Child playing in splash pad

30 Sensory-Friendly Summer Bucket List Activities for Neurodiverse Kids

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Summers can be a great time to make family memories, but keeping neurodiverse children entertained and engaged can be a bit challenging. Our daughter Elizabeth has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), so finding activities to keep her engaged and busy is a priority for us over the summer months. As a result, I like to find a balance between simply fun activities and activities with an educational component. I’ve put together some of our favorite sensory-friendly summer bucket list ideas to help keep summers fun for everyone!

30 Sensory-Friendly Summer Bucket List Activities for Neurodiverse Kids

Whether you plan to visit places or stay at home, this list gives you many fun, sensory-friendly ideas to beat summer boredom, and you don’t need to break the bank either!

Sensory Seeking Water Fun Ideas:

  • Run through the sprinklers
  • Take Swim lessons
  • Visit a local splash pad (early morning hours to avoid crowds)
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Fill a kiddie pool with water and add ice cubes and large ice blocks to pretend it is the Arctic Ocean
  • Use glow sticks in a swimming pool at night
  • Water plants with the hose
  • Play with a water table and fill it with your favorite toys
  • Go fishing
  • Go tubing or canoeing
Playing with a water table

Sensory-Friendly Places To Go:

  • Visit the local zoo
  • Go to a children’s museum
  • Walk to the library
  • Go berry picking
  • Road trip to visit a relative
  • Go to the farmer’s market
  • Visit a lake or beach
  • Hike a nature trail
  • Tour new playgrounds
  • Ride a kid’s train
Watching a lion at the zoo

Sensory-Friendly At Home Fun:

  • Make an indoor obstacle course with all your OT equipment
  • Paint rocks together and hide them in the neighborhood
  • Play with bubbles
  • Make a banana split together
  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood
  • Family game night
  • Play with kinetic sand or playdoh
  • Make sensory playboxes
  • Plant seeds or flowers
  • Fly a kite
Playing with playdough

Making Summer Memories

As we approach summer, it is important to slow down and enjoy the break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If some places listed do not have sensory-friendly days, it is important to advocate and ask businesses to make accommodations when possible. So, as you dive into this sensory-friendly summer bucket list, remember that you’re not just making memories but also fostering a culture of acceptance and inclusion too.

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