Fun Christmas Sensory Activities for The Festive Season
Christmas is just around the corner! Although this is an exciting time of year, the festive season can be difficult for children with autism. The change in their daily routine, the sensory overload of the Christmas tree, and the increase in social interactions can be an uncomfortable and stressful experience. We have made a list of fun Christmas sensory activities for the festive season that will help your children to get involved in the Christmas spirit.
What Is Sensory Play?
Children with autism experience the world differently. Sensory play involves games and activities that help to stimulate all five senses, including sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste. This is important for children with autism as it will help them to stimulate their brains and improve how they process sensory information, including motor skills and how they communicate.
At NOW Group our family service offers support for parents with autism in Belfast through sensory play and other fun activities. There are a range of fun Christmas sensory activities that are quick and easy to make at home.
Christmas Sensory Activities to Make at Home
Christmas Tree Sensory Bag
Christmas tree sensory bags are an easy activity you can create using products you already have at home. All you need is zip up sandwich bags, fairy liquid and some sequence. This sensory play allows children with autism to explore their sense of touch and sight. Follow the steps below to create your own sensory bags:
Draw a Christmas tree on your sandwich bag with black marker
Add fairy liquid to the bag
Add sequence to the bag of gel
Seal the bag and ensure it is closed tight
Tape the top of the bag so it cannot be opened easily
Now that you have your sensory bag ready, you can invite your child to move the sequence and decorate the tree how they like. You can also ask them to find specific colours, for example find all the yellow sequence or all of the silver ones.
Creating fake snow is a fin sensory activity that allows your child to explore different textures. This is extremely easy to make and will last up to 10 days when stored in an airtight container to zip up sandwich bag. To create the fake snow all you will need is a large baking tray, water, baking powder and corn starch. Follow the steps below to create your fake snow:
Pour 1:1 amounts of corn starch and baking soda onto a tray.
Mix thoroughly with your hands
Gradually add water to the mixture. Once you can squeeze the mixture in your hands so that you can form a ball your mixture is ready.
Christmas Sensory Bin
Sensory bins allow your child to explore and learn while improving their fine motor skills. They can explore new senses and have fun with their imagination. This sensory activity is easy to make, and you can use items you already have within your home. To keep inline with the holiday season, you can add Christmas items, such as ribbons, pinecones, ribbons, tealights, and much more!
Christmas sensory bins can be a calming activity for children when their surroundings become too much. This can be beneficial during the holidays when the tree lights, change in routine and visits from family members cause stress and anxiety. We encourage parents to take part in playing with the festive sensory bin as it will encourage teamwork and develop communication skills.
Christmas Colouring Books
Colouring is a calming activity that will give your child an escape from reality. You can colour together, or they can take part in this activity alone while you finish your to-do list for the Christmas holidays. Participants involved in our learning disability services in Northern Ireland love colouring in as part of their down time. You can buy themed colouring books at your local shops or there are free colouring sheets that you can download and print at home.
Play Board Games
Recent studies show that board games are beneficial for children with autism as they help to develop fine motor skills that they might find hard to use on daily bases. Board games will allow your family a chance to get together over Christmas time and have some festive fun! During this activity you can help your child to develop their communication and teamwork skills. Board games make the perfect gift for under the tree and will help you to create some great memories.
Support for Parents with Autism in Belfast
Add a touch of magic to your home with some of our fun Christmas sensory activities for the festive season. At NOW Group we offer support for parents with autism in Belfast through our family service through sensory play, fun days out and much more! We work with expecting parents and parents with children under the age of five to offer them support, develop skills, and build their confidence. For more information on our learning disability services in Northern Ireland and how you can get involved, get in touch with us today.