Sensory bins are highly beneficial for children with autism. They provide sensory input as a calming activity and many opportunities for learning and exploring. These bins are great for practicing fine motor skills, exploring new textures, encouraging imaginative play, providing opportunities for dialogue, or even working on social skills. Some children with autism need additional stimulation through their senses to provide more input or better manage sensory issues. Sensory play helps children with autism in many ways. Let’s go over the benefits of creating a sensory bin for your child.
What to Put in a Sensory Bin
There are countless options of toys and objects to fill a sensory bin with. Some great choices for edible fillers are cereal, pasta, and rice. Many children with autism enjoy pom poms, beans, sand, or water. If you have a child who likes to rip books, you may want to engage in a sensory bin using paper shreds. This also provides an opportunity to teach them not to tear their books but to rip this paper. Another fabulous sensory bin filler is kinetic sand. This sand is a great way to allow children to learn about the world through touch. One of the things that makes it so appealing is that it is relaxing, fascinating, and fun.
Improves Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills refer to small muscle development, which allows a child to hold a pencil or button a shirt. It includes eye-hand coordination, finger strength and control, and the development of muscles in the toes, tongue, and eyes. Children can use sensory bin fillers to scoop, pour, mold, roll, squish, rip, and pinch. You can also add tools like plastic scissors and knives, rolling pins, cookie cutters, measuring, and spoons to develop these skills further.
As your child works on their creations, they form new ideas and concepts, providing an opportunity for new words to describe what they are doing and making. You not only have the ability to improve vocabulary but also to connect verbally with your child. This can be a critical step for children on the autism spectrum.
Sensory bins are a quiet and calming activity where children can sit still for long periods. This is great for increasing a child’s concentration span over time. Start smaller for children that struggle in this area by placing sand on a children’s table so they can stand while playing.
The more involved they are in what they are creating, the longer they stay engaged. You may need to try multiple fillers and objects before you find the right one.
Improves Social Skills
When children with autism participate in sensory play with others, it increases their social skills. Sensory play breaks down barriers if your child is hesitant to play with other kids. Everyone can participate and have fun playing together with a sensory
The Connections Therapy Center
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