Like all other kids, special needs kids need to experience the outdoors often. Below, we provide you with a list of some of our preferred outdoor activities for autistic children.
Spend a Day on the Playground
Unsurprisingly, playgrounds provide a myriad of benefits to kids with ASD. Spending an afternoon on the playground is an easy activity to consider, especially if you live near a park. Plus, it better acquaints your child with developing relationships with children in their age group.
Ride Bikes Around Town
Riding a bike strengthens the legs and improves balance; these feats are often difficult for kids on the autism spectrum. If you want a different approach to exploring your neighborhood or checking out new nature trails, adventuring by bike is the way to go. Scooters are another great option if your child doesn’t prefer bikes. Don’t forget to put on helmets and other protective gear before venturing outdoors.
Hang Out in the Front Yard
Sometimes, it’s necessary to dedicate a low-key afternoon to your child. One activity you can do together is blow bubbles. Blowing bubbles aids in attention and sensory development—and it’s just fun! You can turn this simple action into a game by seeing how many bubbles your child can pop. Another exciting option for them is using sidewalk chalk. Many autistic children are nonverbal, and drawing with chalk is a quiet activity for them to do when they’re in a creative mood. Your time outside can even consist of a leisurely game of catch, which encourages motor planning; this skill is essential for carrying out everyday tasks.
Create Your Own Obstacle Course
If your child is up for a challenge, consider assembling an obstacle course for them to complete. It doesn’t have to be elaborate—you can set up a simple one in your backyard. But if you have a variety of equipment at home, try combining the pieces to construct a unique and effective course.
Play with Water
It’s important for autistic children to feel a wide range of sensations, and water is undoubtedly a favorite. Swimming can be a therapeutic experience for kids with autism because it prevents sensory overwhelm. Go ahead and take your child to an outdoor pool in your community or sign them up for indoor swimming lessons; many swim instructors are trained to work with special needs children. Additionally, because it’s still summer, why not dance in the rain? A light drizzle is both invigorating and soothing, which your child will love. They may also like stomping through a few puddles!
Spend Time in the Garden
It’s no secret that spending a morning in the garden is calming. It gives you a reason to admire the beautiful, vibrant flowers and feel the cool, crumbly dirt between your fingers. If you love gardening, have your child partake in it with you. Gardening helps autistic children learn to follow instructions such as digging small holes in the soil or passing you the watering can. It also teaches them to sort like items into groups; for example, they can set aside stones in one pile and twigs in another.