7 Fun Activities Kids on the Spectrum Will Love

Did you know that children on the spectrum can develop fundamental life skills and learn about their surroundings through play?

Sensory play refers to the fun activities that stimulate a child’s sense of touch, sound, smell, sight, and taste. 

Letting your child explore their surroundings with sensory activities can help develop their understanding and creativity. It can also help regulate and even prevent meltdowns in children with sensory processing disorder or autism by teaching them how to self-regulate their emotions.

But for sensory play to work, you need to select activities that your kid will enjoy without being overly stimulated.

Fabric Scrap Boards, Coin Rubbing, Sensory Gyms, and More: 7 Activities for Kids on the Spectrum 

Looking for fun activities to do with kids on the spectrum can be daunting considering they are either over-sensitive or under-sensitive to stimuli around them. Before you choose an activity, ensure there are no factors that may trigger an emotional meltdown. 

To be on the safe side, here’s a list of activities they may love: 

1. Playing With a Fabric Scrap Board

To make a fabric scrap board; scour your local fabric store for any spare cuts of fabric. Most stores will discount or give free bags of assorted fabric strips and squares. With your fabrics at hand, hot-glue them to a board—or any other surface you prefer.

About 70-96% of the children with autism spectrum disorder experience difficulties with sensory processing. The contrasting colors and textures of a fabric scrap board can help develop their ability to process visual stimuli. 

2. Threading Edible Jewelry

Using licorice and candy laces, you can work together with your child to create beautiful edible bracelets and necklaces.

When doing this, encourage your child to thread on candy and/or cereal with holes as this will help them hone their motor skills. Once they’re done, knot the ends as a team and enjoy your tasty, stylish creation.

3. Coin Rubbing

Coin rubbing is a timeless activity that both kids and adults still enjoy today. For a fun sensory activity, gather several different coins. Next, place a plain piece of paper over each coin and rub colorful patterns using different crayons.

Kids on the spectrum will enjoy this fun activity while enhancing their eye-hand coordination.

To make it even more fun, have your family or friends who travel often collect coins from other countries and deliver them to you. Then, tell your child something interesting about each coin’s place of origin. This way, your kid will develop imaginative and eye-hand coordination abilities with one sensory activity.

4. The Smelling Game

Using rubber bands, plants, fabric scraps, small containers, and various fragrant ingredients, you can put together a smelling station for your child. 

Smell is one of the main human senses, and kids on the spectrum will enjoy learning about it while enjoying the breathing relaxation that comes with good scents. Better yet, studies have found olfactory stimulation to be effective at improving cognitive ability, mood, and social behavior. 

5. Sculpting Snowflakes from Clay

You don’t have to put up with the wet, chilly snow to revel in the thrill of winter. You can create snowflake sculptures indoors and enjoy this snowy season from the warmth and comfort of your house.

Sculpting clay snowflakes is a fun sensory activity for boosting your child’s fine motor skills. Besides being engaging, they’ll love the sensations of pulling, squishing, and kneading clay as they create beautiful sculptures.

6. Paint Chip Storytelling

There’s little difference between painting a picture and telling a story – paint and words are used the same way. In this sensory activity, your little artist will use words and paint chips to tell the story. This will help them develop their narrative and imaginative abilities—all while having fun.

To make it more effective, customize the activity to your child’s level of understanding. 

7. Go to a Sensory Gym

Sensory gyms are fun, relaxing, and educative. Unlike play centers or school environments that can be overwhelming for kids on the spectrum, a sensory gym is full of fun equipment and toys designed to stimulate your child’s: 

  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Social skills
  • Cause-and-effect reasoning
  • Body and spatial awareness

As a result, this will help them reduce social stress, foster independence, and safely develop new stimuli. 

And while a sensory gym won’t replace other forms of therapy your child may be receiving, it’ll help amplify the treatment’s positive effects. If your child is nervous, a therapist can help them learn the proper ways to respond to the various forms of stimuli in a sensory gym with the help of ball pits, tunnels, swings, bubble fans, and more. 

With time, your child will get accustomed to various sensations, and develop self-confidence to face the real world. 

Get a Home Sensory Gym for Your Child 

At Fun Factory Sensory Gym, we understand that creating a fun home experience for kids on the spectrum can be challenging, especially if you have a busy schedule. And that’s why we’re here for you. 

We design, manufacture, deliver, and install in-house sensory gyms that’ll help your child enhance their fine motor skills, gross motor skills, attentiveness, timing, rhythm, strength, spatial awareness, and social skills. Whether your kid is a proprioceptive seeker or avoider, we'll create a home system that'll cater to their needs and abilities. 

We also design and manufacture sensory gyms for commercial spaces. 

Contact us at +1 (833) 438-6496 to get a free consultation and design quotes on our sensory gyms.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

  • Leaps and Bounds Physical Therapy

    After five years in practice, I decided that I needed to upgrade the look of my office to allow for optimal patient care. Upon researching some possibilities, I came across the Fun Factory Sensory Gym. I immediately called the company to purchase my own gym unit. We scheduled an install date and in three short days, my gym and my vision were complete. My patients and their parents walk in and are amazed at the beautiful and fun set up. I truly feel that my patients are getting the most effective and efficient care because I have the best equipment to address their individual needs. With the Fun Factory Gym equipment, I am able to help these children improve by Leaps and Bounds!

    Jill Kissel
    Clinic Owner
  • The Kaufman Children’s Center

    The Kaufman Children’s Center was proud to announce an exciting upgrade made here at the KCC. Over a long weekend in late January 2013, we completed a huge remodel to our sensory gym.

     The Kaufman Children's Center
  • Our Fun Factory Sensory Gym has been life changing for our family! The entire experience of having the FFSG team in our home was so enjoyable. The crew’s heart and soul is behind the work they’re doing. From the first phone call, FFSG was committed to helping our family and our 3 small children with their various special needs. We have already experienced the calming effects of the net swing and the multiple ways the entire gym provides sensory input and regulation for our intense sensory seekers. What a great tool for our family and more than worth the investment!

    Heather Helms

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