Autumn Activites For Children With Autism


There’s no better time of year than Fall. The colors are changing, the leaves are falling, the air is becoming cool and crisp, and it’s the best time of year to enjoy outdoor activities with your child on the spectrum. Use the Fall season to your advantage this year by spending as much time as possible with your child on the spectrum in an outdoor sensory playground. What is an outdoor sensory playground? Here are some ideas for outdoor activities that will enhance your child’s sensory, communication and motor skills.

1. Roll Down a Hill

What? You may be asking yourself right now. Although this may not seem like the best idea at first, rolling down a small hill can be a great way to encourage motor coordination and planning, plus it’s a whole lot of fun and will keep your child laughing and happy all afternoon.

2. Jumping on a Pile of Leaves

Go find a large pile of leaves, either in your own back yard or a nearby park and jump in it with your child on the spectrum. Not only will they enjoy the sounds and smells that they experience, it is also a great workout and sensory integration therapy.  If you’re stomping away the leaves in your back yard, incorporate some yard work for your child on the spectrum. Grab a couple of rakes and let your child rake the leaves, drag branches, and sweep up. All of these activities promote muscle tone, circulation, motor skills and responsibility.

3. Take Your Child on a Nature Hike

October is the perfect time of year for a great nature hike. Turn your trek into an exploration by assigning tasks to your child on the spectrum. Ask them to find branches, leaves, pine cones, rocks, or anything else you can think of that can be found along your nearby hiking trails. Create stories with these items, or gather them to bring home with you to make a fall inspired art project. These activities promote good communication skills, imagination building, fine and gross motor skills and on top of everything else, they are a lot of fun and will really motivate your child to participate.

4. Make a Pumpkin Face!

There is nothing that goes together more than Fall and pumpkins. Depending on your child’s age and abilities, you can use pumpkin carving, pumpkin painting, or pumpkin face cut outs to work with your child on facial expressions and feelings. Carving pumpkins requires great tactile and sensory skills, but it is also a lot of fun to dig your hands inside a gooey pumpkin and pull out all of the guts and seeds.  If your child is unable to carve a pumpkin then you can paint facial features such as eyes, ears, and a nose on the pumpkin and draw different mouths on paper. Cut out the mouths and have your child put the appropriate expression on the pumpkin that correlates with your instructions. Use simple expressions of feelings such as happy, sad, surprised, excited, scared, etc.

Take advantage of the weather outside and try to find activities that help your child enhance their social and communication skills, as well as their motor skills, and sensory skills; all while enjoying the outdoors and quality time with your child on the spectrum.