Finding ways to have fun at home with your child while simultaneously developing things like social, communication, language, self-regulation, and fine and gross motor skills can be a challenge for any parent, and when you add developmental delays into the mix, it can feel downright impossible.
Learning delays, sensory processing challenges, and explosive meltdowns can make everyday situations feel overwhelming, and finding ways to interact with your little one at home can be difficult. While you want to teach your child important life skills and help him learn how to play independently, finding the right activities for kids with autism, sensory processing disorder, and other challenges isn’t easy, and without an arsenal of indoor activities for kids up your sleeve, weekends, sick days, and school holidays can be extremely daunting.
How will you keep your child occupied? How will you ensure he continues to develop his skills so he doesn’t regress while on hiatus from school and therapy? How will you get through the day without a little time to yourself?!
The good news is that the internet is full of all kinds indoor activities for kids with autism and other special needs, and we’ve rounded up 30 ideas to help get your creative juices flowing! We’ve broken them down by category – quiet activities, sensory integration activities, activities that teach social skills, sensory games and activities, and task boxes for autism – and made sure to include links to free printables and worksheets you can download, print, and laminate today!
Don’t have a laminator? I bought this INTEY Thermal Laminator last year and it is by far one of the BEST purchases I’ve ever made as a parent. I can make visual schedules and all sorts of dry-erase worksheets on the fly, and my daughter loves when I print off her favorite TV characters and laminate them for quick and easy make-shift playsets!
Quiet Activities for Kids with Autism
Calming Find It Game | Lady Behind the Curtain
Calming Cookie Dough | Kids Play Smarter
Pipe Cleaner Matching Game | Se La Cava
WH Question Flip Cards | Teachers Pay Teachers
Build a Site Word | The Printable Princess
Calming Homemade Playdough | Living Well Mom
Sensory Integration Activities for Kids with Autism
Yoga Poses for Autism | STYLECRAZE
Exercise Ball Activities for Kids | The Inspired Treehouse
Proprioceptive Activities |Meraki Lane
Vestibular Activities | Meraki Lane
Heavy Work Activities for Small Spaces | The Inspired Treehouse
Animal Walks for Sensory Input | Lemon Lime Adventures
Social Skills Activities for Kids with Autism
The Social Skills Challenge | The Speech Bubbles SLP
Fix The Problem Social Skills Game | Autism Teaching Strategies
Interactive Printable Emotions Face | Surviving a Teacher’s Salary
My Manners Printable Pack | Kori at Home
Paper Fortune Tellers | Autism Teaching Strategies
Feelings and Emotions Scavenger Hunt | Mosswood Connections
Sensory Games and Activities for Kids with Autism
Homemade Snow Recipe | Red Ted Art
Fireworks Painting Activity | Learning 4 Kids
Coin Sorting | Rhythms of Play
Texture Balloon Play | Little Bins for Little Hands
Shaving Cream and Water Beads | Learn Play Imagine
A Jar Full of Feelings | Mosswood Connections
Task Boxes for Autism
Vehicle File Folder Activities | The Autism Helper
2D Shape Activities | Pocket of Preschool
Yes/No Task Cards | Teachers Pay Teachers
Feature/Function Cards | The Autism Helper
Life Skills Sequencing Bundle | File Folder Heaven
Alphabet Independent Work Tasks | The Autism Helper
Mr. Rogers once said, ‘Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning’, and I feel so appreciative of all of the amazing parents and therapists who continue to share their knowledge with all of us so we can find ways to help our kids develop and excel without stress or anxiety.
I hope this collection of indoor activities for kids with autism and other special needs inspires you to find ways to have fun with your kids at home while still providing opportunities for them to grow and learn!
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