I love using water activities in my programs with children with autism because they are a fun and easy way to engage kids through sensory play. You these water activities to build communication, sensory, fine motor, reading, writing and interactive play skills. These water activities can be included as an option in your sensory break ideas.
In this post, I am including water activities you can do inside your home or in your autism classroom, as well as water activities you could do in a pool or at the beach if your child likes going in the water in this post.
Water Activities that Build Communication Skills
Tracing over chalk letters with a wet paintbrush from Pyjama School
This activity involves water, chalk, a chalkboard and lots of giggles! It is a great sensory activity and a wonderful way to work on communication skills, the alphabet, reading and writing.
Just write some letters in chalk on a chalkboard and guide your little one to trace over them using a paintbrush dipped in water! This activity is guaranteed to be more fun than traditional writing exercises!
Build Sensory Skills with these Water Activities for Kids with Autism
Beach sensory and small world play from Fantastic Fun & Learning
Seashells, water and mini fish all come together to make this activity really delightful for your child! On top of the really fun and exciting wwater play aspect of the activity, the shells make a beautiful noise when they clink together which adds another element of sensory fun to this activity.
Use these Water Activities to Build Pretend Play Skills with Autistic Learners
Car wash play from Things to Share and Remember
I love this idea! Get all of your child’s little plastic cars out and create a car wash activity. This activity combines the sensory pleasure of water play with a fun functional activity (actually cleaning the cars!).
Water Activities to Do at the Beach
If you are enjoying a day at the beach with your child or students, try these fun water activities.
- Toss a ball back and forth and work on saying “ball”, “fast” and “slow”.
- Create a treasure hunt by listing all of the items you are looking for in the water at the beach. Some ideas? Shells, crabs, stones, sand and more.
- If your child can swim, race in the water.
Water Activities to Do in a Pool
There are lots of fun water activities you can do in the pool too!
- Set up a water volleyball net and play.
- Toos colored rings into the water and race to swim to get them.
- Do water aerobics and have your child copy the exercises you are doing in the water!
- Bring your favorite pools toys in to play.
A Word About Water Safety and Kids with Autism
All children, and particularly children with autism, must be supervised in the water at all times.
More sensory play ideas
- 28 Autism Activities
- Free Printable Sensory Break Cards
- Sensory Communication Workbook
- Autism Activities Membership
Sensory Tools for Autistic Learners
What are your favorite fun water activities?
How do you use these water activities to build skills with children on the autism spectrum?
Pin for later!
Learn to create a Progress Nook for your child at home in 7 days
Receive 7 emails - 1 email each day - for FREE that will teach you exactly what to do, then receive emails once per week with fun learning activities for your child