Surviving the Holidays Tip #10: Fun Holiday-Themed Sensory Ideas

"Awareness simply means to acknowledge that Autism exists; Acceptance is to acknowledge its value."

Keeping your little one with special needs on their sensory diet is critical for a calm and compliant kiddo. The holidays often creates special challenges to keep your little one with plentiful sensory throughout the day. So, I’ve created these pretty cool ideas that are inexpensive, fun and most importantly – super easy to implement throughout the day with your child.


Holiday Rice Bin

Start out with 4 cups of plain uncooked white rice or white sugar.

Add 2 cups to a ziplock bag with about 15-20 drops (depending on how vibrant you want it) red food coloring.

Add the remaining 2 cups of uncooked rice to anther freezer ziplock bag with 15-20 drops of green food coloring.

Shake the bags until the rice is completely coated.

Use a large plastic tub and place the red rice on one side, and the green rice on the other.

Decorate with large colorful holiday rubber balls, kid-friendly decorations, holiday-themed pencil erasers or other sensory goodies.

Have your little one place their hands in the rice and find the hidden treasures.

*Can be messy, so use caution around furniture and carpet!


Create-Your-Own Christmas Tree or Hanukah Menorah

Get pipe cleaners, Elmer’s glue, glitter, pompoms and other decorations from a local art store. Draw or print out a blank Christmas tree or Menorah and have your little one decorate it with glitter, glitter glue, crayons, stickers, and pompoms.


Create-Your-Own Holiday Shaker Ornaments

This is one of my personal favorites. It requires a little more time, but it’s worth it!

Have about 6-8 plastic Easter eggs for creating homemade shakers.

Add rice, beans, beads, coins, or macaroni (or a little of each) into each shaker. Each has its own unique sound, so it’s fun to mix & match different sounds.

Cut various colors and sizes of green, red, and other holiday-themed tissue paper (about 20 pieces) – enough to fully cover the eggs at least twice per egg.

Place the tissue paper pieces one at a time onto the eggs. Use an art paintbrush to brush on some Mod Podge gloss. Use various colors and textures to get a groovy, fun and holiday-themed ornament. After the decoupage is painted on, sprinkle some glitter or place some beads on it to personalize it. Let it dry for 12 hours. And let the shaking begin!!


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