Sensory-Friendly Christmas Gifts For Children With Autism

Enjoying A Socially-Distanced And Sensory-Friendly Holiday Season

This year has changed many plans for people all across the world, and sadly holiday festivities will be included. Below is a list of sensory-friendly holiday activities you and your family can all enjoy while staying safe and socially distanced

Go to see Christmas lights

This fun excursion can be entertaining for practically anyone. Talk to your child and family ahead of time to outline where you will be driving and what all you plan on doing. If you are choosing to go somewhere where you walk to see the lights, make sure your child is aware and understands what exactly will take place. This can help ease any anxious feelings should your child have curiosity about what you will be doing. If your child does not enjoy car rides or has a hard time tolerating the lights, you can still participate by playing festive holiday videos on YouTube and enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate from home. Below is a list of a few different socially distanced Christmas light experiences in Indiana:

  • Christmas at the Zoo – Indianapolis Zoo
  • Christmas Night of Lights – Indiana State Fair Grounds
  • Festival of Trees – Indiana Historical Society 
  • Winterlights – New Fields

Meet with a virtual Santa Claus

For many families, children will not be able to visit Santa in person this year. Although this experience of meeting Santa may look and feel a little different, there are many websites and businesses that are providing the experience online this year. Search online for what local virtual events are happening near you. You can also check out a few websites that provide personalized greetings from Santa found below:

  • Santa – The Experience
  • Macy’s Santaland
  • North Pole Meetings

Create your own at-home experience

There are many activities you can do from the comfort of your own home that will still provide you with fun and festive holiday memories. By doing activities from your own home, this gives you the opportunity to tailor the experience to your child’s liking and preferences. Sometimes the best memories can be spent at home with loved ones, so here are a few of our favorite festive activities your child can enjoy: *Prices may vary*

  • Build gingerbread houses
    • Your child can choose which gingerbread kit they want to use. 
  • Bake cookies using fun cookie cutters
    • Incorporate the holiday into baking buy purchasing Christmas cookie cutters and sprinkles. 
  • Pajama party with the family
    • This can be a fun time for any member of the family! You can let your child pick out a movie and matching pajamas for everyone. 
  • Old fashioned letter writing
    • Santa loves receiving letters and what better way to spend some family time together  than to write to Santa! You can help your child write their letter to Santa and Santa can even send one back! 
  • Ornament decorating
    • This is an activity even the parents enjoy doing! Let your child pick out what they would like to fill or decorate their plastic ornament with and you can choose your own. 

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