7 Sensory Friendly Fall Activities
Fall has officially made its appearance with a cool, crisp breeze and the leaves slowly beginning to change! It’s time to bundle up, drink apple cider, and enjoy all the fun fall festivities. Here is a list of seven sensory friendly activities to take advantage of this autumn:
Leaf Sensory Box: Ever wonder what to do with all the leaves that are falling? Grab a handful and put them in a box with your child’s toys and let them explore for a fun, sensory experience.
Apple Picking: Apple picking brings great adventure and learning to life. While learning to wait in lines and follow directions, kids can learn about how apples grow and taste their very own apple that they pick. There are numerous options in the area, including Tuttle Orchards, Spencer Farm, and Anderson Orchard.
Pumpkin Sensory Bag: Don’t throw out all the “guts” and seeds of your pumpkin, but instead place it all in a clear, plastic zipper bag. This allows children who are sensitive to sticky and wet material adventure through a pumpkin without the mess.
Hiking Adventures: A hike through the woods or the local park can provide different visual, tactile, auditory, and olfactory stimulation. The park can create social opportunities for your child, and will help them burn a lot of energy. You can even create a fall-themed scavenger hunt for your hike, collecting pinecones, different kinds of leaves, and other fall items!
Leaf Rubbing: Grab some leaves from your backyard (or from your hiking adventure!) and bring them inside for a fun craft. Using blue painter’s tape, tape the leaf on a table with the vein side up. Place a piece of construction paper over it and let your child use crayons, markers, chalk, paint, or colored pencils to color over the leaf.
Corn Mazes and Hayrides: Many pumpkin patches and farms, such as Kelsay Farms or Waterman’s Family Farm, create amazing corn mazes in the fall, which can provide a quiet escape into nature and help develop critical thinking skills for kids. If your child is sensitive to noise or crowds, call locations ahead of time to see when they’re less busy or if they offer sensory friendly times.
Museum Visits: Kid-friendly museums, like children’s museums or the Indiana State Museum, frequently offer early openings and other special events for those on the autism spectrum. These events provide a comfortable and accepting environment, plus special sensory friendly activities. Check your local museums to see what events they have planned for the fall!
Let us know your child’s favorite fall activity in the comments!
RBT & Supervision Student, Early Childhood Center
If your child isn’t currently a patient at the Applied Behavior Center for Autism and you’re interested in finding out more information, contact us today at 317-849-5437 or go to www.appliedbehaviorcenter.org/get-started/.