Hands On Projects Ideas
Hands on projects can be integrated into nearly any learning experience. Use these ideas for younger children:
- Telling a story while working together to illustrate it with simple drawings can aid in comprehension while keeping children engaged in social interaction.
- Paper cutouts, used to act out a story read aloud, can be great literacy and comprehension reinforcement. The child can help make the cutouts as a hands on project.
- Drawing and coloring flashcards can help in the development of fine motor skills while teaching letter and number recognition.
- Mixing instant puddings or homemade play dough can help children learn to follow simple instructions with the help of tactile stimulation to maintain attention.
- Building in a sand or water table helps children learn about textures or overcome sensitivities to those textures while building and using creativity.
- Sorting objects by color or shape helps children learn about patterns and gives them a sense of pride when the job is completed correctly.
Use the following ideas for older children:
The Benefits Of Sensory Activities For Individuals With Autism
All young children can benefit from sensory play, but theres a particular importance of sensory activities for autism diagnosed children. Those with autism struggle to regulate their responses to sensory information, so upon hearing a loud bang or when given an unfamiliar texture, it can be extremely distressing and overwhelming for them.
Not only are sensory activities calming for people with ASD, but they have a huge impact on a childs development. If youre fostering autistic children, here are the main benefits of sensory play.
And last but certainly not least – its fun! Play is the natural way for kids to communicate, learn and understand the world and their environment. When youre fostering a child with disabilities, playtime is essential. It boosts creativity, imagination, problem and conflict solving skills and teaches children about relationship dynamics.
Homemade Herb & Spice Play Dough
A lot of sensory activities just have to do with touch. Heres a super neat one that uses your sense of smell homemade herb and spice play dough. My grandkids love playdough and if yours are like mine, this might just turn out to be their favorite sensory activity! I really want to try the cocoa one!
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This Rainbow Button Sensory Bottle Is Educative And Fun
When I was a kid, my mom had this old cookie tin that was just full of buttons. I used to love sifting through the buttons with my fingers and looking at all of the different kinds. This rainbow button sensory bottle is a great way to do just that, and would be fun with any kind of buttons! Its also a great way to help kids learn their colors.
This rainbow button sensory bottle, made from easily available supplies, could be the ultimate play toy for you and your young one. From learning colors to counting how many buttons there are, there are so many things to do with this sensory bottle.
Science Fiction And Fantasy
Science fiction and fantasy are often of great interest to people with autism. Depending on their interest levels and abilities, people on the spectrum may learn every detail of a particular “universe,” write their own stories, watch and rewatch movies, read comics, attend cons, or even build their own costumes.
There is a whole world of opportunity for hobbyists out there, at all levels. Find your inner caped crusader, and get involved.
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Lets First Adapt The Environment
Children with autism are often easily distracted. They may focus best when wearing ear covers that muffle sounds. Headphones or a sound system with soothing white noise or music may help to drown out distracting sounds. Consider using table lamps that shine directly onto materials rather than overhead lighting. Many children with autism are particularly sensitive to fluorescent lights. Offer seating or positioning options such as:
- Belly on the floor, leaning on forearms or over a bolster with hands, knees, and feet reaching the floor
- Standing or kneeling at a table
- Sitting in a rocker, glider chair, swing, or other movement apparatus or using a cushion that wiggles, bounces, or vibrates.
- Straddling a chair facing backward enables a child to support her arms on the back of the chair
Fun Outdoor Activities For Autistic Children
1. Playing with bubbles
|Age: 3 to 5 years|
|Benefits: Motor-coordination and social skills|
Bubble play can be a fun activity for your child. One of the main benefits of bubble play is that it encourages parent-child interaction. Since your child needs your support in blowing the bubbles, he will make more eye-to-eye contact with you or try to communicate verbally using a sound or a word. This activity is also good for motor development as your child will run around quite a bit trying to catch and burst the bubbles.
2. Throw a ball
|Ages: 3 to 5 years, 6 to 9 years|
|Benefits: Motor-coordination, self-confidence and social skills|
|Suitable for: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Learning Disability|
Physical play can enhance your child’s awareness of his body and build endurance. More than that, participating in a sports activity can do a lot to your child’s psyche. Line up some plastic glasses and play a bowling game. According to your child’s abilities, you can also consider including rules or involve him in a more formal game.
3. Splash in the water
|Ages: 3 to 5 years, 6 to 9 years|
|Benefits: Motor coordination and social skills|
|Suitable for: Autism Spectrum Disorders|
Water is therapeutic. Playing in the water can calm and soothe your child’s nerves. For a younger child, add some bath toys to an inflatable pool and let her have fun. Make sure an adult is supervising when the child is in the water. An older child can have fun outdoors with a garden hose or sprinkler.
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What Would You Do Games
Sometimes, people with Autism have difficulties in making short-notice decisions. For instance, in case of a fire, children with Autism might find themselves unable to get out of harms way. By practicing different scenarios, kids can get used to different situations and learn how to act in such cases.
Sensory Issues And Autism
Many children on the autism spectrum have sensory processing disorder or struggle with certain sensory issues. A very oversimplified definition of this is just that their brain processes sensory input from the environment around them differently than most children. For some children this can mean they crave extra sensory input and for others it can cause an aversion to certain stimuli all together.
National Autism Resources is the leading online resource for information, advice, toys, gifts, educational products and more.
For our article, we have picked 5 clean science experiments that are quiet and dont require children to get their hands messy, since these can be typical triggers for autistic children.
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Playground And Outdoor Activities
Ask questions about why he doesnt prefer the equipment or only walks in circles around the playground vs. using the equipment as designed. Offer fun alternatives such as alphabetic scavenger hunts and finding items beginning with each letter of the alphabet.
These types of activities help children to use so many senses together. Encourage kids to play outside and in bare feet whenever possible. If your child is not fond of playground equipment, he may be letting you know that he needs additional therapy in order to overcome a fear or motor weakness.
Kids Activities That Teach Problem Solving Skills
ScrabbleScrabble is a great game for kids who struggle with planning and organization. As the game progresses, they must strategize and anticipate how they can build their own words off of those already played by others. This is also a great game for kids who struggle with spelling and/or vocabulary, and it gets them talking!
MemoryAlso known as Concentration, there are many versions of the classic game Memory available for purchase to help develop a childs focus and concentration skills. The idea is pretty easy and can be enjoyed with 2 or more players. Simply lie all of the tiles from the game facing downwards, and then take turns turning over 2 tiles at a time until you find a match. Children naturally build their working memory as they try to remember where specific cards are. We love our Despicable Me Memory Game, and I highly recommend Melissa & Dougs Flip to Win Travel Memory Game as it can be played independently for on-the-go fun.
Problems in a JarMosswood Connections is one of my favorite resources for ideas to help kids with developmental delays like autism and sensory processing disorder, and I recently found this Problems in a Jar activity on their site. Its designed to help kids with executive function disorder learn how to define a problem, generate possible solutions, evaluate and select the best solution, and then implement the solution independently. Its a great social skills activity to work through with your child at home.
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Hobbies And Activities To Enjoy
These are some of the most popular activities shared by autistic children and their families. Of course, you and your child may have completely different interests, but these ideas should start your creative juices flowing.
As you read through this list, you may think “my child isn’t able to comprehend or participate in any of these activities he can’t even speak.” While that may be true in some cases, the ability to speak, sit still, or otherwise “behave normally” are not required for most of these activities.
Many children with nonverbal autism are accomplished gamers, artists, swimmers, runners, and more.
Find It Game To Calm Your Young Ones Nerves
I can imagine any of my grandkids, who range in age from 2-8, getting excited about finding the hidden objects in these neat bottles! The best thing is that they are a snap to make!
This calming find-it game would be perfect for long car rides, doctors visits, or any other scenario when your little ones get fidgety and restless.
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This Minion Sensory Bottle Will Excite Any Despicable Me Fan
Im sure its not just my grandchildren that are totally obsessed with minions or is it? Either way, this minion sensory bottle is totally cute and sure to entertain your grandkids! Sensory bottles are meant to stimulate the sense of sight and what better way to do this than with your grandkids favorite movie?! Its creative and deceptively simple! You can even get creative and make a themed sensory bottle personalized to your grandchilds favorite movie.
Underwater I Spy Alphabet Bottle:
Sparkling water is one such activities for children with autism social skills to attract. Here is a great alphabet bottle activity that helps to keep your little one focused and engaged. Your kids can recognize letters in a creative manner through the shiny floating sequins.
You Will Need:
- Glue gun
How To Do:
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How Would It Feel To Be : : : :
Next time you read a book to your class, try asking your students how it would feel to be the main character in the story. If youre reading a picture book about Cinderella, for example, you could ask how they would feel if they had two evil stepsisters who were mean to them. Or if youre reading Peter Pan as a class, you could ask them what happy memories they would think about to fly with magic pixie dust.
This can help students with autism learn empathy as well as how to see situations in their lives from another perspective. It can also teach them how to recognize emotional cues by encouraging them to put themselves in the perspective of another person.
Apples And Actions Game
This object lesson starts with showing your student an apple. Pass the apple around the class and, as you do, have each child insult it and drop it on their desk or the ground. After every child has dropped it and said a mean thing to it, cut the apple in half and show your students all the bruises inside.
Explain to them that our words have consequences and that everything we say can make an impact on someone else. Just like how insulting and dropping the apple can bruise it, being mean to a classmate can have big effects on them. That way, your students will always remember to be kind.
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Activities To Engage Your Child With Autism
1. I Spy Bottle â Hereâs a simple activity that can aid your toddlerâs cognitive development and help him focus better. The captivating colors and the fascinating shapes inside the bottle are sure to grab your childâs attention. Ensure that the contents of the bottle are as colorful as possible. Involve your child in the selection of the bottle contents.
You Need:â¢ An empty plastic bottle or jarâ¢ Little trinkets like hair clips, beads, buttons etc.â¢ A pack of glitter dustâ¢ Acrylic paintsâ¢ A sheet of paper
Directions:Begin by asking your child to write the letters A-Z on a sheet of paper. Now, start putting all the aforementioned contents into the bottle. Fill half the bottle with colored water and the other half with corn syrup. Seal the lid with hot glue and shake the contents well. There! Your I Spy bottle is ready. Ask your kid to look for all alphabets in the bottle and strike them off on the sheet as and when he finds them.
2. Ice Painting â With a fun science experiment like this, your child is bound to be intrigued! This activity will enhance your kidâs ability to identify and distinguish between colors. It will also improve his observational skills and knowledge about certain concepts of science.
You Need:â¢ Foil
3. Edible Jewelry â Whatâs better than a pretty necklace that your kid will not just enjoy wearing, but also eat? This activity will improve your childâs hand and eye coordination as well as her fine motor skills.
Invisible Ink Experiment Steps
1) Add fresh squeezed lemon juice or bottled lemon juice to a cup.
2) Put the end of your writing utensil in the cup and soak it enough to get enough liquid on the end.
3) Write your message on a plain piece of paper. Then let it dry completely so that it is invisible.
4) Use a heat source to warm up the lemon juice. We used a lighter but there are plenty of available heat sources like a candle or a stove top burner.
Always have an adult conduct or supervise this portion of the experiment.
5) Watch your invisible message appear!
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S For Using Science To Make Paper Cups Hold Your Body Weight
1) Have the child stand on a paper cup. It will easily crumble under the weight of even a smaller child. This is because all the weight is directly on the cup.
2) Now, evenly space out several of the same paper cups and then put a piece of cardboard over all the cups. Then have the child stand on the cardboard. It should hold them because of the weight distribution.
If youre feeling brave you can even add a second layer of cups with another piece of cardboard on top of that.
What Are The Benefits Of Task Boxes For Kids With Autism
- Promotes independence. Since children with autism are typically dependent on parents, caregivers, therapists, and teachers, task boxes help foster independence by helping them work on their own successfully.
- Reduces the need for verbal instruction.
- Teaches a wide variety of skills needed for daily living, such as sorting, sequencing, matching, zipping, buttoning, lacing, coloring, drawing, writing, letter and number recognition, object identification, and following directions.
- Can be tailored to individual treatment plans.
- Provides an easy learning experience. By providing a visual, single-unit task that is broken down into small steps that can be completed independently, task boxes for autism work well with children who are easily distracted.
- Suitable for all ages. You can increase the complexity of task boxes by adding additional steps and making the tasks more interactive .
- Boosts self-esteem. Since the main goal of task boxes for autism is to teach a child how to follow a schedule of events to complete a task while also encouraging independence, the activities are intended to be challenging, but not too difficult. You want the child to be successful so he or she feels confident in his or her abilities!
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