Sensory based arts & crafts activities have been known to be effective in enhancing attention span, self-expression and reducing anxiety for children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. With the holiday season upon us, we have prepared a list of holiday sensory activities that will keep your child and you busy. Enjoy the quality time with your child and forge a closer bond as you try out the various activities from the comfort of your home.
Holiday Sensory Activities for your family to do together:
Scavenger Hunt – This is quite simple and involves taking a bucket/container and filling it with colorful beads or PVC pellets used in stuffing bean bags. Here you hide or stuff some toys into the bucket. Then you ask the child to dig out the toys one by one by feeling for them.
Sandpaper and crayons - Coloring on sandpaper is no mean task. This activity provides kids with the learning opportunity to work on their motor skills as well as experience with new textures. Pick up sandpaper from the local hardware store or Walmart and let the kids work on drawing magic on the sandpaper.
Playing with Shaving foam – Shaving foam is fun! Get a couple of cans from the nearest convenience store and just let your kid have at it. Your child may enjoy drawing within the shaving cream or some may just want to squish it in their hands. A baking pan or just clear off the table are great places to do this activity. Non-scented shaving foam options are suggested as to not have an additional sense activated during the activity.
Thread Edible Jewelry – Sharpen the motor skills by getting your child to make pretty necklaces or bracelets using thread, cereal with holes, and colorful candies. Once they have made the finished product, tie the knot and let them wear their creation or gift it to a loved one.
Sensory collage – Help your child in making a tactile collage using a variety of materials such as aluminum foil, fabrics, glitter, paper clippings, and so on. This is a good way to introduce them to a variety of textures which can overwhelm them otherwise. Such collages are fun and one can easily spend a few hours putting them together. Display them for the family and others to enjoy.
The Smelling Game – Boost their sense of smell with this game. Fill glass bottles with various items that are fragrant in nature (such as flowers, coffee, spices, etc). Cover each bottle with a fabric piece and rubber band. Then lay them out on a table and ask your child to identify the smells.
As you can see, there is a whole gamut of activities (homemade creative ones or available in stores) which can you as parents join in the fun with your children during the holidays. If there's a special sensory activity your child loves, please share it with us. We would be happy to share it with the wider community.