Three Springtime Activities to Play with your Child on the Autism Spectrum from the Autism Treatment Center of America

Create a Bug Hotel

1. “Collect items to make your Bug Hotel, you’ll need:

  • an empty plastic two-liter bottle (cut into two cylinders)
  • seeds, sticks, pinecones, moss, leaves, a piece of bamboo, and other nature items for bugs to hide in.

2. “When your child engages with you, explain that you will make a fantastic, cozy hotel for bugs!

3. “Begin making the hotel by stuffing the two cylinders with some of the items.

4. “Entertain your child by going to the window and announcing playfully to all the bugs that their hotel is nearly ready. Tell them it will be open for them to stay in soon.

5. “Invite your child to help you complete the hotel.

6. “Write a little sign that you can attach to the hotel saying, “Bug Hotel – Vacancy.”

7. “Once it’s finished and is stuffed tightly, place it in a warm, dry spot in your yard or garden. Visit your Bug Hotel daily with your child to see what bugs decide to stay there.


Bunny Chase

1. “First, gather your bunny props: a white sweater, two socks for your ears, an elastic headband, black eyeliner, and a few cotton balls for your tail, along with some double-sided tape.

2. “When your child engages with you, dress up like a bunny by:

  • Wearing your white sweater and headband.
  • Secure your two white socks inside the headband to act as your ears.
  • Draw your nose and whiskers on your face with the eyeliner.
  • Attach a few strips of tape to your bottom, and stick a cotton ball on the tape to act as your tail.

3. “Entertain your child by hopping around the room like a funny bunny!

4. “Chase them in a fun way. If they enjoy chasing you, let them chase you, and invite them to pull your cotton ball tail off.

Make Origami Flowers for Your Friends

1. “Get some different colored pieces of paper and cut them into squares.

2. “Print out some instructions from the internet, for making simple Origami flowers.

3. “When your child engages with you, tell them that since Spring has arrived, you will be making flower gifts for some of the people your child loves.

4. “If your child enjoys characters, or stuffed animals, bring those characters into your space to watch you make the flowers.

5. “Entertain your child by making the characters jump up and down, cheer, and show excitement for the special flowers they will receive.

6. “Follow the Origami flower instructions to make the first flower.

7. “Gift a character with one of the flowers or invite your child to do so.

8. “Decide with your child who of your family members you will also make flowers for.

9. “Continue making more flowers and then give them to your recipients, along with your child.

Happy Spring from the Autism Treatment Center of America and The Son-Rise Program!!!

Becky Damgaard, Senior Son-Rise Program

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