Fun Sensory Activities to Do at Home to Benefit Children with Autism


Sensory Play Ideas For Children With Autism

All children can benefit from sensory activities; however, it is especially beneficial for children who have been diagnosed with autism. Adding these fun activities into their routine can help to reduce their anxieties, improve their concentration, and help them to find new ways of expressing how they feel. We have created a lift of fun sensory activities to do at home to benefit children with autism. These can be carried out using items you will more than likely already have in your cupboards, so you aren’t out of pocket.


What Is Sensory Play?

A human’s brain uses its five senses daily to move throughout out surroundings. These senses include sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Sensory play is an activity that will help to stimulate a child’s senses. These activities mostly focus on sound, touch, and sight. It can also include focusing on movement and balance. Sensory play has an important effect on your child’s development, especially from a new born to early childhood years. Children with learning difficulties and autism perceive the world differently from others and their senses are affected. Therefore, sensory activities play an important part of their development as it helps to improve their social skills, improve their co-ordination skills, stimulate their brains, and much more.


NOW Group is a social enterprise in Northern Ireland. We have a Family Service that helps to support parents who have a learning difficulty or autism. Our staff work with expecting and new parents with children under the age of five to help them build confidence develop their skills and feel more connected within their communities. Our parents and children regularly take part in sensory play to work together and to learn ideas of fun activities they can do together at home.





At-Home Sensory Activity Ideas


Make Musical Instruments Using Kitchen Utensils

Children love making noises. Creating musical instruments are a great way for children with autism to learn new and different sounds. Here are a variety of musical instruments that you can easily make using items you already have within the home.

  • Drumkit: Turn your pot upside down and let your child explore the different sounds by tapping it with a wooden spoon, or alternatively they can use their fingers or the palm of their hands.

  • Music Shaker: Fill an empty water bottle with dried rice or lentils. You can encourage your child to decorate the outside of the bottle with paint and coloured paper to develop their creative skills.

  • Guitar: Using an old shoebox and elastic bands you can create a homemade guitar. Your child can pluck the elastic bands with their fingers and try out the different sounds and vibrations.


Create A Kite Using a Plastic Bag

Creating a plastic bag kite is a cheap and easy activity to do with your child. All you need to create this is any type of plastic bag and a long piece of string or floss to tie to the bag handles. We recommend not making the string too long as the kites fly better when closer to the ground. The sound of the bag floating through the air will make a satisfying crackling sound. This activity will help to develop your child’s imagination as well as their movement and balance.


Make Your Own Slime

Slime is a fun activity than you can make at home using items within your cupboards. To make this all you have to do is pour 2 cups of cornflour and 1 1⁄2 cups of water into a bowl. Mix these together until the ingredients form a solid and sticky texture. You can also add glitter or food colouring to add to the sensory experience.


Creating slime will help children to experiment with all their senses, including smell, sight, touch, and sight. This can help a child with autism to become more aware of the world around them. Becoming immersed in the process of creating slime can help children to focus on the present and forget about any worries they may be replaying in their heads.


Design Your Own Sensory Bags

A sensory bag can be used to help soothe children when they feel distressed and helps to stimulate their senses. Through these bags children with autism can explore the world around them using different textures and sounds. Sensory bags can be made at home within several minutes following these easy steps:

  • Fill a zip plastic bag with a third of water and add food colouring, hand sanitiser or hair gel.

  • Add sensory textures, including glitter, googly eyes or buttons.

  • Once filled push all the air out and closed the bag up. You can use tape for extra reinforcement if necessary.


Painting Using Hands and Feet

This is a fun rainy activity to help occupy children when they are staying at home all day. Painting with hands and feet is an exciting way for children with autism to explore and learn about the world around them. They will be able to smell the paint, feel the paint in between their fingers and toes, and use their creative skills to play with different colours and designs. After you have finished with your painting it can be displayed on the front of the fridge or framed to proudly display your child’s creations.


Learning Disability Services in Northern Ireland

Sensory play doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Although some of these activities can be messy, they will help your autistic child to learn how they can interact with their surroundings. At NOW Group we have a range of services that offer support to people with learning difficulties and autism at whatever stage they are at. For more information on how you can get involved, get in touch with a member of our team today by emailing admin@nowgroup.org or alternatively you can call 028 9043 6400.




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