By Jennifer McDougall
When you’re a parent of a child with autism, you may feel like there’s nothing to do. Your child may be anxious and overwhelmed by the world around them, so they can’t enjoy activities other kids love. But you can do many fun things together as a family that are specifically designed to engage your child with autism and help them develop social skills and self-confidence. Here’s what we suggest:
Arts and crafts projects
Arts and crafts projects are an excellent way to encourage children to be creative. However, there are several considerations to keep in mind when selecting an arts and crafts project for an autistic child.
- Materials that can be used should be non-toxic. Non-toxic paints, glue, etc., are available at most craft stores or online. Make sure you only purchase materials intended for children.
- Let your child choose the materials they wish to use for their project; let them use their favorite colors and items if possible. Avoid any access to dangerous materials such as scissors. Allow them other ways of expressing themselves through art, such as finger painting or clay sculpting with safe moldable materials like Play-Doh®’s modeling compound or oobleck (cornstarch mixed with water).
- Let your child create whatever they want! This is especially important because many children on the autism spectrum struggle with following directions or instructions given by others, so instead of assigning tasks yourself, try asking questions like “What do you think we should make?” Or “Is there anything special about today? What do you think would look good on our picture?” These questions will allow your child’s imagination room to grow while allowing them to express themselves creatively using their own ideas rather than relying solely on yours, which may not always relate well with theirs.”
Build with Legos
Legos are an excellent way for kids to express their creativity. They can build whatever they want, whether a castle or a racecar. Legos also teach math skills and engineering skills because they require counting, measuring, and other arithmetic calculations to build structures. For example, a child who wants to make an airplane would need to know how many red blocks he needs to develop wings or how many wheels he needs, so his car doesn’t tip over at high speeds.
Legos also teach physics: how force affects objects; what happens when you put too much weight on something or it will fall down.
Play with Play-Doh
Play-Doh is a wonderful way for children with autism to express themselves. It’s not just a toy; it’s also an art form that can help your child learn about shapes and colors while they create something beautiful. Play-Doh can also be used as a tool for sensory play. For example, your child might enjoy squeezing the colorful dough between their fingers or making patterns in their hands, which will help them understand how the world works around them: what things look like, what sounds mean, etc., all without words!
If your child enjoys drawing pictures on paper but finds it difficult to express themselves verbally through speech or writing at school, consider using their creativity in this way instead. This activity offers many benefits, including improving their fine motor skills. In addition, they need precision when shaping each piece before placing them together into something else (such as building houses out of bricks). Combined with other sensory activities like blowing bubbles underwater from above – these two types of play work together beautifully.
Play an instrument
Music is a great way to help children on the autism spectrum calm down, focus and pay attention. It can also help them learn new concepts and improve memory, social skills, motor skills, and self-expression. If your child is interested in learning an instrument or singing, there are many opportunities for them to do so.
If you’re looking for a place where kids can play instruments together and learn from each other, keep an eye out for music classes at local schools or community centers. These classes may be drop-in programs that allow parents to bring their kids along while they attend parent/toddler events or other activities during the week. Other programs might require registration ahead of time—but this doesn’t mean they’re not worth checking out. Most schools will offer a program geared toward elementary-age children (for example, primary school music). There may also be opportunities near you if your child is older—especially if they want something more advanced than primary school level lessons might offer.
Go to a museum
- Children with autism can enjoy fun activities just as typical children do.
- Children with autism can learn to enjoy fun activities. This can be done through the help of a therapist or teacher.
You might be wondering how you can teach your child to enjoy fun activities if they don’t naturally find them enjoyable. There’s no need for an advanced degree in psychology; there are some basic principles that will help you get started:
Children with autism can enjoy fun activities as much as typical children.
They may not be able to play imaginative games like other kids, but they can still have fun by playing pretend or watching movies together!
Children with autism love spending time with their friends just as much as other kids do. So parents and teachers must encourage them to get out into the community to make friends on their own terms. This could mean attending a class field trip (like visiting a local park), attending an after-school program (like art class), or participating in social events hosted by community organizations such as churches and schools. The more often these events happen during childhood years when forming friendships isn’t difficult yet will allow more opportunities later on down life path because you are building relationships now rather than waiting until adulthood.
The key is finding what works for your child, whether art, music, or other creative pursuits. Also, remember that it may take some time for them to get comfortable doing something new before they become interested in it.