In 2018, approximately 1 in 59 children had an autism spectrum disorder in America.
The symptoms tend to get more severe as people grow up, but they can still be felt during one’s childhood, particularly in their social and communication skills. In fact, noticing that a child was developing those skills as expected and then started to regress is one of the biggest autism red flags there is.
But this doesn’t mean that children with autism shouldn’t have fun!
What you need to do is start investigating what are the best activities for kids with autism.
Although these children might not love the games you usually play with the other kids, once you learn how to engage with them, you’ll see that they’ll have a good time—and so will you!
6 Activities for Kids with Autism
There are many different games you can play with children who are on the spectrum. Not only with this be fun for the kids, but it’ll be a great way of improving their social skills, expressing themselves more freely and even making more friends.
The following 6 activities are a great starting point for your playtime with the kids. If they don’t seem to enjoy one, don’t give up. Just move on to the next one.
And if you feel like it’s all a little bit too much and you don’t know exactly what to start, know that it’s okay to get some help! This location offers therapy for children with autism and they’ll make sure to give you all the information and tips you need.
In the meanwhile, give these activities a try!
- Sculpt Clay
Sculpting clay is an amazing activity for kids on the spectrum because of its sensory aspect. Sculpting is all about touching and molding the clay, which will encourage the child to get their hands dirty and experience a texture perhaps they’ve never experienced before.
This activity will also help them improve their motor skills, as well as stimulate their creativity.
- Visual Schedules
As kids start growing up, it becomes ever more important to establish a bit of a routine.
Whether it is making the bed, doing the dishes or tidying up their bedroom, when kids get to a certain age, it’s important that they start having certain responsibilities. It pays off when they become teenagers and adults!
While for some kids explaining the importance of getting these tasks done through dialogue is a good method, with kids on the spectrum that isn’t always the case.
Rather, these kids tend to respond a lot better to visuals. So, get some paper, pens and any other materials, get together with your kid and make both your visuals schedules.
- Coin Rubbing
We’ve all done this one when we were kids. You get a coin, put a paper over it, and use a pencil to rub back and forth on top of the coin. In the end, you get the drawing of that coin on your paper!
Although many of us used to do this out of boredom, this activity can be great for the hand-eye coordination skills of kids on the spectrum. As they see the pattern of the coin show up, they’ll continue to use their eyes to follow what their hand is creating.
- Finger Painting
This one’s a bit messy… but any kid will be amazed by all the colors they’ll be looking at, all the textures they’ll be experiencing and all the art they’ll get to create.
Giving your kid the freedom to touch all the paint and get as messy as they want to will help them decrease their sensory problems, which are a very common symptom of autism disorders.
The clean up after will definitely be worth it!
- Matching Game
Get on your laptop and assemble a group of images. The images you choose will depend on how old your kid is. If they’re 6 or 7, it can be a good idea to choose pictures of food or animals. If they’re older, you can choose more complex images.
Along with the images, get the names of each image you chose. Print out everything and cut the visuals and words into separate pieces of paper.
Then put the images on one side of the table and the printed names on the other, and get your child to match each word to the correspondent image.
This will allow you to understand if they’re learning their vocabulary as they should be.
- Ice Painting
This activity is going to be exciting even for yourself!
Get an ice tray and pour a mix of water and different colored acrylic paints into each compartment, as well as a little wooden stick on each. Place the tray in the freezer until the paint has gone solid.
Once that’s done, let your child use the ice cubes to create their drawings and patterns. There’s no need for any specific type of paper: the regular one you always use will do.
You’ll both end up with really cool works of art!
When They Smile, You Smile
As much as you love the child with autism in your life, it can be a bit challenging to engage them in games you’d typically play with a child. But you know how amazing it is to see their smile when they’re having fun with you. Doing these activities for kids with autism will create lasting memories for both of you.
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