April 2nd marks Autism Awareness Day all over the world! The entire month of April is a time to recognize people on the spectrum, their families, and the ever-growing research surrounding autism. Arts and crafts are soothing activities and great forms of self-expression — they develop and strengthen fine motor skills too!
However, children with autism can be highly sensitive to textures, sounds, and smells, which makes crafting challenging at times.
At Horizon Group USA, we believe everyone should have a chance to express their creativity! In an effort to raise awareness of autism, here are seven hands-on activities to consider for your next sensory detailed activity!
1. SLIMYGLOOP® SLIMYSAND™
Mold, stretch, and expand SLIMYGLOOP® SLIMYSAND™ into anything you want, then squeeze and shape it into something brand-new! This textured fun encourages imagination and sensory play in all your favorite colors!
In times when children feel overwhelmed, it’s important to create a safe place to release those scary feelings. Use SQUOOSH-O’s™ to create a stress ball filled with all types of glittery, sensory fun! These will give children a place to let go of negative feelings and a chance to create something new.
3. SLIMYGLOOP® Mix’Ems
Smooth, crunchy, and squishy SLIMYGLOOP® Mix’Ems invite everyone to play and feel all types of different textures. While working those fine motor skills, you can add as many or as little add-ins to your SLIMYGLOOP®!
4. Mixy Squish
You can make anything out of this airy, fluffy, pre-textured clay — blend the colors to add variety or use the sculpting tools to create designs in your clay. Then, let it dry to discover a new soft, spongy texture to play with — Mixy Squish is a great addition for your next arts and crafts project.
5. Water Bead Art
Add water and watch the beads absorb and expand — grab a whole handful or just squish one in between your fingers! Water beads will help children explore colors and sounds when they fill each bottle — they’ll even learn emotions by using the included stickers. Try shaking the bottles for an added sensory detail!
6. Sand Art
Express yourself through designs and shapes in sand art! With each unique bottle, you decided what colors to add — the sound of smooth sand pouring into the bottle is quiet and relaxing which gives relief to those who are sensitive to sound.
7. Story Magic Storybook Maker
Open the door for imagination and endless stories with Story Magic Storybook Maker! Storytelling teaches the first lessons of emotions and feelings — the included stickers, marker, and gemstones encourage play with different textures, too! And if you know someone who loves plushy unicorns to hold during magical storytime, check out Unicorn Dream Doll House!
It’s important to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable when they’re creating art! We hope these products inspire you to make fine motor skills more accessible to people who are on the autism spectrum. Let us know what kind of sensory activities you like and share it with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram — tag @HorizonGroupUSA!