Indoor activities for Children with AutismApril 30, 2020 12:32 pm Leave your thoughts
Updated August 3, 2022
We have all entered an unprecedented time and have had to adjust our schedules and daily regimes to keep our families and each other safe. Our families have done an amazing job at keeping the schedules and routines as consistent as possible in the home. However, some may find themselves running out of new and exciting activities to play indoors as we are all stuck spending more time inside. We at BCOTB are here to help! We have compiled a list of activities that will hopefully help keep your child entertained in the home during this time.
Sensory bins can help keep your child engage while working on fine motor skills. They can be very entertaining and there are many different types of sensory bins that you can create for your child. Here is a list of a few ideas you can create at home.
- Kinetic or moon sand sensory bins- Hide shells or toy dinosaurs in the sand and give your child a thin paintbrush. Let them become an archaeologist for the day as they discover the dinosaurs hidden in the sand. Or Just simply add sand toys or cookie cutters and let them play!
- Beans or rice bin- Add different toys or items from around the house into the bin and create a search and find list for your child. Another idea to utilize with this sensory bin is to hide magnetic letters in the bin and have your child find the letters that spell their name.
- Water and soap bin- A great way to keep those hands clean! Grab items from around the house and have your child tell you if the item is going to sink or float. You can also grab some straws and work on blowing bubbles, a great way to strengthen those oral motor muscles.
If sensory bins are too messy for your child, or if you are looking for something to keep them occupied while you are working from home, try a sensory bottle. This is fun and easy to do for children of all ages. Grab a plastic water bottle, then add some water. Let your child add glitter, marbles, food coloring or any small items to the bottle. Glue the lid shut and let them have fun with their sparkling creation.
Yes, it is messy, but it is a lot of fun for kids! Work on those fine motor skills by using your finger or chopsticks to draw letters and shapes in the shaving cream. Work on social skills and turn taking by playing games like tic-tac-toe or hangman in the shaving cream. If you have some watercolor paint add it to the shaving cream for some extra fun and let your child create some art.
If shaving cream is too messy for your child, try ice painting. Fill up an ice tray with acrylic paint, placing popsicle sticks in each cube and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, take them out and let your child have a fun new way of making art designs and swirls on paper. For our beginner learners this is a great way to work on color recognition.
With the gym and playgrounds closed we have had to get creative with our exercise routines. Why not try yoga with your child? Yoga helps strengthen muscles while working on gross motor movements. Your child can follow along or lead the exercise. This may also be a great way for the whole family to relax!
Not into yoga, Simon says is another way to incorporate exercising indoors for the whole family. The best part about it is you are teaching your child listener skills and working on gross motor skills at the same time. Some simple directions might include:
- Simon says, “do 10 jumping jacks”
- Simon says “hop like a frog 5 times”
- Simon says “run in place for 15 seconds”
For more advanced directions you can add multiple step directions, such as:
- Simon says “do 3 jumping jacks, touch your toes 5 times, and crab walk to the kitchen table”
- Simon says “jump up and down 5 times then walk on your hands and feet around the couch”
An indoor scavenger hunt can be a ton of fun for your child, and you can make it as easy or as difficult for your child depending on their age. This activity can be great for both expressive and receptive language skills. For those that have more then one child at home, this is a great team activity that can incorporate social skills.
Ideas for our beginner learners can include:
Color scavenger hunt – have your child find things around the house that are blue, green, red, etc.
Alphabet scavenger hunt – place letters around the house and have you child find the letters from A-Z.
Ideas for school age children can include:
Prepositional Scavenger Hunt – use clues like, find something in the kitchen, find something by the kitchen, find something above the bed, find something under the bed.
5 senses Scavenger Hunt – utilize hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and seeing into the clues of your scavenger hunt. This can include, find something in the kitchen that is sweet, cold, wet, etc.
Check out our blog posts on activities to do with non-vocal learners and summer activities with children with autism!
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**BCOTB has been Tampa’s leading provider of pediatric ABA therapy since 2003. With four clinic locations throughout the Tampa Bay area, we know that our clinic is the right spot for your early learner! BCOTB specializes in in-clinic Pediatric ABA Therapy for children with Autism and related disorders from birth to ten years of age. BCOTB accepts most major insurances, including, but not limited to: Aetna, Anthem, Baycare, Beacon, BCBS, Cigna, CMS, Florida Blue, Humana, MHNet, Meritain Health, Magella Health, UnitedHealthcare, and TRICARE.**