Sensory Friendly Birthday Party Locations:
Now, maybe you dont quite like the idea of having this birthday party at your home. Or maybe your kiddo has decided that they want to go somewhere else. Great! But where to start? Ill be honest, sometimes going to a location for a birthday party drains me even more than having the birthday party at home. And Im not on the spectrum but I am an introvert.
So where can you have this birthday party?
Determine that by your childs interest and go from there.
For example, you could do a swimming party at the local YMCA or your local movie theatre might have a sensory friendly movie showing that you could attend. You could try bowling or going to the local park. Indoor waterparks are fun though they can get incredibly noisy.
Also do some research of your local area and see if there are sensory friendly gyms. You could also try a trampoline park or local amusement park.
Some entertainment areas may have a sensory friendly day. Chuck E Cheeses, for example, has a sensory friendly Sunday the first Sunday of the month. Or you could try this during the week if you free time in the evening. You can read more about our experience at Chuck E. Cheeses and how it ended up being a wonderful place to have my autistic daughters birthday.
The location does not have to be limited by sensory needs but it is something that you want to keep in mind. And I know, youre probably thinking, well duh Kori, we know our child best. and yes, you do. I just think it bears repeating.
Planning A Birthday Party
All children deserve to have their birthdays celebrated every year. Children on the autism spectrum are no different in this respect and deserve no less! However there are Birthday Parties and there are BIRTHDAY PARTIES. You know your child best, and you know what will make your child happiest. To help you plan, keep these ideas in mind:
LOCATION What pleases your child? All children are different. Your child may be happiest at home, in a park, in the gym, or even within his or her regularly scheduled routines and activities.
ACTIVITY Which activities are the most fun for your child and. is he or she able to share these activities?
GUESTS Who and how many should be invited? Is this a party where only the immediate family attends, or should it be extended to cousins, grandparents, etc? Or is this a party for friends from school, extra curricular activities, etc.? Do you invite the parents?
FOOD What to serve? Traditional cake and ice cream? Healthy snacks? Your childs favorite foods?
GIFTS To open, or not to open? To request donations instead of gifts? What happens if your child doesnt get his orher greatly anticipated gift?
PARTY FAVORS Something simple makes the most sense.
INVITATIONS Email, design and make them, store bought? Distribute by hand, by snail mail, email?
Wow, thats quite a lot to think about. Before you discuss it with your child, think about yourself:
Now. Think about your child.
Develop a timeline/schedule:
Religious Christian Spiritual Birthday Wishes For A Special Child
My dear child! Always remember that the Lord has plans for every child of his. While you may not completely comprehend my words, know that my heart beats for you, know that my soul is dedicated to you. Christ has given us the responsibility to ensure every need of yours, and we will do with all our might! Happy Birthday my child! I will always be there for you!
There is only the Lord Christ who understands the nitty-gritty of how this Universe runs. You are a beloved part of it, maybe like a speck but you certainly have his gracious blessings. On this Birthday, may the divine infuses you with more of the supreme traits of a human being. Happy Birthday my dear child! Love you to the moon and back!
Lord Christ is the supreme juggernaut of this Universe. You may have certain limitations but he has gifted you to us so that we understand life from a different perspective and value it. Your spiritual DNA is perfect and we love you with our core. We promise that we will pamper you with all the love, affection, gifts and encouragement to make your worth living for every second. We adore you, sweetheart! We will be with you in every phase of life and so will be Christ. Happy Birthday!
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Choose Your Party Theme Wisely
When it comes to birthday parties, pick a theme that your child likes and is familiar with. There will be many new experiences at the party so try to keep the theme familiar to your child, and something that they already love. You might be tired of dinosaurs, super-heroes, or princesses, but keeping things the same helps to reduce stress and anxiety for your child.
Hosting Parties For Autistic Children: Tips From Parents
Planning is the key to holding a successful party for your autistic child. Other parents have found these ideas helpful:
- Plan for a short party with a clear structure.
- Give the party a theme based on your childs interests.
- Hold the party in a familiar and contained environment like your house or your local play centre.
- Keep unstructured playtime to a minimum.
- Leave out things that you know could distress your child. For example, you might serve the cake without singing Happy birthday if your child is sensitive to noise.
- Always have an adult who can help your child nearby. Make sure all the adults know what they can do to help your child cope.
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Color Smash By Pressman Toys
Slap your way to victory with Color Smash by Pressman Toys. This test of color coordination smashes the splat with the same color and name to win the deck! Its quick to learn and easy to play! When it comes to great gift ideas for autistic teenagers, ColorSmash is an awesome choice8. Pinch Me Therapy Dough
Pinch Me. Therapy Dough is a therapeutic dough with many uses strengthening hands, lowering anxiety, having sensory input. It is a fabulous gift idea for autistic teenagers.
Peaceful Pals Are A Great Gift For Kids With Autism
These super soft and cuddly animals are weighted to help soothe children with autism. There are a collection of different animals to choose from including unicorns, monkeys, sharks, puppies, and even an octopus friend. They also have basic shapes like stars and hearts.
You can choose from 3 or 5lb Peaceful Pals that are sure to become your child with autisms favorite gift this holiday season. Some of the great things about these little, heavy creatures are that no one can tell them apart from a regular stuffed animal, they are machine washable, and have been known to help children with ASD sleep better.
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Sunny And Fun Balance Stepping Stones
Help children improve their balance and motor skills with these stepping stones. They come in a variety of colors to help to keep kids engaged when they are using them. With 11 stones, you can spread them out and provide kids with plenty of space to move around. There are four different levels of steepness and size.
Timber Tots Fantastic Waterfall
“Our 8-year-old Grandson is Autistic, with some vision problems. The “gentle” nature of “Timber Tot’s” along with the realistic features and tactile appeal make this one of our Grandson’s favorites. He loves to “collect”, so having “Timber Tot’s” items he can “build” on is a plus. The light-up’s are some of his favorites, . He is obsessed with buses and vans, so was thrilled to get the “Timber Tot Adventure Bus” for Christmas. Stimulating imaginary play is critical for children with Autism and our Grandson has responded very creatively to “Timber Tot Collections”. “
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More Gifts For Autistic And Special Needs Children
There are plenty of excellent gifts and toys for autistic children now this is by no means an exhaustive list. We could have gone on and on . We dont like to make recommendations we cant truly stand behind, so rest assured that all the companies were recommending on this list make a really fantastic product.
Be sure to check out Fat Brain Toys full line of toys specifically designed for special needs and autistic children. There are so many affordable options for any occasion even if its just a Tuesday and you get to babysit your grandchild.
The same goes for Melissa and Doug. They also have a line of toys for children on the autism spectrum, kids who need additional sensory processing development, and many other categories of special needs.
SensaCalm was founded by a grandmother of an autistic child, and has become a family business. Were very sensitive to the needs of families dealing with highly sensory children, and simply want to help you and your loved ones feel more comfortable each day.
Looking to keep your autistic child safe from wandering? See our blog post here.
National Geographic Play Sand
This play sand is classified as a kinetic sensory activity. You will get two pounds of sand and there are six molds that children can use to make different shapes. With six different colors, you can easily find the one that your child prefers. The sand is mess-free, non-toxic and hypoallergenic to ensure safety for your child.
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Gift Ideas For Autistic Children
Whats inside this article: A list of gift ideas for children with autism, updated for 2020. A lot of these gift ideas are sensory-related, or educational so kids will love them and also benefit from them in some way.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
I created this list a couple of years ago, before Christmas. When I went to google to search for inspiration for my own son and the results brought up nothing useful so I started curating ideas for other parents.
Now I update and add to this list every year so its always a relevant list of gift ideas for autistic children.
It feels like the older my son gets, the harder it is to choose gifts for him. Plus, a lot of children with autism have narrow areas of interest which can add to the challenge of finding gift ideas for autistic children.
No matter what the special occasion is, or what your budget is there will be something on this list for everyone. It will be updated occasionally when I discover new products that I think others will love.
This list also includes some of the most popular items among all my readers because I know that these are gifts myself and many others can recommend.
Best Gifts To Autistic Children
The perfect chew toy for children with oral needs as it improves focus and is calming. It is manufactured from 100 percent pure silicone and is guaranteed to be non-toxic.
This super-soft stretchy non-toxic material is fun to manipulate and touch, Can be used to during handwriting for increased proprioceptive input. One size fits most.
Pick one of these three sturdy sports balls filled with a thick, natural sugar-based gel that provides a nice amount of resistance. Helps with calming meltdowns, encouraging fine motor development, and redirecting attention and focus.
This gift can help a child improve the balance and motor skills of children on the spectrum, particularly those with vestibular sensory needs in a movement-based environment. This ride-on toy can be used while sitting, kneeling, or in a prone position.
Place this fun water blob anywhere in your backyard! Kids can jump, roll, lie, sit, and make waves on it while making colorful fish inside move, too!
This great visual support for those with communication challenges includes 36 2 schedule, full color, laminated picture cards.
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Rockin Party Venue For Kids
Our gym is a fun and safe environment to host your childs next birthday party. We have an expert staff that is trained to work with children of all ages and developmental levels. Our play equipment is specially designed for sensory processing disorders and encourages neurological growth. Our birthday parties include full use of our sensory-safe equipment such as:
- Suspended equipment with swings for balance and vestibular treatment
- Crash mats and crash pillows for fun, motor planning, and strength
- Zip line for stress release and joint and body relaxation
- Trampoline for building leg and core strength
- Indoor play structure for climbing and increasing playground skills
Dimpl Sensory And Fidget Toys For Autistic Kids
There are several great Dimpl gifts for autistic children, toddlers, and babies. These soft, easy to hold toys are great for those who get overstimulated and need sensory stimulus.
These colorful toys make the perfect gift for kids with autism who need to work on fine motor skills, finger strength, learning to count, and offer a coping mechanism for stimming and sensory processing.
Dimpl Digits offers squishy numbered bubbles that can be pushed and popped to learn. They have the number written in English and Spanish as well as dots to count.
Dimple Duo is the perfect gift for learning shapes through texture, color, and words using buttons that are fun to feel, push, and pop!
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The Original Buddha Board
The Original Buddha Board Fill the stand with water. Then dip in the bamboo brush & start drawing, painting & writing. Youll create soft, beautiful images with a rich, inky Japanese look. Appreciate your creation at the moment, and then as the water evaporates and your masterpiece slowly fades away, practice the art of letting go.
Avoid Loud Sounds And A Lot Of Noise
It is important to turn off the background music. Avoid handing out noisemakers. If you use music in party games, then alternate with activities that are quiet or silent. For example, play musical chairs followed by a quiet activity at the craft table. Choose balloons that dont easily pop. If possible, you may need to skip singing the happy birthday song too. Thats OK! Create a new way of the group showing their appreciation for the birthday celebrant. Have guests each make a happy birthday sign or drawing as part of a craft, that they can then each show the birthday child.
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Liquid Motion Bubble Timer
As kids are working to follow a schedule, having a timer is very helpful. This timer is more fun and interactive than a standard clock. You turn it onto its opposite side and the floating, colorful beads start settling from the top to the bottom. Once they reach the bottom, the child will know that the time is up.
Presents For Young Kids
This colorful rain tube is simple to use and great for all ages. Perfect for highly visual students. Turn this sturdy 8-inch tube over and watch a cascade of multi-colored beads fall as you listen to the soothing sound of rain.
Stretch, mold, and pull the putty until you find all the hidden objects and then hide the pieces again! Strengthens fine motor skills and provides tactile exploration. Versatile therapy tool, fidget, and travel toy for imaginative play. Supports speech, color recognition, math and language activities.
These soft and colorful blocks help satisfy sensory and visual cravings. This building toy also helps develop a childs spatial, logic, and reasoning skills.
Explore all four of these one-size-fits-all mitts and feel their textured surfaces. Includes mitts with sequins, faux fur, raised bumps, and a smooth surface. Theyre great for creative play, touch exploration, and sensory integration.
$57.99 and up
With the super-supportive saddle and low-to-the-ground design, this scooter offers more security than a typical ride-on toy. Those with gravitational insecurity can scoot with confidence, in prone, kneeling, or sitting positions.
$135.99 and up
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Simplify Gifts Goody Bags Activities
We made it very clear to our child that he wouldnt be opening presents at the party since I knew that would be a trigger.
We also left candy and things that might be a distraction out of the goody bags. I made a rookie mistake and forgot to make a few extra bags for the siblings of my sons classmates who came along.
Planning A Birthday Party For Autistic Children
We are all worthy of celebration and inclusion. –
Part One –
Bright lights. Loud music. Big crowds. Birthday parties for neurotypical children can often include experiences too intense for a child on the autism spectrum. However, with some simple planning, preparations, and accommodations, any child can be honored and celebrated each year on his or her birthday.
While it varies from child to child, it may be easy to assume that your child cannot handle, or does not want, any type of birthday celebration. Sometimes this is the case, but sometimes its not. The logistics might vary from the norm, but a party can present a great opportunity for your child to interact with peers and have a great time.
When appropriate, allow your child to be involved in the planning process.
The level of involvement will vary, based on your childs age, abilities and preferences. If your child has a special interest, favorite movie or treasured toy, this can be incorporated into a theme. When you can, offer choices and allow your child to be the decision maker.
Its okay to keep things low-key, inviting only a few close friends, family or those within the autism community.
In fact, your childs birthday party doesnt have to be a party at all. Celebrating by doing a special activity, like camping or visiting a museum, can be just as memorable, and significantly less stressful, than a big party.
Consider the location carefully.
Use a professional.
Choose your date carefully.
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