It may be warm and sunny still where you are dwelling but September typically means that children are back in school and Fall is nearly upon us!
Sensory activities include fine and gross motor skills and have been known to help regulate the sensory system that can sometimes play a role in how children with Autism are moving their bodies or seeking specific gross/fine motor input. For children with Autism, sensory activities are a very integral part of the day to be able to help their bodies neutralize, interact with others, increase functional play and appropriate play. It is also beneficial for children to increase their exposure to different textures and interaction with others as well. Here are 6 different things you can do to incorporate the season of fall into your sensory activities at home.
- Paint with nature items
- Go on a walk to aid in gross motor movement (a sensory activity in itself!) and have children pick up pinecones, acorns, leaves, stones and grass while walking. Use these nature items as sponges to paint pictures with.
- Carve pumpkins
- Pumpkins themselves are a great sensory activity because they incorporate so many different textures. Instead of carving the typical way, allow your child to make a face with the pumpkin and place golf tees in it. This will engage fine motor skill movement. Then let your child remove the pumpkin insides for texture engagement. Finally, roast the seeds and enjoy a oral sensory experience!
- Use cake mix as kinetic sand
- Buy cake mix or a pumpkin bread mix and place it in a bin. Add candy corn, candy pumpkins or any small items such as sprinkles, mini cookies, etc. into the bin. Have your child use tweezers (large plastic ones can be found in the craft section of most stores) to engage in fine motor movement while also allowing for an oral sensory opportunity as well.
- Play in the leaves
- Needing to get some yard work done and willing to allow your child to help? Raking leaves and jumping in them is a perfect sensory experience that incorporates gross motor movement along with texture exploration!
- Make Dirt Cups or Jello
- If you have a child with pica or specific oral sensory needs, food is a great way to go. Dirt cups including Jello or pudding with crunchy toppings and gummies allows for a child to experience several different textures. It can also be a great way for your child to engage in self-help skills by baking with you and engaging in fine motor activities such as measuring and pouring.
- It’s slime time!
- Nothing says fall like creepy gooey slime filled with googly eyes that glow in the dark. Here’s a slime recipe that will keep your child entertained for several days: https://rufflesandrainboots.com/monster-slime-googly-eye/
I hope this helps create fun family memories with your child and benefits them in several ways: from sensory to social engagement.