Five awesome cheap activities to do with the kids

 

 

cropped-822524745o4tleq2tie5zril.jpgAlthough we do a variety of things during the weekends and school holidays, these are probably the five that are most enjoyed by my children and have led to hours of fun. They are all also relatively cheap to do and set up as well as easy to store away for another day (other that the gingerbread, please eat and enjoy that).

 

Play-Doh

Fairly cheap to buy and many accessories to add to make it fun and also great for helping with social stories. We have the clown and his hair grows so you can cut it. You can make pies to balance in his hands. This really helped my daughter conquer her fear of having her hair trimmed and she found it fun. Play-Doh is really good to learn cutting skills, rolling, shaping and great at improving the hand muscles which in turn help fine motor skills. It’s also amazing for letting imagination run wild. We have made Play-Doh cakes, animals, flower garden, faces….. you can make anything you want. It is also fairly easy to clean up afterwards and put away for another day.

Decorating Gingerbread

Another fairly cheap activity and even more fun if you make and bake the gingerbread yourself. Of course they don’t have to be shaped like a person. On the few times we baked in the past we have made gingerbread flowers, houses, stars, trees (apart from summer, this is also a fab winter activity. At Christmas get the kids to decorate festive shaped gingerbread and pop in a jar or tub, add a bow and you have a lovely home made gift for someone). Any shape you wish really, the kids love decorating them. We use a variety of things to decorate – icing in different colours, smarties, jelly beans, hundreds & thousands. Can help coordination, fine motor skills and encourage choice as well as the added bonus of testing touch, taste, smell. It is a great activity for creativity and imagination and of course quite a tasty one!

Kinetic Sand

Prices have come down recently for this so once you have your basic quantities it is quite a good deal money wise. Many packs come with a box to store the sand in a few moulds, rollers, mini spades. We purchased a couple of inflatable trays to use the sand in (as in photo below) and this helps keep the sand in one area and keeps it easy to tidy (and if you have more than one child, stops the fighting if they have a tray each). It’s a good sensory activity and leads to much creativity and imaginative ideas. It is available in a variety of colours and is a perfect activity for indoors if you find yourselves stuck indoors on a rainy day.

Painting 

Most kids enjoy making a mess!! Paints are quite cheap to buy, as are a few brushes and rollers, sponges, rags. You can even paint with hands, fingers, feet! Paper is the cheapest choice but you can pick up some lovely blank canvas in the sales which make beautiful gifts for friends and family once decorated by your children. We have recently painted wooden bird houses, money boxes, little wooden treasure boxes, canvas, paper masks, balloons, plain white tiles, pasta (uncooked, in case you wondered 🙂 and you can then thread them on string and make pretty jewellery). Just be aware that if you have a stimmer like Eliza, a lot of other stuff gets painted when the ‘flappy when happy’ arms start – hair, tables, floors, cats, noses…… You really can paint anything you like and it can lead to a lot of messy fun. Throw in some glitters, stickers….. whatever your imagination fancies.

Bubbles

Probably the cheapest activity and can be used in so many ways. You have your normal tub of bubbles and a small wand that the child blows through. Simple and fun. Also highly effective for super anxious and upset children/adults to do as it encourages steady breathing in and out. Calming themselves and they don’t even know it. It’s a sneaky weapon I use when Eliza is anxious, I send her outside with bubbles. She thinks she is going to blow fun bubbles, a distraction as such and she has no idea that what she is doing is quite soothing and calming. Don’t forget you can get large bubble wands that can be waved in the air (perfect for the child or adult that can’t control breathing yet or needs a sturdier, larger wand), bubble guns of all shapes and sizes.

Thanks for reading. If you try any that you never did before then I hope you all really enjoy the activities. You can follow Eliza’s journey over at….

https://www.facebook.com/BloomingAutism/

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Author: Julie Clarke

Mum to 2 children - Eliza diagnosed ASD at age 3. Younger Sibling, Noah. I run a Facebook page called 'Living with Blooming Autism'.

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