Sensory putty can be a fantastic tool for engaging the senses and supporting children with autism. Here are some sensory putty play activities tailored to stimulate the senses and benefit autistic children:
14 Sensory Putty Play Ideas
- Texture Exploration: Begin with simple texture exploration. Allow the child to feel the putty's texture, stretch it, and squish it between their fingers. Encourage them to describe how it feels – is it soft, squishy, or firm? This activity focuses on the sense of touch.
- Colour Matching: Use different coloured putties and ask the child to match the colours. This activity targets both the sense of sight and fine motor skills.
- Sensory Hide and Seek: Hide small objects within the putty and ask the child to find them by feeling around. This promotes tactile discrimination and can be a fun game.
- Therapeutic Hand Strengthening: Squeezing and stretching the putty helps with hand strengthening and fine motor skills, which can be particularly beneficial for children with fine motor difficulties.
- Sensory Smoothing: Encourage the child to roll the putty into a ball and then gently roll it along their arms or legs. This can provide a calming sensory experience.
- Sensory Alphabet or Number Tracing: Flatten the putty and use it as a surface for practicing letters or numbers. The tactile sensation can enhance learning and retention.
- Sensory Exploration Kit: Combine the putty with other sensory items like beads, buttons, or textured pieces. The child can embed these items in the putty and explore them tactically.
- Sensory Fidget: Some autistic children benefit from fidget tools. Sensory putty can serve as a discreet fidget aid to help them concentrate and manage sensory needs.
- Sensory Playdough Creatures: Use the putty to create animals, shapes, or characters. This combines tactile play with imaginative storytelling.
- Emotion Expression: Introduce different facial expressions or emotional concepts like happy, sad, or surprised. Encourage the child to shape the putty to represent these emotions, promoting emotional understanding and expression.
- Sensory Break Tool: Sensory putty can be a valuable tool for providing sensory breaks when needed. It offers a calming sensory experience for self-regulation.
- Sensory Art: Create sculptures or abstract art with the putty. The child can mold it into different shapes and patterns, fostering creativity.
- Sensory Play with Temperature: Experiment with warm or cool sensory putty to explore the sensation of temperature changes. Always ensure the temperature is safe for the child.
- Sensory Play with Scented Putty: Some putties come in scented varieties such as our Cherry Bomb Scented Putty. Engage the sense of smell by using scented putty for various activities.
Always consider the individual preferences and sensory sensitivities of the child when planning these activities. Additionally, ensure that the putty used is non-toxic and safe for children. Sensory play can be an enjoyable and therapeutic experience for autistic children, helping them regulate their sensory responses and engage with their surroundings.