10 Sensory Activities for Autism

10 Sensory Activities for Autism: DIY Sensory Games for a Child with Autism

10 Sensory Activities for Autism are more than just fun and games; they’re essential tools for helping children with autism engage with the world around them.

Sensory activities can stimulate the senses, improve motor skills, and even enhance social interaction.

They offer a unique way to connect with your child, providing opportunities for learning and growth that are both enjoyable and educational.

From tactile experiences like water bead play to auditory adventures like a sound scavenger hunt, these activities are designed to meet the diverse sensory needs of children with autism.

Keep reading to find out more about the importance of 10 Sensory Activities for Autism.

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What are sensory activities for autism?

Sensory activities refer to any activities that stimulate the senses, such as touch, sight, sound, taste, and smell.

These activities are especially important for children with autism, as they can help in processing sensory information and improving sensory input.

Definition of sensory activities

Sensory activities are designed to provide a sensory experience and help children with autism spectrum disorder process sensory information.

Why are sensory activities important for children with autism?

Children with autism often have sensory processing issues, which can cause difficulties in how they perceive and react to sensory input.

Sensory activities help them understand and process sensory information, regulate their emotions, and develop important skills.

How do sensory activities benefit children with autism?

Sensory activities provide a structured and controlled environment for children with autism to explore and learn about different sensory experiences.

These activities can help in improving their attention, fine motor skills, social skills, and overall sensory integration.

10 Sensory Activities for Autism

10 Best Sensory Activities for Autism

Sensory activities are a fantastic way to engage children with autism in a meaningful and fun manner.

These activities not only stimulate their senses but also help in developing various skills such as motor skills, social interaction, and emotional regulation.

The beauty of sensory activities is that they can be tailored to suit the individual needs and preferences of each child.

So, let’s explore these 10 amazing sensory activities that you can easily do at home with your family!

1. Water Bead Play

Water beads are small, colorful, and non-toxic orbs that expand when soaked in water.

They offer a unique tactile experience that many children with autism find incredibly soothing.

  • Why It Works: The slippery and squishy texture of water beads provides a calming sensory input. It’s also a great way to improve fine motor skills as kids can pick up individual beads.
  • How to Set It Up: Fill a large container with water and add the water beads. Allow them to expand for a few hours, and then it’s playtime!
  • Safety Tips: Always supervise children while playing with water beads and ensure they don’t put them in their mouths.

Oh, the joy of watching those tiny beads expand and become a playground for the senses! It’s like a mini-adventure in a tub.

Sandpaper and Felt Matching

This activity involves matching pieces of felt to corresponding sandpaper squares, offering a contrasting tactile experience.

  • Why It Works: The rough texture of sandpaper juxtaposed with the softness of felt provides a rich sensory experience. It also helps in developing the concept of matching and categorization.
  • How to Set It Up: Cut squares of sandpaper and felt. Place them on a table and encourage your child to match them by touch.
  • Additional Ideas: You can make it more challenging by using different grades of sandpaper or different types of fabric.

Imagine the sense of accomplishment your child will feel when they successfully match all the pairs! It’s like a tactile treasure hunt.

Scented Playdough

Homemade playdough with added scents like lavender, mint, or orange can be a multi-sensory delight.

  • Why It Works: The act of kneading and molding playdough is excellent for motor skills, and the added scents stimulate the olfactory senses.
  • How to Set It Up: Make playdough at home and add a few drops of essential oils for scent. Provide cookie cutters and rolling pins for added fun.
  • Safety Tips: Ensure the essential oils used are safe for children and that your child does not try to eat the playdough.

The aroma filling the room as your child plays with the scented playdough is like a burst of joy for the senses!

Light Table Activities

A light table with translucent objects can be a mesmerizing experience.

  • Why It Works: The glowing table captures attention and the translucent objects offer a unique visual sensory experience.
  • How to Set It Up: Place a variety of translucent objects like colored plastic cups, beads, or buttons on the light table and let your child explore.
  • Additional Ideas: You can also use this activity to teach colors, shapes, and sorting.

The way the light dances through the objects is like a visual symphony, captivating and educational at the same time!

Auditory Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of sounds for your child to find around the house or yard.

  • Why It Works: This activity engages the auditory sense and also encourages exploration and mobility.
  • How to Set It Up: Make a list of common sounds like a doorbell, a barking dog, or a running faucet. Walk around with your child to identify these sounds.
  • Additional Ideas: You can also record the sounds and play them back later for a different type of matching game.

Weighted Blanket Burrito

Rolling your child up in a weighted blanket can be a comforting and secure experience.

  • Why It Works: The deep pressure from the weighted blanket provides proprioceptive input, which can be calming and grounding for many children with autism.
  • How to Set It Up: Lay the weighted blanket on the floor and invite your child to lie down on it. Gently roll them up in the blanket, making sure their face is not covered.
  • Safety Tips: Always monitor your child to ensure they are comfortable and can breathe easily.

The sensation of being wrapped up can feel like a warm, loving hug. It’s a simple yet effective way to provide comfort and sensory regulation.

Taste Test Adventure

Introduce a variety of foods with different textures and flavors for a culinary sensory experience.

  • Why It Works: This activity engages the gustatory system and can help children become more comfortable with trying new foods.
  • How to Set It Up: Prepare small portions of foods with different textures and flavors like crunchy carrots, smooth yogurt, or tangy citrus fruits. Invite your child to taste each one and describe the experience.
  • Additional Ideas: Use a blindfold to make it more challenging and focus solely on the sense of taste.

The excitement of discovering new flavors and textures is like a culinary journey, opening up a whole new world of sensory experiences!

Nature Walk and Texture Collection

Going on a nature walk allows children to explore various textures like leaves, bark, and rocks.

  • Why It Works: The different textures and smells in nature provide a rich sensory experience, and the walk itself is good for physical exercise.
  • How to Set It Up: Take a bag along on your nature walk and collect various items like leaves, twigs, and stones. Once home, you can examine them more closely.
  • Additional Ideas: Create a nature collage or sensory bin with the collected items.

The great outdoors is like a sensory playground, offering endless opportunities for exploration and discovery!

Bubble Wrap Stomp

Lay out a sheet of bubble wrap and let your child walk or jump on it to pop the bubbles.

  • Why It Works: The popping sound and the slight resistance offered by the bubble wrap engage both auditory and tactile senses.
  • How to Set It Up: Simply lay a sheet of bubble wrap on a flat surface and let your child walk, jump, or even roll over it.
  • Safety Tips: Make sure the area is clear of any obstacles and that the bubble wrap is securely placed to prevent slipping.

The sheer joy of hearing each bubble pop is like a mini fireworks display for the senses!

DIY Sensory Bottles

Creating sensory bottles with various small items and liquids can be an enchanting visual experience.

  • Why It Works: The floating and sinking objects in the sensory bottle captivate visual attention, and shaking the bottle provides auditory stimulation. It’s a portable and easily customizable sensory tool.
  • How to Set It Up: Take a clear plastic bottle and fill it with water, glitter, beads, or even small toys. Seal the bottle tightly and shake it to create a mesmerizing sensory experience.
  • Additional Ideas: Use different colors of glitter or various types of liquid like oil or glycerin for varying effects. You can also add food coloring to make it more visually appealing.
  • Safety Tips: Make sure the bottle is securely sealed to prevent any choking hazards, and always supervise your child while they are using the sensory bottle.

The swirling colors and floating objects inside the bottle are like a mini-universe, just waiting to be explored. 

It’s a pocket-sized wonder that can provide endless fascination and sensory engagement!

I hope these activities bring as much joy and sensory satisfaction to your family as they do to mine!

Each one is a treasure trove of sensory experiences, waiting to be explored and enjoyed.

So, why wait? Let’s get started on these sensory adventures!

How to Make Sensory Bottles

How to Make Sensory Bottles

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Sensory bottles, often referred to as calm down jars, are tools designed to help children (and adults) calm down, focus, and engage in sensory play.

They are visually mesmerizing and can be filled with a variety of materials to create a captivating sensory experience.


  • Empty plastic bottle (VOSS water bottles are popular choices due to their clear, non-ridged sides)
  • Baby oil or clear mineral oil
  • Glitter (various colors and sizes)
  • Optional add-ins: beads, pom poms, sequins, plastic jewels, feathers, etc.
  • Rubbing alcohol (for cleaning)
  • Cotton round
  • Hot glue or super glue (optional, to secure the lid)


Prepare the Bottle:

  1. First, rinse out your chosen plastic bottle to ensure it's clean.
  2. Once it's dry, peel off any labels.
  3. To remove any residual glue or printed writing on the bottle, use a cotton round dampened with a bit of rubbing alcohol.

Add the Oil and Add-ins:

  1. Fill the bottle about 3/4 full with baby oil.
  2. Next, pour in your chosen amount of glitter.
  3. It's recommended to start with a small amount since the glitter will sink to the bottom
  4. Making it hard to gauge how much you've added at first.
  5. You can also add other items like beads, pom poms, or sequins.

Seal and Shake:

  1. Once you've added all your desired materials,
  2. Fill the rest of the bottle with baby oil,
  3. Ensuring it's filled to the top to minimize air inside.
  4. Screw the lid back on securely.
  5. If you're concerned about the bottle being opened, you can glue the lid shut using hot glue or super glue.
  6. Turn the bottle upside-down a few times to mix the contents.
  7. There's no need to shake it vigorously.

Enjoy the Mesmerizing Effect:

  1. Set the bottle down and watch as the glitter and other items swirl around.
  2. Creating a calming and captivating visual experience.

Helpful Tips:

  1. Adjust the amount of oil and add-ins until you achieve the desired effect.
  2. For a slower-moving sensory experience, consider mixing water with clear glue, clear hair gel, or glycerin.
  3. Sensory bottles can be customized with a variety of materials, so feel free to get creative and experiment with different items!
  4. By following these steps, you can create a beautiful sensory bottle that offers both therapeutic benefits and sensory delight.
  5. Whether for a child with autism or anyone in need of a calming tool, sensory bottles are a fantastic DIY project to try.


Did you create this craft? If so, we would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment on the blog or share a photo of your creation on Pinterest.

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How to create sensory activities for children with autism?

10 Sensory Activities for Autism

To create sensory activities for children with autism, first identify the sensory needs and preferences of the child, such as sensitivity to textures or attraction to certain colors.

Then, design activities that provide sensory input in a controlled and safe manner, like a sensory bin filled with rice and small toys for tactile exploration or a sound-matching game for auditory stimulation.

Always ensure the activities are age-appropriate and keep safety precautions in mind, such as avoiding small objects that could be a choking hazard.

10 Sensory Activities for Autism

Important Things to Consider When Creating Sensory Activities

When creating sensory activities for a child with autism, it is important to consider their individual interests, preferences, and sensory needs.

Here are some tips for choosing and creating sensory activities:

Choosing the right sensory activities for your child

  • Observe your child and identify their sensory preferences and sensitivities.
  • Choose activities that align with their interests and provide the right amount of sensory input.
  • For example, if your child enjoys tactile play, focus on activities that involve different textures.

Creating a sensory bin

  • A sensory bin is a great way to engage a child with autism in sensory play.
  • Fill a container with materials like rice, beans, or sand, and add small toys or objects for them to explore.
  • This can help stimulate their senses and provide a calming effect.

Making a sensory bottle

  • A sensory bottle is another simple and effective sensory activity.
  • Fill an empty plastic bottle with water, glitter, and other small objects.
  • Seal the bottle tightly and let your child shake and observe the swirling colors and floating objects.
  • This can provide a calming and visually stimulating experience.
10 Sensory Activities for Autism

Sensory Activities for Children with Autism

Sensory Activities for Children with Autism offer a comprehensive approach to sensory stimulation and skill development.

These activities range from simple DIY crafts to more complex setups, all aimed at providing sensory input that can help children regulate their responses to sensory information.

By participating in these activities, children can benefit from sensory play in a way that enhances their overall development.

Exploring textures with play dough

  • Playing with play dough provides a tactile and sensory experience.
  • Encourage your child to squeeze, shape, and explore different textures using play dough.
  • You can also enhance the sensory input by adding scents, such as lavender or peppermint, to the play dough.

Engaging in outdoor sensory activities

  • Take your child outdoors and engage them in sensory activities like running barefoot on grass, playing with sand and water, or exploring nature.
  • These activities provide a wide range of sensory input and can help in improving their sensory integration skills.

Using shaving cream for sensory play

  • Shaving cream is an inexpensive and versatile sensory material.
  • Spread shaving cream on a smooth surface and let your child explore and play with it.
  • They can draw shapes or letters, finger paint, or simply enjoy the tactile sensation.
  • This activity can also help in developing fine motor skills.
10 Sensory Activities for Autism

Sensory Games for Children with Autism

Sensory Games for Children with Autism are not just a source of entertainment; they serve as crucial developmental tools.

These games are designed to engage various senses, providing children with a rich and stimulating environment that can help them improve skills like hand-eye coordination and emotional regulation.

Whether it’s a tactile game involving textures or an auditory game that hones listening skills, sensory games are a valuable resource for children with autism.

Playing with water beads

  • Water beads are small gel-like balls that expand when soaked in water.
  • They provide a unique sensory experience and can be used for various activities.
  • Your child can search for hidden objects in a bin filled with water beads, sort them by color or size, or simply enjoy the soothing sensation of running their hands through them.

Using beads for fine motor skills development

  • Beads are great for fine motor skills development.
  • Your child can thread beads onto a string or pipe cleaner, creating patterns or bracelets.
  • This activity not only enhances their fine motor skills but also provides a calming and focused sensory experience.

Adding sensory elements to traditional games

  • You can enhance traditional games by adding sensory elements.
  • For example, you can play a memory game with cards that have different textures, like sandpaper, fabric, or cardboard.
  • This adds an extra sensory challenge and makes the game more engaging for children with autism.

What are the benefits of sensory play for children with ASD?

10 Sensory Activities for Autism

The benefits of sensory activities for children with ASD are manifold. Sensory play activities can help children regulate their responses to sensory information, improve hand-eye coordination, and develop both fine and gross motor skills.

How can sensory activities for kids with autism improve their development?

10 Sensory Activities for Autism

Sensory activities provide sensory input that can help children learn to regulate their responses to sensory information.

These activities work to improve a child’s social skills, emotional regulation, and cognitive abilities, making them especially beneficial to children with autism.

What are some DIY sensory games that can engage an autistic child?

10 Sensory Activities for Autism

10 fun and easy sensory games that can engage an autistic child include water bead play, scented slime, and auditory scavenger hunts.

Ideas include creating a sensory bin with sand on one side and water in a bowl on the other, or mixing together cornflour and water to make a gooey substance.

You can even add food coloring for extra visual stimulation.

How can a sensory bin be used as an effective tool for sensory activities for kids?

10 Sensory Activities for Autism

A sensory bin is a great way to help children develop fine and gross motor skills.

It allows a child to pour, scoop, and manipulate various materials, providing sensory input and engaging in sensory play.

Young children can benefit from sensory bins filled with materials like rice, beans, or even slime.

Can you share some outdoor sensory activities that are beneficial for children with ASD?

10 Sensory Activities for Autism

Outdoor sensory play activities that are beneficial to children with ASD include nature walks to collect different textures, water play with hoses or buckets, and chalk art on the pavement.

These activities stimulate the five senses and offer a great sensory experience.

What role do materials like play dough and shaving cream play in sensory activities for an autistic child?

10 Sensory Activities for Autism

Play dough and shaving cream are excellent materials for sensory play activities.

Children love getting messy with these substances, and they provide sensory input that can be calming or stimulating.

For example, squeezing play dough can help with hand-eye coordination, while shaving cream offers a unique tactile experience.

Adding things like slime to the mix can make the activity even more engaging.

10 Sensory Activities for Autism

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about 10 Sensory Activities for Autism. Get some quick answers to everything you need to know.

  1. What are sensory activities examples?

    Sensory activities can range from tactile experiences like playing with water beads or sand to auditory exercises like listening to different musical instruments.

    Visual activities might include light table play or color sorting games.

  2. What are the sensory stimulation techniques for autism?

    Sensory stimulation techniques for autism often involve providing controlled sensory input to help regulate emotions and behavior.

    This can include deep pressure activities like weighted blankets, auditory cues like calming music, or visual stimuli like lava lamps.

  3. What is an example of sensory in autism?

    An example of sensory experience in autism could be heightened sensitivity to certain textures, leading to either avoidance or a strong preference for specific types of fabric or food textures.

  4. What are daily activities for autism?

    Daily activities for autism can include structured playtime, skill-building exercises like puzzles or sorting games, and routine-based tasks such as mealtime and bedtime rituals.

    Incorporating sensory-friendly elements can make these activities more engaging.

  5. What activities help autism?

    Activities that help autism often focus on improving social skills, enhancing communication, and providing sensory stimulation.

    This can include things like interactive games, storytelling, and various forms of physical exercise like swimming or hiking.

  6. What do kids with autism enjoy doing?

    Kids with autism often enjoy activities that allow them to focus deeply on a subject of interest, whether it’s building with blocks, drawing, or engaging in repetitive play.

    They may also find comfort and joy in sensory activities that suit their individual sensory profiles.

Wrapping Up 10 Sensory Activities for Autism

10 Sensory Activities for Autism offer a treasure trove of opportunities for children to explore, engage, and enrich their sensory experiences.

From the tactile delight of water beads to the auditory excitement of a sound scavenger hunt, these activities are more than just fun—they’re essential tools for development.

They not only provide sensory stimulation but also pave the way for skill-building, emotional regulation, and social interaction.

Each activity is a step towards creating a more inclusive and understanding environment for children with autism.

I hope you gain value from this 10 Sensory Activities for Autism.

If you enjoyed this article about 10 Sensory Activities for Autism and would like to learn more, please leave a comment below.

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Resources for more information on Sensory Activities for Autism:

  1. 10 Easy Sensory Activities for Children with Autism
  2. 10 Brilliant Sensory Activities for Autistic Teenagers – They Are The Future

Feel free to explore these resources to deepen your understanding of sensory activities beneficial for children with autism.

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