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Fun Sensory Activities for the Holidays

The holiday season and winter have arrived. It can be a magical time of the year with all the new festive lights and goodwill enjoyed among friends and family. The holidays also bring new anxieties for some with all these changes, but fun sensory activities can help you and your child understand these changes and enjoy them.

Sensory play will stimulate your child's movement, balance, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. These activities allow them to explore and will naturally encourage them to use a scientific process as they learn, investigate and explore new things. The holidays bring out a lot of new experiences, and through fun sensory activities you can help make them enjoy this season as much as you.

1. Festive Holiday Sensory Bottles

These sensory bottles are a great way to introduce your child to some of the characters and materials that make an appearance during the holidays. The bottles are easy to make with these instructions:

  • Fill a clear, see-through bottle halfway with water

  • Add a half-cup of glue

  • Add green glitter or holiday colored-sequins

  • Hot glue the lid closed

  • Decorate the top of the bottle with a star

This bottle will represent a Christmas tree and as your child turns it in different directions, the glitter and sequins will sparkle like a tree. For other bottles, you can use dark red glitter in one, and after hot-gluing, the lid, decorate the outside with eyes, a red nose, and antlers. This bottle will look like Rudulph the reindeer showing up in so many Christmas decorations.

2. Holiday Sensory Bin

The holiday sensory bin is another great way to introduce the new holiday decorations making an appearance. A sensory bin can include different types of colors and feels to allow your child to experience up-close what they are seeing in advertisements, in store windows, and even on your Christmas tree. Possible ideas for your sensory bin can include:

  • Dye some noodles red and green

  • Add objects that may be new arrivals to your child's world this season, such as

  • Pinecones

  • Acorns

  • Cookie cutters

  • Ribbons of different color

  • Small miniature characters

  • Any object you feel would create interest and enjoyment for your child

The items in your sensory box can either be hand-held ones for your child to experience, or you might want to allow them the use of a large spoon so they can practice scooping skills to examine objects up close and individually

3. Shaving Cream Christmas Tree

The shaving cream Christmas tree is a great way to allow your child to see the fun of having a tree and is another fun sensory activity. Simply:

  • Use some green tape to tape down a piece of clear cellophane into the shape of a tree (or triangle)

  • Before completely sealing, fill the inside of the tree with shaving cream and some green food color

  • Put some small items inside, such as tiny sequins (they will be the tree's ornaments)

  • Seal the cellophane and tape a small square to the bottom to complete the look of a tree

4. Touch and Feel Box

The touch and feel box is a wonderful opportunity for your child to see and feel first-hand all those wonderful colored objects of the holidays. Using your imagination and a wrapped box you can:

  • Start with a small or medium-sized box depending on the objects you will use

  • Wrap the box in some festive holiday paper

  • Make a hole in the top that will allow your child's hand to safely reach into the box and remove objects

  • Place an assortment of holiday items inside, such as small ornaments, feathers, holiday-colored beads, bows, ribbon or any other item you feel will make this one of their fun sensory activities

Where to Learn More About Fun Sensory Activities

ABA Pathways is committed to helping families develop optimal treatment plans that will meet your family's needs. Our comprehensive program fosters growth through appropriate social behaviors and communication. If you would like to learn more about how we can provide interventions for your child with ASD, call today.

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