Recreation and Leisure

One very important facet of a successful and fulfilling life is what we do for fun, recreation and leisure skills.  There are very few activities that individuals with visual impairments or deafblindness cannot participate in if properly adapted.  Moreover, the need for physical activity and ways to relax and restore the mind, body and spirit are key to a fulfilling life.  Recreation and leisure activities utilize important fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving skills, spatial relationships, and other skills important to development. They are often activities that lend themselves to interaction with others and can help to develop social and emotional skills. Additionally they help us to maintain healthy minds, bodies and spirits.

Ideas for Recreation and Leisure with an Active Learning Approach

Recreation and leisure activities can take place anytime and anywhere. Many of them involve being out of doors, but not necessarily all of them.  All of them involve doing something that brings joy and pleasure to the individual.  Swinging in a hammock swing, taking a walk in the yard, exploring the sand and shells on the beach, or making a collection of items you like to touch can all be appropriate recreation and leisure activities for an individual.

Look at some of the activities Sara Lundgren and her son, Dean, have shared about recreational activities he enjoys. Note how an Active Learning approach is used by the adults supporting him.

Dean in the Pool Swimming Pool

Description: Dean in the Swimming Pool. This video is open captioned.


Dean with Swimming Instructor

Description: Dean with Swimming Instructor. This video is open captioned.

Dean Riding a Trike

Description: A teenage boy rides a large tricycle on a driveway. He pedals backwards and forwards.

Downloads: Transcript (txt)

Pedaling & Paddling at Narbethong Special School

Description: Presented by Sheralyn Hastie with thanks to the children and staff at the Narbethong Special School.



Water Play, Music Play & Children: A Natural Combination

Alec Duncan shares ideas to promote water play and music play on his Child’s Play Music website.  Using metal bowls and other household items in a waterplay table or water trough, learners can explore rhythm, pattern, tempo, pitch, and timbre (tone).

Watch the video below to see some of the ways in which water play and music play can be combined to encourage children to explore sound.

Benefits of Recreation and Leisure Activities

Dr. Joseph Gibson, who works with individuals with DeafBlindness in Norway through recreation and leisure activities shares some of his thoughts about the benefits and strategies for including individuals with DeafBlindness in physical activities.  As he shares, note the way his approach is all about Active Learning in its truest sense. 

Deafblind Insights – Joe Gibson

 Interview with Dr. Joe Gibson, Teacher at Statped, Skådalen Skole for Congenital Deafblind, in Norway.


You may also want to listen to a podcast of a presentation he made during the 2017 Texas Symposium on DeafBlindness at

Collage of recreation and leisure