10 Exercises for Kids with Autism to Do at HomeSep 19, 2023
A neurological disease known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is marked by
particular difficulties in social interaction, communication, and behavior.
Children with autism benefit greatly from physical activity, which has several
advantages for their physical, mental, and emotional growth.
In this post, we'll look at 10 exercises that may be completed at home and are
specifically designed for children with autism. These workouts are intended to
support the development of motor skills, sensory integration, and general fitness.
It's crucial to have a basic understanding of autism before beginning the tasks. As
a spectrum disorder, autism has a variety of effects on people. Communication
difficulties, repetitive activities, and sensory sensitivity are frequent
characteristics. Structured routines and activities that are tailored to the special
requirements of autistic children are frequently beneficial to them.
The Benefits of Exercise
Exercise offers a multitude of benefits for children with autism:
Sensory Processing: Physical activity can help children with autism better
regulate their sensory experiences, leading to improved focus and comfort.
Motor Skills Development: Exercise encourages the growth of both gross and
fine motor skills, improving coordination and body awareness.
Emotional Well-being: Regular physical activity can reduce anxiety and
stress, helping children with autism manage their emotions more effectively.
Social Interaction: Many of the exercises encourage social interaction and
cooperation, fostering essential social skills.
Before starting any exercise program with a child with autism, safety is paramount. Some safety precautions to consider:
Supervision: Always supervise the child during exercise to ensure their safety.
Appropriate Equipment: Use suitable and safe equipment for the exercises.
Adaptations: Modify exercises as needed to accommodate the child's abilities
and comfort level.
Consultation: Consult with a healthcare professional or therapist to
ensure the chosen exercises are suitable for the child's specific needs.
Types of Exercises
Let's explore various types of exercises that are beneficial for kids with autism:
Jumping Jacks (Gross Motor Skills)
● Instruct the child to stand with their feet close together.
● Jump while spreading arms and legs apart.
● Return to the starting position by jumping back with arms and legs
● Repeat for a set duration to get the heart rate up and enhance gross motor
Balloon Volleyball (Hand-Eye Coordination)
● Inflate a balloon and set up a low net or imaginary line.
● Use a soft object like a pillow to bat the balloon back and forth over the net.
● This game promotes hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills
Obstacle Course (Motor Planning)
● Create a simple obstacle course using pillows, cushions, and household
● Have the child crawl under, jump over, and navigate through the obstacles.
● This activity enhances motor planning, coordination, and body awareness.
Sensory Bin Play (Sensory Exploration)
● Fill a large container with sensory materials like rice, beans, or sand.
● Hide small toys or objects within the sensory bin.
● Encourage the child to dig, scoop, and search for hidden items, promoting
sensory exploration and fine motor skills.
Yoga for Kids (Body Awareness)
● Utilize kid-friendly yoga videos or guides to introduce basic yoga poses and
● Yoga helps children with autism develop body awareness, balance, and
Dance Party (Coordination and Self-Expression)
● Play some music, and get up and dance! Dancing is an enjoyable way to
improve coordination and encourage self-expression.
Animal Walks (Motor Planning and Body Awareness)
● Imitate the actions of various animals to pretend to be them.
● For example, crab walking, bear crawling, or frog jumping.
● This activity enhances motor planning and body awareness.
Stretching Exercises (Flexibility and Body Awareness)
● Teach the child basic stretching exercises like reaching for the sky,
touching toes, or reaching across the body to stretch the sides.
● Stretching promotes flexibility and body awareness.
Scooter Board Fun (Balance and Motor Skills)
● If you have a scooter board, encourage the child to use it to move around
the house or a designated area.
● This activity enhances balance and motor skills.
Bike Riding (Balance and Coordination)
If you have a bicycle and a safe area to ride, take the child for a bike ride. -
Cycling is an excellent way to improve balance and coordination.
Creating a structured exercise routine or schedule is essential for consistency and
predictability, which can be comforting for children with autism. Establish a
routine that incorporates a variety of these exercises to keep it engaging and
Visual supports, such as visual schedules or picture cards, can be incredibly
effective in helping children with autism understand and follow exercise routines.
Use visual aids to outline the exercises and their sequence, providing a clear
Tailor exercises to the child's interests whenever possible. For instance, if a child
loves animals, incorporate animal-themed exercises like lion roars or bunny
hops to make the activities more enjoyable and engaging.
Examples of Exercises
Here are a few examples of how to incorporate these exercises into a routine:
● Morning Routine (10 minutes): Start the day with a few minutes of
stretching and a short yoga session to promote a sense of calm and focus.
● Afternoon Playtime (20 minutes): Create an obstacle course using cushions
and pillows, followed by a sensory bin play session.
● Evening Fun (15 minutes): End the day with a dance party, encouraging the
children to express themselves through movement.
Benefits of Parental Involvement
Parents or caregivers play a vital role in ensuring the success of these exercises.
Your involvement creates a positive and encouraging environment for the child.
Join in the activities, offer praise and support, and make exercise a bonding
Tracking the child's progress is essential. Celebrate small achievements, whether
it's completing a new exercise or showing improvement in coordination. Positive
reinforcement can go a long way in motivating the child to continue with their
To find guidance and ideas for home-based exercises for kids with autism,
consider exploring online resources, apps, or videos specifically designed for
children with autism. These resources can provide additional exercises and
In conclusion, physical activity is a valuable tool for promoting the well-being of
children with autism. These 10 exercises, tailored to their unique needs, offer a
range of benefits, from improved motor skills to enhanced sensory processing
and emotional well-being. By incorporating these exercises into a structured
routine and offering support and encouragement, parents and caregivers can help
children with autism thrive in a fun and engaging way.