Birthdays are when you celebrate and reflect on all the love and fun moments you’ve had with your child. In honor of their birthday, you should celebrate them by throwing them the ultimate birthday party. However, birthday parties can be overwhelming for children with Autism, potentially triggering sensory overloads and meltdowns.
It’s important for the adults planning and attending the birthday party to know the dos and don’ts of interacting with children with Autism. Understanding their needs can help you figure out how to plan a party that children with sensory sensitivity will enjoy.
Here are a few sensory-friendly birthday party ideas:
Home Movie Theater Party
Instead of heading to a movie theater, you can invite a couple of your child’s closest friends to enjoy a “movie theater” party at home. You can get creative by creating pretend movie tickets and decorating your home with a popcorn machine, candy, and individual seating. You should place a fidget toy and blanket in each seat for each child to have their personal space to lounge and a fidget to play with.
Arts & Crafts Birthday Party
If your child loves arts and crafts, you should invite a few of their friends to have an afternoon full of painting, drawing, and storytelling. In a quiet and spacious area, set up different arts and crafts zones where they can create birthday-themed crafts. You can host fun, sensory-friendly birthday party activities like finger painting, modeling compound sculptures, or sand art.
Field Games Birthday Party
Take advantage of the warm weather and plan a field game birthday party! You can include games like scavenger hunts, ring toss, and water activities. By having an outdoor birthday party, you will allow the kids to run around. This party is a fantastic opportunity for your child to practice their social and behavioral skills!
Tips for Having a Sensory-Friendly Birthday Party
Small things can affect how your child experiences the party. Consider these additional tips for throwing a sensory-friendly birthday party to avoid overwhelming the child and his/her guests.
- Choose your birthday party theme wisely
- Allow your child to help plan the party
- Avoid loud party favors
- Create different activity zones
- Keep the guest list small
- Offer calming birthday party activities
- Serve finger foods