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Creating an Autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day: 9 Fun Sensory Activities

Creating an Autism-friendly St. Patrick's DayAutism-Friendly St. Patrick’s Day: 9 Fun Sensory Activities

How do I make St. Patrick’s Day memorable for kids with autism?

Autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day: In Florida, along with numerous other parts of the United States, St. Patrick’s Day is a vibrant celebration marked by parades, parties, music, dancing, and green decorations that symbolize the holiday. Parades in cities like Tampa and Orlando provide families the chance to admire decorated floats, delight in marching bands, and observe people adorned in green attire and Irish themes. While this holiday can be delightful, it’s crucial to remember that individuals with sensory sensitivities and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) might find it overwhelming. Nevertheless, it’s essential to understand that ASD should not hinder the enthusiastic appreciation of the rich Irish cultural heritage and traditions linked with this holiday.

So, how do I make St. Patrick’s Day memorable for kids with autism? By adapting activities, parents and caregivers can create an autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day experience for children with autism. In this blog post by ABA Centers of Florida, we’ll delve into nine entertaining at-home activities for your neurodiverse kiddos to enjoy around St. Patrick’s Day.

Benefits of Autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Kids

Parents of children with autism are often on a relentless pursuit of options to enhance their child’s quality of life. From scientific strategies like ABA therapy to creative approaches such as art therapy, the key benefits these techniques offer to individuals on the autism spectrum are to bolster communication skills, facilitate emotional exploration, promote learning, and provide enriching sensory experiences.

When it comes to festivities, many parents look for ways to adjust activities to cater to their children’s specific needs, allowing them to enjoy traditions without jeopardizing their comfort and well-being. Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with children with autism is no exception to this endeavor for adaptation and understanding.

Outlined below are nine St. Patrick’s Day activities for Autism. These activities promise not only fun but are also crafted to deliver tangible benefits. They encourage learning, sensory, and exploration and reinforce the bond between parent and child through shared quality time.

St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Autism


  1. St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt – Celebrating an autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day can be an exciting experience for all children, and what better way to do it than with a themed scavenger hunt? With the holiday just around the corner, many little ones can be full of excitement talking about leprechauns, leprechaun traps, and treasure hunts, making this activity the perfect choice.

    To organize your own St. Patrick’s Day scavenger hunt, you can find inspiration on Pinterest for fun and creative clues. Print the clues on cardstock for durability and the ability to reuse them for future celebrations. While the kids are at school or asleep, hide the clues in strategic places, guiding you through them to discover the hiding spots.

    At the end of the game, prepare small prizes, such as chocolate gold coins, treats, or toys, to add an extra touch of excitement. This activity not only encourages fun but also helps develop memory, understand cause and effect, expand vocabulary, promote independence, and strengthen social skills by playing with other children.

  2. Patrick’s Day Coloring Books –Coloring books are an outstanding activity for children of all ages with a flair for artistic expression. St. Patrick’s Day coloring books provide a dynamic avenue to explore and learn about the unique elements that define this celebration. Beyond being fun, these books can enhance memory, promote mindfulness, facilitate color exploration, stimulate visual senses, and assist in learning new vocabulary.

  3. Read a St. Patrick’s Book – For some children with autism, it can be challenging to understand the meaning behind holidays like St. Patrick’s Day. A great way to approach this topic is through reading an autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day, which you can explore at TPT’s website. Immersing yourself in a themed book can not only help your child better understand the celebration, but it can also improve their memory and expand their vocabulary. It’s a compelling and entertaining way to engage them in the tradition and culture behind the holiday.

  4. Decorating a Rainbow – This autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day activity extraordinarily sparks the imagination! Start by drawing or printing a giant rainbow on paper. Then, prepare a box with a variety of art supplies such as pom poms, stickers, crayons, paints, glitter, sequins, cotton, gems, and more. Be sure to include all the colors of the rainbow in the materials available.

    Let your child freely choose how they want to decorate the rainbow; this activity is perfect for the whole family. Afterwards, they can display their masterpieces. Decorating a rainbow with a wide range of creative implements not only fosters creativity but also develops fine motor skills, promotes grip control, and activates visual and tactile senses. It also stimulates the imagination, offering a fun experience for everyone.

  5. Baking Shamrock Cookies – St. Patrick’s Day with children with autism can be even more rewarding if you incorporate a tasty and creative activity. One enjoyable option is baking and decorating cookies. For this activity, you need to purchase the essential ingredients at the grocery store: sugar cookie dough, a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter, green icing, and various decorative toppings.

    Place the toppings in small containers in front of your children, which will allow them to practice fine motor skills, make decisions, and stay focused during the decorating process. This autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day activity is not only entertaining but also encourages active participation and communication.

  6. Water Sensory Cube – The arrival of spring is perfect for enjoying outdoor activities that involve water. A fun and sensory option for this season is to create a themed water bucket. Fill a large bucket with water and add green food coloring drops to make it more festive. Then, add some gold coins and St. Patrick’s Day-related decorations.

    For this activity, you will want to provide your child with several containers and spoons and explain that their goal is to find all the objects submerged in the water. This autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day activity not only promotes motor development but also helps them understand concepts such as liquids, density, and volume. Plus, it’s a fun way to spend time outdoors, taking advantage of the sunshine and warm spring weather.

  7. Hidden Treasures in Foam Dough – This activity, similar to the previous one but without including water, is perfect for those children who do not enjoy contact with this element. To create an autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day environment, you’ll need classic foam dough and a variety of loose materials alluding to the holiday. You can include toy gold coins, shamrocks, gems, green bead necklaces, leprechaun figurines, and rainbow-shaped magic wands. Insert all these items into the foam play dough and allow your child to explore the different materials, discovering hidden shapes and textures while encouraging them to describe the sensations and shapes they find. This sensory play not only helps children with autism develop a broader sensory vocabulary but also strengthens their fine motor skills and encourages creative exploration.

  8. Shamrock Stamping Art – Art activities offer unique versatility, as you can find items to incorporate into them, even at the grocery store. Did you know that green peppers can become a perfect tool for creating St. Patrick’s Day-themed art? Next time you go shopping, be sure to include some green peppers on your list.

    Sliced green peppers are shaped like shamrocks, making them the ideal ingredient for a unique autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day art activity. To stamp shamrocks on a sheet of paper, choose green peppers that have three or four curved lobes on the sides. Next, cut the bell pepper in half and remove the loose seeds.

    Next, place some green paint in a container and encourage your child to dip the flat edge of the bell pepper into the paint and stamp it on the paper. Once your children have stamped the clovers, they can add more paint and glitter or use a marker to draw the stem of the clover.

    In addition to being a fun and creative activity for children with autism on St. Patrick’s Day, this activity is also great for encouraging the development of grip and concentration, as well as stimulating your children’s imagination and creativity.

  9. Build a Leprechaun Trap – An exciting activity for an autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day is to build a leprechaun trap. To get started, gather a small box, toothpicks, glue, green paper or construction paper, green glitter, and other decorative materials.

    Invite your child to decorate the box with you, using glue to add glitter and embellishments, which will make the trap more attractive to the goblins. Then, cut the toothpicks into pieces and glue them to the inside edge of the box so they stick out slightly. Place the small toys inside to attract the goblins, and then place the trap in a strategic location where you think the goblins might be.

    This playful and creative activity is perfect for encouraging your child’s imagination and creativity, as well as spending quality time together on a fun project. Plus, it can help develop communication and problem-solving skills in a fun and stimulating way.

ABA Centers of Florida and Autism Support

At ABA Centers of Florida, our mission is clear: improve the lives of people with autism. With this activity guide to create an autism-friendly St. Patrick’s Day, we want to highlight that, with a few modifications and a lot of love, neurodiverse families can fully enjoy all traditions.

If you are interested in improving the essential skills of your child with autism, please call us at (772) 773-1975 or contact us through our website. We offer in-home ABA therapy and autism spectrum diagnosis services to individuals in various cities across Florida, such as Doral, Jensen Beach, Boca Raton, Kissimmee, and more. We are here to provide you with the support and the personalized attention you need.

Discover how our autism treatment services can help you.

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