogging to spend time with my family both before and after my new son’s birth, I am thrilled to share with you some amazing posts written by some very talented bloggers. So please sit back, relax and enjoy this guest post and leave a comment letting us know what you think! Today we have Shannon from Speechy Musings sharing some activities for children with intellectual disabilities. 

First, I’d like to begin by thanking Katie for inviting me to post! If you don’t know me, I’m Shannon from over at Speechy Musings. I am currently in my second semester of graduate school for speech-language pathology. On my blog, you’ll find a ton of my materials, reviews, resources, and ideas for speech therapy! Today, I’m going to share three ideas for age appropriate materials for children with intellectual disabilities! Hopefully, this information will be helpful for both parents and professionals! You can definitely use ALL of these materials for children who don’t have ID as well.


As everybody who works with children with disabilities knows, it can be a real challenge to find materials for children with intellectual disabilities! Oftentimes, I worked with children who had very narrow interests, many of which were not age appropriate. Other times, it was just difficult to find materials that looked mature, but that were still simple enough that my clients weren’t getting frustrated! I didn’t want to do simple cut and glue activities for everything, but I didn’t want them feeling defeated either! Below are some ideas I’ve come up with in the past couple years. Please feel free to share your own!

1) LEGO Club Magazine

For kids who are older and have trouble reading, it can be an incredible challenge to find reading material that isn’t insulting while being fun and interesting!! There are only so many ‘early reader’ type books, and those can start to get really expensive! A year or so ago I signed up for the LEGO Club Magazine.

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It’s free and contains many pages of great, easy material for beginner readers! Below is an example of two magazines that have “The Yoda Chronicles”: a series of child friendly comics.

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It is especially great for boys who are unmotivated by other types of books. Sign up at the link below:

Can target:
-Anything (if used as a reinforcer by itself or in a craft!)
-Articulation Carryover
-Fluency Practice
-Basic Concepts including Prepositions (describe the pictures!)

2) American Girl Creative Card Making Pad:

I LOVE this booklet of materials that can be used to make cards and envelopes. It’s great to use for following direction activities (e.g.: “Put the sticker on the X” or “Fold the paper in half”). It’s also great as a reward. Have the child earn pieces of their card throughout other exercises. For older kids, it can be used a life skills activity. Have them address the envelopes and fill out a return label (to practice writing their address!). Your students can practice a variety of skills while writing letters on the cards or to put in their envelopes!

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Overall, I’ve found this packet to be much more age appropriate and motivating for many of my clients when compared to construction paper crafts and cards! Many of my clients love making cards for birthdays and other special events at school, which gives them opportunities to talk to their classmates and practice their social skills!

Can target:
-Receptive Language (i.e.: following directions)
-Anything (if used as a reinforcer)
-Social Skill Development (e.g.: “What card should we make for Maggie? Why? What should we write?” AND giving the card to the student!)

3) Store Catalogues

Start collecting catalogues from various stores that might be of interest to the child! That might be and outdoor/hunting catalogue, a clothing catalogue, or a toy catalogue! Anything! You can use these to make a collage of your child’s favorite things. In speech therapy, you can work on sorting with so many of these pictures! Cut out things and sort things that have wheels and things that have wings. Sort the pants from the shirts. Sort the fishing supplies from the hunting supplies. Get creative!

You can cut out a child from a magazine and have your student dress them. Target basic concepts through this! Have your student find a purple shirt or have them put a hat on top of the boy’s head.

Note: Keep travel brochures for a similar activity!

Can target:
-Categories & Sorting
-Basic Concepts (colors, prepositions)
-Life Skills

What do you all love using with your children with intellectual disabilities? I’d LOVE to hear!

Thanks for reading! I’d love to see you over in my neck of the woods sometime! Feel free to like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest!


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  1. Kelly Hungaski says

    Lego magazine sounds really fun-and up the alley for kids of mine! Thanks for the great suggestions!