Summer has arrived, and along with the warmer weather and longer days, schedules have changed and our kids may have a little more unstructured time. If you’re looking for a few new ideas to keep your child engaged and stimulated—while still taking advantage of the beautiful summer weather—here are a few of our favorite sensory-friendly summertime activities for kids.
Sensory-Friendly Backyard Fun
If you have a child with autism, there’s huge value in finding fun ways to keep your kiddo engaged right in your own backyard. Summer is the perfect time to set up a bubble machine and let your child run, dance, and spin while popping bubbles. For a little extra sensory input, you can buy (or make!) scented bubbles, too.
Another fun way to get your kiddo up and moving in your backyard (or front sidewalk!) is a sensory activity track. Grab some chalk and draw anything from hopscotch boxes to swirls. A sensory track is a fun way to practice gross motor skills such as jumping, skipping, spinning and balance.
Summertime Water Activities for Kids
The hot weather practically begs for outdoor water activities! A water table or sprinklers are a perfect way to spend a little time in the backyard. Water safety is so important, and the summer is a good time to do swim lessons with your child, too.
Physical Activity Benefits Behavior
We’ve talked about how physical activity can benefit children with autism, and the summer weather offers an excellent opportunity to let kids burn off a little energy outdoors. While some kids are thrilled to run full speed into the chaos at the playground, it might be a little less appealing for others. Hiking, biking, and just going for a walk are also great options that can provide sensory input. Inflatable bounce houses and trampolines are two of our favorite sensory-friendly outdoor activities, too.
Summer is also the perfect time to learn a new skill. If you’re helping your kiddo with special needs learn to ride a bike this summer, check out iCan Bike. They offer a summer camp to teach children with special needs who are eight and older how to ride.
And if you’re going for a walk or a hike, a nature scavenger hunt is a great way to add some extra excitement. Make a list using pictures of a few of the fun things your child can look for while out in nature.
We hope you have fun giving each of these activities a try! At Innovative Behavior Options, we offer applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy to help kids with autism and other special needs improve independence and decrease potentially maladaptive behaviors. To learn more about our approach to ABA therapy and the services we offer, give us a call at 770-250-0093.