“Here are three ways that you can use face paints to encourage more interaction with your child on the Autism Spectrum.
1) “Become your child’s favorite animal or character! Does your child love Spiderman, Pikachu, or Tigers? Try painting your face to look like their favorite character before you spend time with your child. As your child looks in your eyes and pays attention to your face, Entertain them by pretending to climb the walls like Spiderman, singing a Pikachu song, or growling and prancing like a tiger.
2) “Invite your child help you paint your face! If your child is into drawing, painting, or control, print off a few different simple face-painting ideas and let your child help you paint your face in one of those styles. Ideas include a Witch, a Snake, or Sonic the Hedgehog. As your child helps you paint your face, use animated facial expressions and slapstick humor to keep it interesting. For example, as you become a Witch, you can start to let out a cackle and recite a special spell.
3) “Get pretend tattoos! For your older child on the autism spectrum, write down some ideas of possible tattoos that you could then choose and paint on each other with face paints. Start with your face to encourage eye contact, and then vary the game by moving to your hands or arms. Ideas include music notes – for a music lover, butterflies – for transformation, flowers – for growth, or a family pet – for sentimental reasons. If your child is Highly Verbal, you can have conversations about what tattoo ideas you each like and why.
“Please note; It’s best to use all-natural, non-toxic face paints as our children can be sensitive to perfumes and dyes in some face paints.”
Becky Damgaard, Senior Son-Rise Program Teacher