Hearing-impaired children and adults are often at risk of having social challenges and not being able to fit in with mainstream groups. This is because many of the needed communication skills are language-based, according to research conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine. But there are many available types of fun activities for the hearing impaired that help foster communication and contribute to a feeling of community.
There are several types of art projects that are enjoyable activities for hearing-impaired children and adults. From drawing and coloring to painting and weaving, art is a fun activity that promotes creativity and expression. Hearing-impaired children can do basic art activities, such as watercolors and finger painting. Hearing-impaired adults can participate in more elaborate art projects, including working with clay and ceramics, as well as all types of sewing activities.
The treasure hunt activity teaches hearing-impaired children and adolescents how to ask for help and ask for clarification, as well as to negotiate with peers. It can also be a fun game for hearing-impaired adults in a party setting. This activity requires planning beforehand, and there should be a group leader to explain how to play. The group leader hides the “treasure clues” in the activity setting (such as a classroom, backyard or house) and then divides the participants into small groups.
Each group is given one starting clue that indicates where the next clue is hidden. They must work together to figure out what each clue means. For example, the first clue may be about a fire hydrant and it could read, “Counting is fun; One, two, three; I’m out in the sun; Dogs pee on me.” Once the group realizes the clue is about the fire hydrant, they go to it and find the next clue. Most games have about five to six different clues and locations. Once the group reaches the last clue, they are rewarded with a prize, or "treasure."
Group acting activities are another way for hearing-impaired children and adults to have fun. These types of activities can be done with or without props. Children that know how to read can use scripts and costumes to act out short plays. Charades is an impromptu activity that teaches hearing-impaired people how to fine-tune their abilities to read people non-verbally. The the game of charades may have a pop-culture theme and have items that require participants to act like celebrities. It can also take on an animal or emotions theme. For example, children can act the word “cat,” or they can act out the word “happy.”
Dancing can be a difficult activity for hearing-impaired people because they cannot hear all the sounds and tones of the music. One way to make dancing fun is to have a mimicking game. Designate a leader and ask the participants to imitate his dancing moves while the music is playing. When the music stops, all participants must freeze in place. The goal is to make dancing fun and teach the participants how to follow the rules.
Hearing-impaired people sometimes have communication difficulties and may have issues expressing emotions. There are many ways to teach hearing-impaired children how to read and portray their emotions in social settings. Ask your students or children to create emotions posters with different emotions in each section. They can cut out pictures from magazines and simply glue them to poster boards. Another idea is to teach them the colors that depict emotions, such as “blue” for sad feelings.