Planning activities for children involves a keen understanding of their personalities and the kinds of things that encourage them to develop their current skillsets. Such is the case when putting together a fun activity plan for children with autism. Often times, these children have refined sensory perceptions and niche skillsets which allow them to explore color, sound, sight and touch in their own unique ways. We’ve compiled a list activity ideas for children for autism, helping you create fun pastimes that are sure to have them learning all while having a great time. Read on to find out more!
Box of Beans
Fill a large box with dried beans. Add a series of small figurines or toys throughout the box of beans. Have the child sift through the beans in order to find the toy! This provides for a heightened sensory experience for the child, having them navigate their way to the end prize all while processing texture and touch. If you want to amplify the experience even further, dye the beans a series of primary colors which will allow them to process distinct colors throughout their hunt.
A fun game of Bingo can improve communication skills and socialization skills for children with autism. Playing with other children can encourage fair play and healthy competition. Additionally, bingo boards can be customized to fit the specific child, based on their needs. That is, if they struggle with colors, the bingo board can be focused on colors so that they may learn how to associate certain colors being called out to those on their own board. Also, with technology improve entertainment for all, bingo through the web is a fantastic option and can make planning such a game that much easier. Great new bingo sites are available to help inspire you plan a great bingo game that any child will love.
This idea one is really simple to plan but very effective when put into practice. Ask the child to close their eyes, and then hand them just about any object. Be sure to choose objects that have unique shapes and textures to make the activity all that much more challenging. Have the child explore the object with their eyes closed in order to guess what it may be. They can describe the object in their own words or have them use pictures and images to guess the object when they open their eyes. This tests their sense of touch and allows them to explore the world around them. It can also improve their verbal skills if they are describing objects in their own words, or improve their skills of association and sight, if they choose to describe objects using images.
Often times, children with autism are pegged as limited, resulting in them participating in very routine activities. However, these children should be challenged to step outside of their comfort zones, which can help them grow. Improvisational skits are a great way of achieving this, all while incorporating an aspect of collaboration with other children as well. Hand them a specific object and have them plan an entire skit around that one object. The children will be having fun with others in a heightened social setting, all while exploring their own creative capabilities.
These four activity ideas are sure to encourage any autistic child to leverage their sensory perceptions in order to navigate the world. Not only will they be having fun, but they will learn to break out of their comfort zones and gain confidence in themselves. We’re sure these will be a hit!
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)