Fun Halloween Sensory Games for ASD Kids

Updated on October 27, 2017
DMChristiansen profile image

Christiansen's son, Jackie, is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She is the author of Planet A: A Mother's Memoir of ASD.

Make Your Own Slime!

Make a Sensory Challenge Fun

Halloween can be a great time to engage your ASD children with new sensory therapies. Children on the spectrum have difficulty with sensory issues such as sounds, smells and tactile stimuli. Sensory therapy helps to integrate these stimuli into the brain. This has benefited my son in his ability to function better in everyday life. Since it can be difficult to work this therapy into your schedule, here are a few fun ideas to plan over the spooky holiday.

Bring on the Slime: It’s sticky, gooey and perfect for Halloween. You can make it yourself as a fun weekend craft project and it’s easy. Mix ½ cup of each basic washable PVA glue and water in a bowl. Add any food coloring, green is probably a good choice, and then mix in ½ cup liquid starch. Stir and knead with your hands. My son was unable to touch the concoction at first, and we started with the slime in a plastic bag. He became braver and eventually the slime was oozing between his fingers. It’s the perfect hands-on sensory therapy project for Halloween. You can even decorate your pumpkins with the slime for an added scary touch!

Batty Sensory Bins: Sensory bins can be a fun way to get that extra therapy. Turning the bins into a fun Halloween game ensures hours of play. Start with several plastic bins of varying sizes. You can use bowls that you have around the house or plastic food storage containers. Make sure that they are big enough for hands to dig down into. You can fill the bins with things like dry beans or rice. For a creepier feel use water beads that are a little squishy and can be found at most craft stores. Bury plastic spiders and bats in the bins and see how many your child can find in a minute. You can bury candy corn or small Halloween-themed toys as well. Keep track of the number of items buried so that you know when they have found them all. Take it a step further and create a dim, spooky room for the bins and use a blindfold for an added challenge. As a twist, have your child take a turn burying the toys and you can dig them out!

Bottle Challenge: Odors are one of the big sensory issues that my son faces. One way to get a little sensory therapy for the Olfactory center, otherwise known as the nose, is through sniffing bottles. All you need are several small glass or plastic bottles with lids, water and essential or fragrance oils. Fill the bottles with water and add each oil a drop at a time until it is strong enough to notice but not overwhelming. I used Halloween-themed scents such as cinnamon, apple, pumpkin and berry. Make a game out of the sniffing challenge by trying to guess what the different scents are. You can also mix several scents and see what you come up with, rating them on a scale of success.

Halloween can be a great time to get inventive with sensory play. If your child enjoys the time together creating the different games, you could use several of the ideas to make a scavenger hunt. Have a bin station where the goal is to find ten spiders. Once the spiders are found your child is given the next clue to move on to the slime station. Once there, the objective could be to transport slime from one cup to the other cup located across the room. Each completed station could earn points to redeem for a fun Halloween treat! If you’re lucky, these games will continue throughout the year.


Slowly Mix In Liquid Bleach

Make Your Own Slime

  1. Mix one 4oz bottle of Elmer Glue with 1/2 cup warm water.
  2. Add a few drops of food coloring. Bright Neon colors work best.
  3. Slowly add liquid Borax and stir until desired thickness.

Sensory Challenge

What sensory issues are most difficult for your ASD child?

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