What To Do To Create Holiday Fun With A Small Budget For Autistic Children

What To Do To Create Holiday Fun With A Small Budget For Autistic Children

Most families look forward to holidays to relax, have fun and take a break from routines.

However, for parents with autistic children, changing routines, going to new places, and trying new activities during holidays might seem too much to handle.

How, then, can you have holiday fun, especially if you're on a budget?

Here are five tips you need to create holiday fun with a small budget for autistic children.

Autistic children enjoy playing with sensory toys.

Sensory toys and games are soothing for autistic children and also improve attention span, reduce anxiety and create a fun experience.

Moreover, sensory toys can be low-cost, easily accessible items like coins, paper, towels, etc.

Also, you can bake holiday treats with your autistic children for fun!

Teach them the recipe and support your autistic children while they bake various treats of their choice.

Baking is a fun way to spend time with your autistic children, learn about their preferences and create a core holiday memory for them.

Similarly, adding family movie nights to the schedule is a fantastic and inexpensive way to create holiday fun for the whole family.

There are various holiday-themed movies children can watch, share giggles and enjoy.

Consider this overview to know how you can create holiday fun with a small budget for autistic children:

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Sara Robbins, LCSW

Sara Robbins, LCSW

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Marie Whatley LPCC

Marie Whatley LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Joel Harms, MA, LPC

Joel Harms, MA, LPC

(720) 449-4121
Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

(719) 602-1342
Melissa Johnston, LPC

Melissa Johnston, LPC

(720) 449-4121
Janelle Wagenknecht, MA, LPCC, ADDC

Janelle Wagenknecht, MA, LPCC, ADDC

(720) 710-0919

Create Fun Sensory Activities 

An excellent way to create holiday fun with a small budget for autistic children is to create fun sensory activities.

Most times, autistic children find certain sensory information overwhelming.

A loud noise or shriek at a holiday party can be extremely uncomfortable and distressing for autistic children.

So, to play it safe and also ensure everyone has fun, look into sensory play activities suitable for your autistic children.

Footprint and finger painting is a great sensory play activity for kids.

Although this game can get a little messy, it's a good way for your autistic children to have fun together and express themselves.

Let them choose their favorite colors to play with, and you can also volunteer for hand painting if you want to be included in the fun.

Also, homemade slime is a great play tool for autistic children who find certain textures like slime soothing.

To make your homemade slime, mix some cornflour and water together in a bowl till you get the perfect slime consistency.

For a more pleasant sensory experience, add some glitters and mix fun colors in your homemade slime.

For an outdoor fun experience during the holidays, mud kitchens are a great sensory play choice.

The mud kitchen is an area where children can play, create things and improvise using mud, bowls, water, and kitchen utensils.

Children can either decide to pretend to cook a dish out of mud or have fun creating different mud objects.

Engage in Sports

Engaging in sports activities is a great way to create holiday fun with a small budget for autistic children.

While some sports can be challenging for autistic children to handle, there are diverse other options that don't require coordination skills, cooperation, or high-level communication and would be a perfect match for your children.

Swimming is a great team sport for many children, including autistic ones.

Most autistic kids enjoy playing with water and splashing around a pool.

They can also practice several swimming styles and even participate in individual swimming competitions.

Another terrific sport option for autistic children is hiking and fishing.

For many children with autism, the quietness and peace nature provides can help to relieve stress.

Hiking is a great way to have a quiet time, enjoy nature, exercise, and have fun.

Also, you can invest in bikes for the holidays.

Cycling is a great sport children can enjoy individually or as a team.

The motion of the bike, the soft blowing breeze, and the quietness can also be particularly soothing for autistic children. 

Bake Together 

Baking is a great way to bond and create holiday fun with a small budget for autistic children.

It also provides a great opportunity to introduce your autistic children to new foods and textures they might enjoy.

For autistic children, the baking preparation stage is where the fun begins.

During your preparation, you can make a colorful visual aid explaining all the ingredients you will use and the various steps involved in baking.

You can have fun teaching them to stir, beat, mix, pipe, and whisk the batter.

Also, you can make cookies in batches and introduce new flavors and food items to them.

Add candy buttons, sprinkles, white chocolate, peppermint candies, cherries, and other items to different batches of your cookie dough.

You can also enjoy mixing food coloring with your autistic children to make your platter beautiful.

After baking, have them pick their favorite and explain the reason for their choice.

This helps you understand the textures or tastes they are sensitive to and comfortable with.

The best part of baking with your autistic children is that you get to spend quality time with them, learn more about them and have fun together.

Plan Holiday Movie Nights

A super fun activity you can do to create holiday fun with a small budget for autistic children is to include holiday movie nights in your schedule.

There are several holiday-themed movies you can grab a bowl of popcorn to and watch with your autistic children.

To create a fun holiday atmosphere in your home, you can get matching holiday PJs.

Wearing matching clothes for movie nights improves the experience for children and serves as a core memory they will remember on many holidays to come.

Also, you can get a sensory kit filled with lots of fun sensory toys for your autistic children.

Sometimes, children with autism may find it difficult to sit in a place or focus on an activity for so long; however, with the right sensory tools around, their attention span will increase, and they can enjoy the moment with the rest of the family.

When choosing the perfect movie for your movie nights, you can consider your autistic children's interests. '

Many children with autism have special interests and may prefer certain movie genres.

Whether your autistic child likes to talk about trains, superheroes, or music, you can be assured there are several movies that will address their interests and keep them hooked.

Visit Free or Low-Cost Attractions 

You can explore low-cost attractions around your community where you can create holiday fun with a small budget for autistic children.

Many attractions offer discounted or free admission days that you can take advantage of during the holidays.

Also, you can get a family pass to your autistic children's favorite place.

You can spend time at attractions like theme parks, zoos, or museums and have fun with the family.

In addition, the holiday period sometimes coincidence with special events like outdoor music concerts, festivals, and plays.

You can visit these special events with your autistic children to celebrate and have fun without breaking the bank.


Holidays provide a wonderful opportunity for families to have fun and break free from routines.

However, for families with autistic children, it can be a stressful, expensive, and hectic period for all involved.

The good news is there are effective ways to create holiday fun with a small budget for autistic children.

You can support your autistic children and save the holidays by creating fun sensory activities, baking, engaging in sports, having holiday movie nights, and visiting low-cost attractions around your home. 


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May 18th, 2024

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