Sensory Activities for Kids with ADHD and ASD

Does your child have excessive energy or a complete absence of reaction? Do they get distracted frequently? Do you find it difficult to engage your children in any activities? Kids with ADHD have complicated sensory system. When this sensory system doesn’t function properly, they may act aggressively, become hyper and inattentive. Here are some sensory activities for kids at home that not only help them reduce hyperactivity but also improve their attention and stimulate their senses.

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Types of sensory issues

Many autistic children have difficulties processing sensory information. Children who are either hyporesponsive or hyperresponsive may exhibit meltdowns, withdrawal, or other challenging behaviours. Desensitization tools can help these children deal with sensory inputs.

To feel satisfied, under-sensitive (Hyposensitivity) children seek out more sensations. This could mean they turn up the volume on the TV, jump on the bed, or spin the wheels of their toy car over and over. Sensory toys provide them with the sensations they seek in a fun and safe environment.

Over-sensitive (Hypersensitivity) children attempt to avoid overpowering sensations. This could mean they cover their ears when the vacuum cleaner is on, want clothing tags removed, or cry when placed on a swing. In these cases, sensory toys serve as an enjoyable introduction to unpleasant sensations for children, with the goal of making the sense more tolerable in the future.

Also check, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Importance of sensory activities

Activities should constantly be customized to each child’s unique support strategies because children with autism exhibit a variety of different behaviours. It is advantageous in a number of ways to involve children with autism in sensory activities because it can help in:

  • Stimulating the brain, forming neural connections, and enhancing sensory processing mechanisms
  • Developing interpersonal abilities like cooperation and communication
  • Enhancing coordination and fine/gross motor skills
  • Calming down agitated children
  • Promote independent play or personalized learning, both of which can help children’s academic performance
  • A simple and approachable sensory experience for autistic kids 

Also check, Fun and engaging activities for autistic kids

Sensory activities for kids with ADHD and asd

Children with ASD are less likely to learn through traditional education, such as reading and writing; instead, they favour activities that use their senses. Extracurricular activities like art and craft activities and outdoor activities which involve their senses can be an effective method to improve their motor skills and enhance their brain’s ability to recognize and comprehend things through their sensory skills.


Swinging or rocking motion stimulates the sensory system and calms a hyperactive brain. The sensory nervous system of a child detects and processes movement of the swing as it goes back and forth, which has a relaxing and stabilising effect on the brain. Set up an indoor ceiling mounted swing or outdoor hammock.

Also check, 5 foods to manage hyperactivity in kids

2.Magic bottle

It is a very easy activity to play at home where a bottle with some water is taken and different things like glitters, marbles, buttons and other shiny items with some colours are added to make a vibrant and spectacular magic bottle/ sensory bottle. Just tilt the bottle and see how these colours and glitters move. This increases the attention span of the autism kids and helps them stay focused.

Also check, Tips to improve concentration

3.Magic of rain

Water has the capacity to heal and calm a person. So, next time when it rains don’t stop your kids from enjoying it. Let them dance, play and get soaked in the rain which will provide them a refreshing experience and calm their anxiety.

Also check, How to manage anxiety in kids?

4. Play with clay or slime

Playing with clay or slime is commonly utilised as an element of senses. Help your kid to make different structures like balls or snakes with that clay. Allow your kid to pull, twist, and press the slime. This activity has calming effect which will eventually improve the sensory as well as motor skills in kids.

Also check, Techniques to improve fine motor skills in kids

5. Play with sponge

This game is very simple. It only requires a sponge and a bowl with water. First, tell your kid to soak the sponge in the water. Then, tell him to squeeze the water in another bowl. You can also join with your kid and challenge them. This is an easy exercise to relax your kid and it aids in sensory motor development.

Also check, Speech therapy fun exercises to improve speech

6. Play with sand

When you go to the beach, give your kid a toy shovel. Allow them to play with sand like digging, scraping, building castles, etc. Your kid will enjoy it and it may improve their sensory skills. In indoors you can use play-sand or edible sand.

Also check, Techniques to reduce stammering in kids

7. Obstacle courses

Tell the kids to hug a tree, run around bushes, jump over a rope, etc. Place objects like chairs, bottles or toys evenly spaced apart in the kitchen, living room, or bed room. Instruct your child to move over, under or around those objects. Play some music or songs to make the task more enjoyable.  This helps them to keep their mind and body fully energetic and contributes in developing their sensory skills and also motor skills.

Also check, Activities to improve logical reasoning skills

8. Amuse your mouth

The mouth functions as an incredible organiser for handling sensory stimuli. Give crispy and crunchy snacks like carrot, cucumber, apple etc to improve the sensory as well as motor skills. The mouth stimuli can also be stimulated by humming a song, blowing soap bubbles, and drinking juice or water through a straw.

Also check, Oral motor exercises for kids

9. Sensory bin

A sensory bin is often a large container or plastic tub loaded with items and things that have been chosen specifically to stimulate the senses. Chopped paper, water beads, water, sand, pebbles, spaghetti, rice or wheat, marbles and a number of other objects can also be used to fill a sensory bin. These bins offer sensory stimulation as a soothing activity and several chances for learning and exploration.

Also check, More benefits of sensory bin

10. Spend some time in nature

Another tip to improve the sensory stimuli in kids is spending time in nature. Research suggests that natural environments could benefit brain development and may also improve concentration in children. Show them different types of flowers, pets, and other kids around. Let them walk in the grass. This will help children to explore more and stimulate their senses.

Also check, Brain development foods for children


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