Summer Activities for Children with Autism
(but also for every child!)*
We are almost at the end of August, but summer is not finished yet! Even if the weather doesn’t look so great in the UK (and I know that in other countries is really summer), the fun doesn’t have to stop! Our children are still on holiday, so here I am to share some creative ideas for summer fun for kids on the spectrum or kids who are simply sensory sensitive.
First of all, start with new sensory activities, which may help improve sensory processing while reducing stress. Get outdoors and pay close attention for signs of frustration or over stimulation, so you’ll know when to take a break.
Water balloon and paint
It’s summer, it’s hot, so why don’t you put together messy play and water games? On this website, you can find 5 different ways to do it! They are all simple, maybe your child will need a little bit of help with some steps, but for sure they will enjoy every single moment. Be careful when you pop the balloons: some kids could be sensitive to the sound, so keep in mind that maybe you need to be a little bit distant from them. Quite the opposite if your child likes to pop them by himself. Probably he will need some help, but he will love it!
Seasonal foods through cooking activities
This is one of the best sensory play and learning activity for children with autism. You can prepare meals in the kitchen or outside, explaining how to do it step by step. Then, if your child likes what you did together, he can also tastes his own food. This activity put together taste and touch, since the food could have different texture and, for sure, different flavour!
You can fill a plastic bag or, if you have one, even a little pool with sand or water, adding some items to explore inside, such as flower petals, paint, glitter, foam.
This is a simple way to put together sensory play and learning activity to improve your child motor skills. Use your imagination, a sensory bag is always fun! If you went to the beach, use the seashells, and talk about what happened when you were there. It is important to recollect past events.
Summer is the right time to go out, so use your garden or a familiar playground you’ve been to before to do that. You can allow your child to use bicycles or scooters if you feel that his physical and mental development is appropriate for these social skills activities.
Here, again, there is a lot you can do! Use a tray to pour some water in, add some soap, use some straws to blow some bubbles, play animal farm or sea animal, then paint and wash them in the water, paint your hands, stamp them on a paper and use the water to clean yourself. These are just some ideas, but any type of water play is accepted! Remember to have always a towel with you, some kids don’t like to be wet, and this could become a challenge.
* Note: I do not endorse any of these activities, I am simply sharing recommendations from my personal experience. Before taking part in any activity, please make sure all materials are safe for your child. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to share below! Happy playing!