Benefits of Mini Golf for Kids (Plus Adaptions for Special Needs)

 In Adapting to Special Needs, Lifestyle, Youth Sports and Athletics

Looking for a fun Summer activity for kids? Mini golf is a fun outdoor activity for kids that be played as a group, or as a fun family activity. Let’s look at 5 benefits of mini golf for kids and how to enjoy it this Summer!

If a child requires different accommodations, we’ll go over a few simple tips to make modifications and adaptions for the game, as well as some general safety tips for playing mini golf with kids over the Summer!

Benefits of Mini Golf for Kids and Adaptations

CoachArt Mini Golf Club (Los Angeles). CoachArt offers free arts and athletics lessons for kids impacted by chronic illness.

5 Benefits of Mini Golf for Kids

The benefits of mini golf for kids are numerous. Let’s take a look at our top 5!

1. Physical Activity:
Comparable to a 60-minute brisk walk, and lot more fun, playing mini golf can burn up to 300 calories an hour for a good cardiovascular workout.

2. Social Activity:
Playing mini golf helps kids learn important lessons in sportsmanship, helps them gain experience in following rules and being considerate to others. It is also a good lesson in patience and cooperation.

3. Educational Benefits:
Mini golf can help children develop hand-eye coordination, balance, improve math skills, problem-solving skills, focus, and decision-making skills.

4. Gets Kids Outdoors:
A game of mini golf gets kids outdoors for fresh air and movement for a game they’ll have fun playing!

5. Anyone Can Play:
One amazing benefit of mini golf for kids is that anyone can play, regardless of age, size or ability. This helps kids build confidence and self-esteem when learning a new activity.

 


Mini Golf Summer Safety Tips for Kids

  • Be sure everyone else is a safe distance away from the child who is taking a turn. This includes a safe distance from the putter and from where the ball may land.
  • Always be clear about who’s turn it is and when the mini golfer will swing.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water during and after the game.
  • Rest between games or turns as needed.
  • Wear sunscreen to avoid sunburns! The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that all children wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Choose a broad-spectrum that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. To protect the eyes, choose sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.

 


Mini Golf Adaptations for Kids Who Need Different Accommodations

Miniature Golf Adaptations for Kids Who Need Different Accommodations | CoachArt
When playing mini golf with kids who need different accommodations, you may consider general adaptations, such as:

  • using a different size club or ball (if necessary),
  • allowing the child to explore the course before jumping right in,
  • encouraging the child to practice with the club to be comfortable using it and swinging it, and
  • trying a non-peak time to give the child more time to feel comfortable.

 


WHEELCHAIR INCLUSION

INCLUSIONS TIPS AND MODIFICATIONS:

  • Always let your students try — never assume they can’t do something.
  • Work with students to adapt to their abilities (e.g., use a shorter club if necessary).
  • Create new rules if you recognize a limitation.
  • Limit the amount of quick wheelchair movements to prevent exhaustion and blisters.
  • Allow the child time to practice with the club. Be aware of accessibilty at the course.
  • Utilize the STEPS principle (Space, Task, Equipment, People, and Safety).

COMMUNICATION

  • Whenever possible, put yourself at eye level to facilitate conversation by sitting in a chair or crouching down.
  • Do not speak loudly and/or slowly to an individual using a wheelchair unless you know that doing so is necessary to communicate.
  • Always ask permission before pushing a child’s wheelchair.

 


VISION IMPAIRMENT INCLUSION

INCLUSIONS TIPS AND MODIFICATIONS:

  • You can use brightly-colored balls or a ball with a bell inside for easier tracking.
  • Allow time for the visually impaired child to explore the course and be comfortable with using the equipment.
  • Use larger and/or softer materials as appropriate.
  • Reduce the size of the playing space as appropriate.
  • If appropriate, assign a buddy for support in group play.

CHECKLIST

  1. Are you prepared to provide the students with verbal directions about all parts of the activity?
  2. Is the space clear to allow for easier movement?
  3. Have you taken time to allow the child to explore in a way that’s helpful for them?

 


HEARING LOSS INCLUSION

Hearing loss is the most common disability in the U.S.; three out of every 100 school-age kids have a significant hearing loss.

INCLUSIONS TIPS AND MODIFICATIONS:

  • Obtain the student’s attention prior to speaking.
  • Reduce auditory distractions. Playing at a non-peak hour can help ensure there isn’t a lot of background noise.
  • Enhance speech-reading conditions (avoid hands in front of the face, no gum chewing).
  • Face the child and make eye contact when speaking, and clearly enunciate speech.
  • As a general rule, always stand close to a child who is hard of hearing when giving instructions.
  • Use visual supplements as needed (predetermined visual signals or signs, whiteboards, or visual charts).
  • Do not exaggerate your lip movements, but slowing down a little may help some students.
  • Use facial expressions, gestures, and body language to help convey your message, but don’t overdo it.
  • Repeat others comments and/or questions before responding to make sure the hard-of-hearing student heard.

 


ASTHMA INCLUSION

INCLUSIONS TIPS AND MODIFICATIONS:

  • Check in with the child, and offer a rest break from activity if necessary.
  • Have the child’s inhaler nearby and ready to be used.
  • Be aware of the child’s comfort level with the pace of the game and consider a slower pace if necessary.

UNDERSTAND POTENTIAL ASTHMA TRIGGERS:

  • Rigorous exercise
  • Dust
  • Animal proteins
  • Fungi
  • Pollen

 


SPEECH IMPAIRMENT INCLUSION

INCLUSIONS TIPS AND MODIFICATIONS:

When speaking with kids who have difficulties with speech, you should:

  • Be patient- don’t rush them or finish their sentences.
  • Always ensure you understand what the child has said before proceeding.
  • Ask the child, if necessary, to repeat what they have said or write it down.
  • During group play on the course, allow the use of predetermined hand signals if it is helpful for them.

 


LIMITED USE OF HANDS AND ARMS INCLUSION

INCLUSIONS TIPS AND MODIFICATIONS:

  • If young people have difficulty sending a ball by hand try using a different sized or special club to help a child with the grip.
  • You can use a Velcro “grasping mitt” to help retain a firm grip if more support is required.
  • Athletic tape and an Ace bandage wrap are two simple solutions to maintain a proper grip. Use the lightest possible club.
  • Modification of game rules to include extra swings as needed.
  • Modify equipment, use larger or softer balls as needed.

 


COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT INCLUSION

INCLUSIONS TIPS AND MODIFICATIONS:

  • Repeat instructions.
  • Provide frequent feedback.
  • Break down play into smaller steps.
  • Display rules.
  • Prepare kids for transitions.
  • Reduce distractions. Playing at a non-peak time may be helpful.
  • Buddy up if appropriate.
  • Find out the child’s strengths and emphasize them.
  • Be flexible.
  • Be patient.

TYPES OF COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT:

  • Difficulty Processing Information (Sensory Processing Disorder)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down Syndrome
  • Developmental Delay

A CHILD WITH A COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT MAY:

  • Have a short attention span
  • Have speech and language difficulties
  • Have a range of difficulty with physical/ motor skills
  • Be overwhelmed by a large amount of new information at once
  • View each learning experience as new, instead of attaching new knowledge to prior learned ideas
  • Behave inappropriately due to difficulty reading social situations
  • Have low self-esteem

 


GENERAL TIPS FOR GROUP PLAY

  1. If possible, offer a buddy if extra support is needed. This gives every child the chance to work on cooperative and social skills.
  2. For group play, discuss with the group what modifications are going to be made to the game.
  3. Be prepared to field questions so that all participants understand and feel included in the process.

Mini Golf Fun Fact: Miniature golf is known by many names around the world, such as goofy golf, shorties, extreme golf, adventure golf, and mini-putt, but the most common name is “Putt-Putt,” created by Putt-Putt Fun Center, a company that builds miniature golf courses.

As we’ve seen, there are several benefits of mini golf for kids! This fun activity is a great way to get children outdoors this Summer for physical activity, socializing and FUN! For children who need different accommodations, mini golf is highly adaptable and there are several modifications you can use to help a child participate. For ideas on how to adapt other outdoor activities for kids of differing abilities, view our post on adapting outdoor activities for kids.

What fun outdoor activities are you trying with kids this Summer? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments!

“Never ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch

 


MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR FAMILIES IMPACTED BY CHILDHOOD CHRONIC ILLNESS

Give a "virtual high five" on National High Five Day (Thursday, April 19th), and $5 will be donated to CoachArt!Since 2001, CoachArt has matched volunteer coaches with students for one-on-one or group lessons in arts and athletics. Our vision is that one day every family impacted by chronic illness will be connected to a community of support and an opportunity to learn and grow together.

CoachArt offers free art and athletic lessons to chronically ill children and their siblings between the ages of 5-18 in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Diego. If your child has been diagnosed with a chronic condition, we invite you to fill out a student eligibility form or get in touch to learn if CoachArt is right for your child.

WAYS TO HELP

Do you have an artistic or athletic skill you would like to share with a child impacted by chronic illness? Become a CoachArt Volunteer.

Learn how you can get involved with CoachArt to help kids impacted by chronic illness. Visit coachart.org/get-involved.

Leave a Comment

0
Raising a Chronically Ill Child? The UpBeat Gets It. | CoachArt"Tiger Livy" Children's Book Signing in San Diego with Erin Garcia | CoachArt