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How do keep a pre schooler with autism entertained?

(12 Posts)
autumnsmum Mon 21-Oct-13 13:10:56

Hello everyone I'm asking for advice about dd2 .She is four and has autism and attends a ss.What I would like some advice about is how to keep her entertained out of school .She has a limited attention span and will play with the iPad and watch bits of DVDs .Out of the house the park always leads to meltdowns and dd dislikes soft play .Any suggestions would be welcome as half term is coming up

BBQshapes Mon 21-Oct-13 13:58:29

What are her sensory likes and dislikes? E.g. If she seeks movement then can you get a trampoline or swing at home? If she likes visual things can you give her toys that light-up/spin/move etc to play with? If she likes touching things could you make up a feely box of objects with different textures?
Also, water play and bubbles usually go down well. Musical toys are also usually a hit.

frizzcat Mon 21-Oct-13 14:06:39

What about turning her bedroom into a sensory room? Squiggy balls, stretchy things, soft things. If she likes music making up a cd of her favs. If she likes lights - those plastic fantastic light swords. Everything should be cheap pref from a £ shop. My ds used to like it when I made paper chains and stuck them to the ceiling so he could run through them.

Another friend of mine used to buy massive rolls of paper (sometimes wallpaper lining) She used masking tape to tape it to the floor (needs to be wood or tiles) - bought water based paint non toxic, old clothes and let her 2 ds loose!

How is she with swimming, my ds gets a lot from this

What about a mini-autumn choosy day - all day she decides, tv, outings, food the lot. This was good when ds was little, it took out all the anxiousness of conforming because he was highly motivated because he was choosing what we did iykwim. Had some fantastic days doing this - I remember one day of this and he wanted toast and honey. I'd run out of bread, so asked him what shop we should buy the bread at. He choose an M&S at a mainline station 20mins away. So we jumped on the train got our bread came back had honey and toast. I should say i couldn't do this now as I have dd and its not as easy - but it was fun

Pixel Mon 21-Oct-13 17:13:48

Ds had limited attention at that age in that he wouldn't for example sit and do colouring or let me read a book to him. However he did like repetitive toys like the ELC click clack track, and a penguin run thing my sister got him where the penquins went up a slide and down and round on a loop. Bead frames were good too, I think he found that sort of thing soothing as it was predictable and he had control over it.
Does your older child like blowing bubbles? That might be something they could play together for a little while and it can be quite energetic trying to pop the bubbles (though I've just noticed someone mentioned that already).

autumnsmum Mon 21-Oct-13 19:08:27

Thank you all so much for taking the trouble to reply I really appreciate it .love the sensory room idea and I could get dd1 who is 14 to do bubbles with her as she would fight with ds

osospecial Mon 21-Oct-13 19:25:52

I have a 4 yo dd with ASD, she is always seeking out movement, always on the go, like yours she also has a limited attention span and prefers the tv or iPad than playing with anything for long and even then she doesn't sit still, she hangs upside down or bounces etc while watching. She enjoys swimming and going for walks, collecting leaves as she goes, and her trampoline. If the weather is bad its hard to entertain her but she does like shape sorters and jigsaws. I sometimes buy some cheap jigsaws from eBay or something especially for holidays so she has a new one to do. Dd loves the car aswell so I try go out somewhere, to visit my parents or something. It is hard to find things to keep them entertained. I'm thinking of getting a marble run or the penguin run pixel mentioned sounds fun as my dd may like these but I still find it hard to tell sometimes what she will take to.

BBQshapes Mon 21-Oct-13 20:47:52

What about the ELC Click Clack Caterpillar ball run, or the Playskool Explore n Grow Busy Ball Popper? Hawkins Bazaar has some great, really cheap things like wind up toys, paper lazer, and little light-up toys.

MariaBoredOfLurking Mon 21-Oct-13 22:35:41

Sandpit in back yard. Buy gravel and/or bark chippings for similar-but-different sandpit. Puddle/wellies back yard. Trampoline. Big box to climb in

Even a back yard paddling pool is possible, with warm water in (rather like a hot tub at centreparcs grin)

MariaBoredOfLurking Mon 21-Oct-13 22:38:00


MariaBoredOfLurking Mon 21-Oct-13 22:39:51

frizz, I'd forgotten the pointless train trip fun grin
Still do the £ shop sensory room trick

frizzcat Mon 21-Oct-13 23:24:10

Maria ds is 9yrs old now and if offered he would still do this, the trains fascination never passed for him, although he does have other interests now but trains are still there.

I remember when he was 3yrs old boarding a train with a buggy with a huge penguin wedged into it, for a train journey a quick walk and back on the train home grin

Just as well I live facing a train station ...

Ineedmorepatience Tue 22-Oct-13 18:21:55

Do you have a toy library near you? Ours has lots of sensory toys and other stuff. Families can join for £15 per year and take 15 items at a time.

We used to do play areas really early in the morning or after tea when they are quiet. Dd3 loved the woods and streams where she could mooch around.

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