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Sensory-Friendly Rainy Day Activities

Rainy days can present unique challenges for families caring for children with autism. The disruption of routine and the limitations on outdoor activities can sometimes lead to stress and frustration. However, with a little creativity and planning, rainy days can also be opportunities for fun and engaging sensory experiences. At The Oxford Center, we understand the importance of providing support and resources for families navigating the world of autism. Here are some sensory-friendly activities to enjoy with your child on those rainy days:

Indoor Sensory Stations:

Set up different sensory stations around your home where your child can explore various textures, smells, and sounds. Include items like kinetic sand, water beads, scented playdough, and tactile sensory bins. Encourage your child to freely explore each station at their own pace.

Create a Cozy Corner:

Designate a quiet, comfortable space where your child can retreat to when they need a break from sensory overload. Fill the area with soft blankets, pillows, and calming sensory items such as weighted blankets or toys they enjoy. This cozy corner can serve as a space for relaxation and self-regulation.

Mess-Free Art Projects:

Engage your child’s creativity with mess-free art projects that stimulate their senses without creating a big cleanup. Consider activities like sensory painting using Ziploc bags filled with paint, sensory collages using textured materials like fabric and yarn, or making sensory bottles filled with glitter and water.

Sensory-Friendly Movie Time:

Create a sensory-friendly movie experience at home by dimming the lights, using comfortable seating with soft blankets and pillows. Choose movies with calming visuals and gentle storylines that cater to your child’s interests.

Rainy Day Sensory Walk:

Put on rain boots and raincoats and take a sensory walk outside in the rain. Encourage your child to feel the raindrops on their skin, listen to the sound of rain falling, and jump in puddles. This can be a refreshing and invigorating sensory experience that promotes sensory integration and body awareness.

Cooking and Baking Together:

Get creative in the kitchen with your child by involving them in cooking and baking activities. Choose recipes that involve sensory-rich ingredients like flour, spices, and fruits. Encourage your child to help with mixing, pouring, and tasting, providing them with a hands-on sensory experience.

Sensory Storytime:

Create a cozy reading nook and engage your child in sensory storytime with books that incorporate tactile elements like textures, flaps, or scratch-and-sniff features. Encourage your child to interact with the story by touching and feeling the different sensory elements.

Music and Movement:

Turn on some calming music and engage in sensory-friendly movement activities like dancing, stretching, or yoga. Use props like scarves or ribbons to add visual stimulation to the activity. This can help your child release pent-up energy and promote relaxation.

Remember, every child with autism is unique, so feel free to tailor these activities to suit your child’s specific interests and sensory preferences. The key is to create a supportive and inclusive environment where your child feels safe to explore and express themselves. With a little creativity and patience, rainy days can become opportunities for meaningful sensory experiences and quality time spent together as a family.