Sensory Activities for Autism

Individuals on the autism spectrum have a wide variety of sensory needs. By creating a compact and portable sensory board, people can use this craft when they begin to become overwhelmed. This board should have items the individual enjoys touching and this will mean something different for everyone. This activity will help provide a coping mechanism as well as provide an opportunity to talk about becoming overwhelmed or dis-regulated.



  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Markers or crayons to draw on cardboard
  • Different small textured items such as;
    • Cloth scraps
    • Buttons
    • Textured stickers
    • Twigs
    • String or yarn

sensory activities for autism

Prep work

Cut a small piece of cardboard for each person.

Put materials in an easy to access location.



  1. Start with separating items into a pile of things that feel relaxing or calming.
  2. Arrange items on the cardboard.
  3. Glue down the items around the cardboard.
  4. Color to decorate the remaining space of the cardboard.



When gluing items to the cardboard, some things may get flattened. A way to avoid this problem is to use a shoebox and glue items inside.

Feel free to help write someone’s name on the cardboard to prevent it from being lost.


Questions to ask during activity

-How does your body react when you are calm? Does your breathing change?
-What things do you like to touch when you are upset?
-What things do you not like to touch when you are upset?
-How can you use this board to calm yourself?
-Where do you think this should be glued?

You can download this activity here: Sensory Board

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