Originally written for Firefly Friends. https://www.fireflyfriends.com/blog/fun-outdoor-therapies-for-the-summer-break
For a child with autism, typical school holiday activities can cause sensory overload and stress.
We tend to avoid the crowds and make our own fun that usually doubles as home-based therapy.
The best therapy for our 9-year daughter with autism, is the type when she doesn’t know she is doing it!
Make your own Obstacle Course – Gross Motor Skills and Co-ordination
We picked up a bag of training gear with small hurdles, cones and an agility ladder from our local discount department store but anything around the house could be used to set a course.
You could include a jump rope to walk across like a tightrope, a swiss ball to roll on to or bounce on, a hula-hoop to climb through and a ball to throw into some type of container…a laundry basket would do!
Playground Fun – Gross Motor Skills and Memory
We tend to go to the playground early in the morning before anyone is around.
A fun game we played recently with the family (adults included) was having turns at making up a routine using the playground equipment.
You would then have to remember the short routine and a timer was set to see who could do it the fastest.
We made allowances for Isla so she felt competent and had a chance of winning and we all had a great time.
Sprinkler under the Trampoline – Balance and Co-ordination
If you have a trampoline in your back garden putting the sprinkler under it provides extra bouncing fun while cooling off!
Adding some soft balls to jump around with also provides something different.
Drawing with Chalk – Fine Motor Skills, Learning
Drawing with sidewalk chalk is great for practising letters or exploring drawing or scribbling.
A hopscotch can be drawn up easily as well and then played to help with hopping on one leg, number recognition and balance.
Painting with Water – Fine Motor Skills, Creativity
A fun way to paint without messy clean-up is to use a pot of water instead of paint.
Use a regular paintbrush and create your masterpiece on the concrete outside.
Nature Walk – Fitness, Education and Creativity
Going on a nature walk with specific things to look for can provide an educational, fun way to provide some exercise.
We often collect leaves, shells, interesting twigs and come home and make them into some art.
You could also create a worksheet of different things to find and tick them off as you go.
What are your favourite outdoor activities???