Accessible activities this Christmas

Accessible activities this Christmas
Posted on Fri 10 Dec 2021

It’s almost time for the Summer holidays and things are getting Christmassy! Here’s a bounty of ideas to discover the magic of Christmas, from accessible restaurants to Christmas lights and markets, arts, crafts and entertainment.  

 

Toys, game and craft

Toys for motor skill development

Make play part of your everyday and ensure that your child continues to develop their motor skills at home during the holidays, while they’re taking a break from formal therapy. Check out The Therapy Store for some educational ideas of toys that will help to develop gross and fine motor skills https://www.thetherapystore.com.au/product-cat/gross-motor/. The Therapy Store is a registered provider and proud supporter of the National Insurance Disability Scheme (NDIS).

LEGO is also great for fine motor skills as well as communication, emotional growth, puzzle solving and creativity. So good for a rainy day or build it outdoors to get your Vitamin D fix.

 

Make Your Own Christmas-themed Calm Down Bottle

This idea and image are courtesy of Jellystone Designs.

What you need: 

  1. DIY Calm Down Bottle
  2. Red and Green Paint
  3. Cotton Balls
  4. Glitter 
  5. Spoon
  6. Water

What to do:

  1. Open the bottle and fill 1/3 of the bottle with water.
  2. Add red paint (approx. 1 tablespoon) and mix with the water.
  3. Pop in some cotton balls and push them under the water with the spoon until submerged.
  4. Add glitter and fill with water till the bottle is 2/3 full.
  5. Add in some green paint (approx. 1 tablespoon) and mix.
  6. Pop in some more cotton balls and submerge them.
  7. Fill the bottle with water until full.
  8. Put the silicone caps back on and shake. 

Lights and decorations

Get into the spirit of the season and explore the best decorations across Sydney. Highlights include the 50th anniversary of the Martin Place tree, a light and sound show at St Mary’s Cathedral and a unique NFTree in the Galeries. See all the lights yourself with a self-guided tour app, https://www.sydneyculturewalksapp.com/christmas-lights-and-decorations-walk/

 

Accessible dining

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Private Dining – wheelchair accessible

Check out this story from our friends at Have Wheelchair Will Travel who took their son Braden, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, to a private evening tour and dining at SEA LIFE Sydney. They enjoyed watching the fish without having to jostle for position at the windows.

Karen’s Diner Sydney – great burgers and rude service

If you are looking for a quiet meal with good service, Karen’s Diner is not for you. Karen’s is an interactive diner with an absurdly fun experience. Aptly named Karen, synonymous with ladies who ask for the manager, rudeness in the establishment are embraced! Karen’s Diner is located on level one of World Square in the heart of Sydney. Lift access is available to level one and the diner offers step-free entry. And if your name is actually Karen you’ll get free drinks! Recommended for +15 year-olds. https://www.bemorekaren.com/

 

Gift ideas and shopping

Travel memories diary

If you’re dreaming of travel and want to get your photos off your phone to see every day, create a travel memories diary with a HP Sprocket. This portable printer connects straight to your mobile phone, and is a fun digital scrapbook activity for teenagers or young adults. So, if you’re looking for that perfect gift, take a look. (this is not a sponsored post).

 

The Rocks Christmas Markets

Enjoy a variety of beautifully handcrafted goods, delicious bites and treats, as well as street games and live entertainment. It’s the perfect place to get your unique gifts this season. Friday 4 December to Thursday 24 December, George Street, Playfair Street and Jack Mundey Place, The Rocks.

 

Art and Culture

If you need to escape to the city for a cultural experience there are a number of great exhibitions on over the festive season.

Neighbourhood Earth

Neighbourhood Earth is an award-winning, multi-sensory, immersive space experience, combining cutting edge technology with the latest in science, to tell the story of space exploration. Neighbourhood Earth has toured around the world and has now landed in Sydney for its Australian premiere. Great for all ages, accessible and plenty of space. https://www.neighbourhoodearth.com.au/

The 2021 National Geographic Photography Exhibition

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world in this stunning photographic exhibition with more than 11 sensational wildlife and nature photos on display. This FREE exhibition is open until 30 January 2022 at Hintz Hall. Accessible guide available here. Visit the website for information.

Matisse: Life & Spirit Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris

This Sydney-exclusive exhibition offers an extraordinary immersion in the range and depth of the art of Henri Matisse, one of the world’s most beloved, innovative and influential artists. Developed in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou in Paris, which holds an exceptional collection of works by the artist, Matisse: Life & Spirit, Masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris is the greatest single exhibition of Matisse masterworks ever to be seen in Sydney. https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/matisse/

 

Entertainment to delight 

Podcast inspo

If you want to stay updated on the latest conversations here’s a few pod ideas for you to treat your ears to on during the holidays. Perfect while out walking, relaxing at the beach or home.

  • Cerebral Conversations – CPA’s inaugural podcast, join our special guests and hosts for eye-opening, norm-challenging conversations about the biggest issues facing people with disabilities. Listen to the powerful and poignant journeys of Australians living with cerebral palsy who are breaking all the boundaries.
     
  • The Slow Home - An ever-growing group of people are saying no to life lived at 110%. Brooke and Ben McAlary are two of them and in The Slow Home Podcast, they chat to others who have adopted a similar approach to life - slowing down, opting out, saying no. The Slow Home Podcast is one of Australia’s longest-running health podcasts.
     
  • Renegades: Born in the USA – a series of conversations featuring President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen about their lives, music, and enduring love of America, despite all its challenges.

 

Bingeable books and films 

Image: Will Best in Safety Net

Support actors with disabilities 

Screenability is showing short films featuring people with disability on abciview in celebration of the recent International Day of People with Disabilties. And what's extra exciting, is that two of our brilliant clients’ films are featured:

Will Best in Safety Net, directed by award-winning theatre director Anthea Williams about a cheeky 13-year old living with a disability, in emergency care after his mother’s arrest.

Emily Dash, a guest on our Cerebral Conversations podcast, wrote and starred in the hilarious Groundhog Nights, a short film starring heavyweight actors Chris Haywood, Robyn Nevin and Susan Prior. Gary’s so used to caring for his daughter, Jess who has a disability, but when the in laws come to stay, everyone gets a wake up call!  Highly recommended!

 

Looking for a good book to read in the holidays?

Check out Books That Made Us on abciview hosted by Claudia Karvan about Australia’s most beloved and brilliant writers, exploring Australian identity through the place, its people and the power of our stories.

 

Have an amazing Christmas, if you celebrate Christmas, and enjoy the summer holidays and a well-deserved break with your family and loved ones. Wishing you a very happy, healthy New Year!

I’m Marie. I wear many hats; as a student in my first year at Western Sydney University studying communications, and I work as a Disability Support Practitioner for Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

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