Many children that I have worked with at the Autism Treatment Center of America have really enjoyed squeezes on their hands, legs, heads, etc, and big body squeezes. Here are 10 ideas to try if your child likes squeezes.
1) Bring 2 pillows into the playroom and hold them in your arms. Have fun squishing your child in the pillows when they motivated for squeezes.
2) Use puppets to give squeezes on their hands and feet. Use different character voices for each puppet as you model the word squeeze them.
3) Fill a hat with adjectives written on several strips of paper (e.g. fast, slow, deep, shaky, etc). Experiment with having your child pick out of the hat to see what type of squeezes to have next.
4) For an older child, pretend you are at the day spa. Draw a menu on a piece of posterboard of the different treatments you offer at the spa (e.g. finger massage, deep massage treatment, rolling pin massage, etc).
5) Attach circles of different textured fabrics to the fingers of a cheap pair of gloves to squeeze with (e.g. Velcro, satin, foam, etc).
6) Pretend your child is a piece of pizza dough that you need to shape and mould by kneading the dough.
7) Fly around the playroom to different planets (e.g. hand planet, foot planet, elbow planet, etc). Each time you land on one of the planets, where you have to squeeze that body part.
8) Pretend that you are a blind person who can’t see where to squeeze without your child looking at you. Have fun fumbling around trying to find your child each time they look away. This is a great way to work on eye contact too.
9) Work on choices with your child by having them choose which part of their body they want squeezing.
10) Roll a dice with different animal pictures on each side, then squeeze your child in the style of that animal (e.g. monkey squeeze, bird squeeze, cat squeeze, etc).