Autistic children might have a different way of playing games than their peers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love playing. Playing can mean anything: tabletop games, sensory bins, fidgets, and more, regardless of whether the child has autism. However, keeping autistic children engaged is easier said than done. You need games created explicitly for this purpose, like letter arrangement games, board games, etc.
When creating these fun activities for your children, we want to offer a special advisory to avoid using the popular water beads that we have all seen everywhere. These beads can quickly turn dangerous for children. Not only are these choking hazards, but these beads have also caused life-threatening obstructions, permanent damage, and even death to children.
Games For Children With Autism
Before learning about the dangers, I allowed my children to play with these beads within sensory tables and crafts, too. But knowing the risks, our goal is to educate families. To learn more about the initiatives to prevent these injuries, check out That Water Bead Lady. As with all small toys and objects, please monitor your children with any craft/toy for possible safety hazards.
If you are looking for some fun and engaging games for children with autism, here are a few of the same that you can give a try!
1. Magic Bottle
There are two aspects to this game:
- For this, you need to get a plastic beverage container.
- Then, fill the container with glitter glue and some warm water. You can add any shiny items to this, including buttons and marbles.
- Tilt the bottle so your kid can see the glitters and colors move.
It will take an unexpectedly long time for the glitter to settle down finally, and your kid will stay mesmerized. It will also increase their attention span and keep them focused.
Seek & Find
If you want another twist, you can create bottles with rice/sand and add small objects. This way, your child will get to find all the objects and have a great visual/sensory experience. You can also create themes out of this and create one for the holidays, summer, school time, animals, and more. It is possible to get creative and create a theme based on something your child likes.
2. Coin Rubbing
Coin Rubbing is a classic game you can play with your child. You must collect a few different coins, get a piece of paper, place it on top of it, and tell your kid to rub a colorful pattern using mixed crayons. Not only does it help develop their hand-eye coordination skills, but they will also love making different patterns. Take it further by using coins from different countries and talking to them about these places.
3. Ice Cube Watercolor
This fun activity will captivate and challenge your kid and bolster their differentiation and identification skills. It is a simple activity that requires an ice tray, water, non-toxic paints, aluminum foil, A4 paper, and ice cream sticks.
Once you have everything, here is what you need to do:
- Get the paints and blend them in water.
- Next, pour the mix into tray sections and put ice cream sticks in each section. Use the aluminum foil to ensure that the sticks stay in one place.
- Once the ice is fully formed, tell your kid to use it to paint on the paper.
This is a great game for their motor as well as observational skills.
4. Underwater I Spy
Underwater I Spy is one of the best letter arrangement games to keep your kid engaged and focused. You will need an empty bottle, alphabet beads, water, corn syrup, a glue gun, a highlighter, sequins/glitter, and a paper sheet. Here is how you can set this game up once you have all the materials:
- Place the beads on the table and ask your kid to drop them into the bottle individually, followed by sequins and glitter.
- Use water and corn syrup to fill the bottle. Corn syrup will stop glitter from sticking together and slow the material’s motion inside the bottle.
- Glue the lid to the bottle so that the liquid does not spill. (we use duct tape to cover the top of the bottle to reduce the risk of spills and possible choking hazards to small children).
- Shake the bottle and ask your kid to find each letter. To make it more complex, ask them to create words with random letters they find in the bottle.
5. Sculpt Clay Snowflakes
Create a winter wonderland inside your house by having your child make sparkling snowflakes. Sculpting clay will also help boost your child’s motor skills and improve their sensory experience. You will need air-dry white clay, a thin brush, glitter in whatever shades you like (opal and silver shades for snowflakes), clay molding tools, paint, and a paintbrush. Once you have all the materials, follow these steps:
- Help your child prepare the clay by pulling and kneading it until it is soft.
- Make them add glitter and tell them to knead again.
- Once everything is mixed correctly, teach your kids to mold the clay into snowflakes using modeling tools.
- Next, let them use paint to add color to the snowflakes and set them aside to dry.
6. Obstacle Course
Outdoor activity is just as important for your child as indoor games. An obstacle course is a great, simple game to boost their motor skills. Take them outside to play, specifically somewhere where they feel safe. Next, tell them to locate objects around them. These can be trees, bushes, benches, etc. If you want to make it more complex, you can try activities like walking a specific number of steps, jumping across a puddle, etc. It can also be used for letter arrangement games where you ask them to locate things that start with a specific letter.
Hopscotch is a popular game that you must have heard of. But did you know that it can help your autistic child as well? To play this game, follow these steps:
- Get a chalk and a stone.
- Draw boxes on the floor and tell your kid to throw the stone or pebble inside the box.
- Tell them to hop in the box, pick up the stone, and return hopping. Remind them they aren’t allowed to step on the sides of the boxes.
You can also organize this game with their friends and help improve their communication and social skills. It will also help them with their motor skills and keep them healthy.
Blowing and catching bubbles is a great way to engage kids with children with sensory and attention difficulties. If you want to stimulate them even further, you can use scented bubbles. Try out bubble-making tools of different sizes to make the game more fun.
Games For Children With Autism
So, these were just a few fun, creative, outdoorsy, and letter arrangement games that can help keep your child engaged and improve their interpersonal skills, communication, and creativity. It will enhance their brain’s stimulation and boost their memory power with time. So, what are you waiting for? Gather the supplies and get ready for some quality, fun time with your child.