Many Americans are still cooped up at home. Even though many restrictions have lifted, access to the care your child with autism needs is continuing to be hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Fortunately, there is an abundance of activities you can carry out at home that could have substantial therapeutic value for your child. We have already gone over some speech therapy exercises, and how you can incorporate nature as a form of recreational therapy. But let’s not forget the value of sensory play. Here are a few sensory activities you can try with your child at home.
Playdough is a timeless tool that many children have used for sensory play. It has untold benefits to children with sensory processing disorders. Its value for developing tactile sensation is obvious; but have you considered smell? Try mixing spices or essential oils into your child’s playdough, and have them guess what they’re smelling. There are also a few commercial scented playdoughs on the market.
While we’re on the subject of the olfactory, setting up blind tastings with your child can be a great way to develop their sense of taste. Have them try a small sample of a variety of foods while blindfolded and guess what it is. Just keep in mind what your child is known to like or dislike. This has the potential to be a great way to introduce an unfamiliar taste or texture as well.
This one is great for developing hand-eye coordination. Collect an assortment of coins, place paper over them, and have your child rub crayons or colored pencils on top. If you happen to have some 50 State Quarters, these might be good choices, and perhaps educational for you as well. You can do some digging into why each state got its particular design, and share this with your child. Foreign currencies are good options as well for extra educational value.
Creating your own sensory bottle can be an outstanding tool for sensory play. It’s an added benefit that this will allow you to reuse any disposable plastic bottles you have lying around. Just fill the bottle with water, food coloring, and glitter or beads. Consider using a glue gun to seal the bottle shut permanently. A quick search on the internet can give you more specific ideas. Sensory bottles are excellent for calming children with autism when they are anxious.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.