Fall is a season of change, full of sensory delights that offer unique opportunities
for children with autism to explore, engage, and learn. Sensory play, a valuable tool in
autism support, can be beautifully adapted to the sights, sounds, and textures of fall. In
this post, we'll explore the benefits of Fall-themed sensory play and provide creative
ideas to help children with autism thrive during this time of year.
The Sensory Benefits of Fall:
The Fall season is a sensory wonderland. From the crisp crunch of fallen leaves
underfoot to the earthy scent of pumpkin spice, each element of fall engages the
senses in a special way. For children with autism, these sensory experiences can be
both enjoyable and educational.
Sensory Bins with Fall Elements:
Create sensory bins filled with Fall-themed items like colorful leaves, acorns, and
pinecones. These bins provide tactile and visual stimulation.
Incorporate sensory-friendly materials like rice, sand, or corn kernels to enhance
sensory experiences while promoting fine motor skills.
Apple Sensory Activities:
Apples are a quintessential part of the fall season. Engage children with autism in
sensory play involving apples, such as apple-scented playdough, apple cider vinegar
sensory bottles, or apple-themed sensory trays.
These activities not only stimulate the sense of smell but also encourage exploration
Nature Walks and Leaf Art:
Fall's vibrant foliage provides an ideal backdrop for sensory-rich nature walks.
Encourage your child to collect leaves of various colors, shapes, and textures.
After the walk, engage in leaf-themed sensory art activities like leaf rubbings, leaf
collages, or even leaf-based storytelling.
Take advantage of the unique sounds of Fall, including rustling leaves, crunching
footsteps, and gentle winds. These sounds can be calming and soothing for children
Consider creating audio recordings of these sounds for sensory relaxation and play.
The Educational Aspects of Sensory Play:
Sensory play isn’t just about fun; it’s a valuable educational tool. It promotes the
development of essential skills in children with autism:
Fine and Gross Motor Skills: Sensory play encourages children to use their hands and
bodies, improving both fine and gross motor skills.
Language and Communication: Engaging in sensory activities can promote language
development as children describe what they see, feel, and experience.
Emotional Regulation: Sensory play helps children with autism learn to self-regulate
their emotions and manage sensory sensitivities.
Fall-themed sensory play offers a wealth of sensory experiences and educational
benefits for children with autism. By incorporating the sights, sounds, and textures of
fall into sensory activities, you can create a supportive and enriching environment for
learning and exploration.
If you and your children partake in one of our suggested activities, we would love it if
you shared your experiences with us! If you have your own Fall-themed sensory play
ideas or experiences, feel free to leave them in the comments section below for readers.
Connect with our autism support community to learn more and exchange ideas for
helping children with autism thrive in every season.