Autumn is in the air! The leaves are changing color, the weather is getting cooler, and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere. However, for autistic children, it can also be a time of year that's full of sensory exploration opportunities. From playing in piles of leaves to going on a nature hike, here are some fall sensory activities to get them into the spooky mood during this season:
9 Autumn activities for kids with autism
Sensory activities provide an outlet for kids with ASD to expend all their energy in a constructive way. They can also help to improve focus and concentration, as well as promote social and communication skills. And, if that wasn’t enough, they provide an amazing way for the kids to release their stress and have fun!
So, if you want this fall to be full of enjoyment and beautiful memories, here are our favorite fall activities for Autistic Children!
1. Create a fall sensory bin
A fall sensory bin is a great way for kids with autism to explore the sights and smells of autumn. Leaves, acorns, pumpkins, and autumn-scented candles are just a few of the items that can be placed in the bin.
The key is to create a sensory experience that is both safe and stimulating for the child. For example, the leaves can be used to create a rustling sound, while the pumpkin can be carved into a shape that is easy to grasp.
To set up the bin, simply fill a container with the desired materials and let your little one explore. It's the perfect way to encourage fine motor skills, promote exploration, and support sensory integration. Plus, it's just plain fun!
2. Visit a pumpkin patch
For many kids with autism, visiting a pumpkin patch can be one of the best pumpkin fall sensory activities for Autistic Children.
There are so many sights, smells, and textures to take in. The vibrant colors of the pumpkins can be very stimulating, and the smell of fresh pumpkins is simply intoxicating.
And let's not forget the feel of the pumpkins underfoot. They're soft and squishy, making them perfect for sensory play. In short, a visit to a pumpkin patch is a veritable feast for the senses. And for kids with autism, that can be a very good thing.
However, bear in mind that not all kids will love this activity. During the season, pumpkin patches can be crowded, which can overwhelm some children.
3. Autism pumpkin carving
One of our favorite pumpkin sensory activities! Not only is pumpkin carving a fun and creative way to express their thoughts and feelings, but it also provides a valuable sensory experience. The act of carving pumpkins helps kids to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
In addition, the squishy texture of pumpkin guts is a great way to calm and focus kids who may be feeling overwhelmed or stressed. And of course, there's the added bonus of being able to enjoy the delicious results of their hard work!
Just remember to be with them during the carving to avoid any accidents.
4. Rake and pile leaves
Making the best out of the leaves falling!
The act of raking is a great way to get the senses engaged, and the piles of leaves provide great visual and tactile stimulation. Additionally, the sound of the leaves crunching underfoot is another great sensory experience for kids with autism.
Piling the leaves also provides an opportunity for kids to practice fine motor skills as they manipulate into a pile.
5. Go on a treasure hunt
When it comes to fall sensory activities for Autistic Children, treasure hunts are definitely worth considering. After all, what could be more exciting than searching for hidden fall-themed treasures? And the best part is that you can tailor the hunt to your child's individual needs and interests.
For example, if your child is visual, you can hide clues around the house or in a park. If your child is auditory, you can use recorded clues or music to guide the way. And if your child is tactile, you can hide objects with different textures or include a scavenger hunt component.
No matter what approach you take, treasure hunts are sure to provide lots of fun and excitement, not to mention a great workout for those little brains and bodies.
6. Bake, bake, bake!
There's something about fall that just makes us want to bake. Maybe it's the chilly weather that has us craving comfort foods, or the shorter days that make us yearn for the coziness of home. Whatever the reason, there's no denying that baking is a great way to relax and enjoy the autumn months. And for kids with autism, fall-themed baking can be a particularly sensory-rich activity.
The textures, smells, and colors of Fall-themed baking can help to stimulate the senses and promote calmness and focus. The act of measuring ingredients, mixing them together, and watching them transform in the oven can provide a multisensory experience. And because baking is often a social activity, it can also help kids with autism practice their communication skills.
7. Go on a hike
Hiking is a great fall sensory activities for Autistic Children. Firstly, it gets them away from all the bright lights and loud noises of the city. Also, they get to experience different smells in the woods – pine needles, earth, and flowers.
In addition, hiking gives them a chance to touch different textures – smooth rocks, prickly leaves, and soft moss. And finally, hiking provides a variety of visual stimuli – sunlight filtering through the trees, colorful birds flying overhead, and rippling waterfalls.
So, if you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, hiking can be your way to go!
8. Create Halloween crafts
Halloween crafts for autism are a great way to stimulate the senses and promote creativity. Plus, they're a great way to get into the Halloween spirit! Some easy Halloween crafts that kids can make include paper ghosts, pumpkin paintings, and spider web sculptures.
9. Pick apples
Fall is a great time to go apple picking. Not only is the weather perfect for a day outside, but the activity itself is a great sensory experience for kids with Autistic Spectrum Disorder
The feel of the cool, crisp apples as they are plucked from the tree is irresistible, and the sound of apples thumping into the bottom of a bucket is strangely satisfying. In addition, apple picking is a great source of exercise, and kids will love running around in the leaves.
Best of all, the activity provides an opportunity to bond with nature and enjoy the season's bounty.
Pumpkin sensory activities: Final thoughts
As the leaves begin to change color and the weather gets cooler, many people start to think about all the fun they’ll have during the fall, and autistic children can’t be left behind!
Now you have 9 different fall sensory activities you can do with your kid this season! So have fun and enjoy the beautiful weather!
Please, let us know what was your kiddo’s favorite activity below and, if you want your kid to have new friends during the season to share the fun together, join the Boo’s Battalion squad!