8 Sensory Friendly Summer Activities


Summer is around the corner, which means warmer weather and changes in routine. Planning ahead can help ensure a smooth and fun-packed summer! Here is a list of eight sensory friendly activities to take advantage of this summer:

  1. Sandboxes: Sandboxes are fun and make for wonderful sensory play. If you don’t have one of your own, they are easy to make. Get a small plastic pool toy or any large container and fill it with sand, water, fun toys, etc.
  2. Swimming: Swimming is a great activity that helps teach body awareness, increase muscle strength and coordination, and normalize sensory input. Learning how to swim is not only fun, but can promote safety in the autism community. Borrow a friend’s pool or schedule a private swimming lesson for your child! Did you know ABC offers swimming lessons at our Carmel location?
  3. Water Games: With high temperatures, children love cooling off with squirt guns and water balloons. Grab a hose and some water toys and let the kids splash. Bubbles are also a huge hit!
  4. Family Game Nights: Board and card games can teach social skills, attending skills, turn taking, and appropriate ways to behave after winning or losing a game.
  5. Scavenger Hunts: These games can keep your child busy for long periods of time. Whether it is nature-themed searching in the outdoors or hunting for household items inside, a scavenger hunt can be a fun way to build receptive and language skills. For example, “find something that is round!”
  6. Sensory Friendly Films: There are many theaters that offer sensory friendly showings of children’s films. These showings turn the lights up, turn the sound down, and allow viewers to walk around, sing, and play. Many theaters also offer discounted movies during the summertime!
  7. Hiking Adventures: A hike through the woods or the local park can provide different visual, tactile, auditory, and smell stimulation. The park can create social opportunities for your child and will help them burn a lot of energy. We recommend going in the morning and evening to avoid hot temperatures.
  8. Children’s Museum: Kid-friendly museums such as the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis often pair up with autism awareness groups to offer early openings, discounted admissions, and other special events for those on the autism spectrum. Check your local museums to see what events they have planned for the summer!

Let us know your child’s favorite summertime activity in the comments!

Kassie Deoreo
RBT & Supervision Student, Terre Haute

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