Even if the weather outside isn’t so great, we’ve got you covered! It’s very important for kids with autism to get active, so we’ve come up with some fun gross motor activities you can do with your child indoors.
Gross motor skills involve big movements, so you’ll need some space to play. If you can, clear out an open area for your child to move around.
- Ball toss – Find a laundry basket and a soft ball. Encourage your child to try and throw the ball into the basket. You can make it easier or harder by placing the basket nearer or further away from your child. You can also encourage your child to throw with their dominant hand and then their non-dominant hand. You can even encourage them to try throwing two balls at once!
- Hula hoop jump – Set up a series of hula hoops on the floor and encourage your child to jump from one to another. Suggest that your child hops with two feet, or one foot. See if you can move the hoops a bit further apart for more of a challenge. You can also pretend that the hula hoops are lily pads in a pond or clouds in the sky, and build a story around the activity!
- Creature dance – Encourage your child to tell you about their favourite animals. Together, draw pictures of them on a large piece of paper. Have your child close their eyes and point to one of the animals. Put on some music and encourage them to dance like that animal (so a fish would ‘swim’ and a crab would ‘scuttle’). For added fun, encourage your child to make the sounds of the animals as they act out the movements. Don’t be afraid to join in!
- Box tunnel – If you have a large box or two, cut out the ends and make them into a tunnel for your child to crawl through. Turn up the fun by adding other obstacles and creating a whole course for your child to complete! You can also use the tunnel as a canvas — get out some crayons or markers and decorate the inside and outside of the boxes.
- Dance party – At Sing to Say, we’re HUGE fans of using music to help children with autism communicate. There’s nothing like turning on your child’s favourite tunes and letting loose. Sing along, dance like no one’s watching and have a fantastic time.
Remember: no matter what, the most important thing is that your child is having fun doing these activities, and that you’re having fun along with them!