17 Attention Builders for Attention Autism at Home

attention autism attention builders
Attention Builders for Attention Autism

Attention Autism is a brilliant method for working on attention. In this post I am looking at attention builders that are used for stage 2. There are lots of great attention builder ideas out there especially on Pinterest. However I wanted to focus on the activities that are easy to do at home, with items that you tend to have around the house.

If you don’t do Attention Autism these are still great activities to do with kids to improve attention skills. The activities are good to support speech and language development too.

During the current Covid-19 lockdown I have been doing one each weekday morning with the boys to start off our ‘working’ time. Using my printable I have 23 so enough for a month.

When doing the activity the key is to make it exciting to help catch attention. Below are some of my favourites which work really well in our house.

Attention Autism Attention Builders

1. Flour Castles

flour castles

This one is really easy and my boys love it. You just need flour and a small container like plastic shot glasses.

Fill the shot glass or container with flour, turn over and tap before lifting up the container to reveal your flour castle.

You can then splat the castles and give your child a turn to do this. Splatting the flour castle is my boy’s favourite bit.

2. Paint Balls

You need a container or tray, some paint and rubber balls or marbles. Dip the balls into paint, then drop into the container and roll around to make a pattern. You could also put paper in the bottom of the container if you want to keep your pattern.

3. Salt Shaker

Attention Builders for Attention Autism

You need salt, paper (black or dark paper is best) and a plastic cup.

Make small holes in the base of the plastic cup, this can be done using the end of a corkscrew. Then start shaking the salt from height over the paper.

If you want to make more of a shape with the salt, then just make one small hole in the base of the cup, this will give you more control.

4. Flower Pot Rocket

This one is great fun. You will need a couple of small plastic flower pots and some foam soap or shaving foam. Use masking tape to cover the holes in one of the flower pots.

Spray the foam on top of the taped up base (see below).

Then place another flower pot on top quickly. This will make the foam spurt out of the holes to create your rocket. There is a video of this one in my post on Attention Autism.

Attention Builders for Attention Autism

5. Fizz Balloon

This one can be a little tricky but it’s great when it works. You need a plastic bottle, funnel, balloon, baking soda and vinegar.

Place vinegar into the empty plastic bottle. Use the funnel to fill the balloon with baking soda. Carefully place the balloon over the rim of the plastic bottle making sure you don’t release the baking soda. When ready tip the balloon so the baking soda falls into the vinegar, this will then inflate the balloon.

6. Flour Shapes & Shakers

Flour can be used to fill any shapes like the flour castles above.

Another way to use flour is to cut out shapes in paper or card and shake over flour. Then lift the card / paper to reveal your shape.

You can also use a sieve to shake the flour.

7. Treacle Dripping

You will need black treacle, cling film or paper and cutlery. Put down the cling film or paper then use the cutlery to drip the treacle from height. You can use other thick liquids like ice cream sauce.

8. Ice Cream Splat

You will need some shaving foam or soap foam, ice cream cones and an optional extra is some food colouring or sprinkles.

Fill the cone with the foam, add any toppings then splat your ice cream.

9. Lava Lamp

Attention Builders for Attention Autism

This one is great for sensory lovers. You will need an empty plastic bottle, oil, water, food colouring and an effervescent tablet such as fizzy vitamin C or alka seltzer.

Fill the plastic bottle almost to the top with oil, then add a little water. Next add the food colouring. Then drop in your effervescent tablet and put the cap on the bottle. Then enjoy the bubbles in your very own lava lamp.

10. Skittles

Attention Builders for Attention Autism

This one is really effective. All you need is a packet of skittles, some warm water and a plate.

Create a circle of skittles around the edge of the plate.

Then add a little warm water to the plate and watch the colour run.

It makes a fantastic rainbow and you cant keep your eyes off it!

Attention Builders for Attention Autism

11. Tea Sprinkle

For this one you need some teabags preferable herbal tea with strong smells. Snip the edge of the tea bag and sprinkle from a height. Then spread the tea out with your hands as this will release more of the smells.

12. Volcano

All you need is vinegar and baking soda. You can use any sort of container and if you want to you can add food colouring or glitter.

All you need to do is combine the vinegar and baking soda and watch it fizz up like a volcano.

13. Rainbow Sponge

For this one you need a sponge, some paint and a piece of paper. Put thin lines of different coloured paint next to each other on the sponge (see below). Then brush the sponge across the paper creating your rainbow.

14. Bubble Snake

This is another favourite of mine. You need an empty plastic bottle cut in half, a sock and some bubble mixture (you can use fairy liquid and water).

Place the sock over the top half of the plastic bottle (see below). Dip the sock in the bubble mixture, then blow into the bottle and you will have a bubble snake.

15. Painting with Cars

You will need a toy car and some paint. I also like to do it on foil for the sensory aspect but paper works fine too. Just put a little paint on the foil or paper and drive your car through it creating tracks as you go.

16. Glue & Glitter

You need some pva glue, glitter and paper (black or dark paper works best). Drop the glue onto the paper from a height to create a shape, this spider web works great. Then add glitter.

17. Milk drops swirls

You might want to practice this one. Fill a shallow container with whole milk. Drop in some food colouring, then add 5 drops of washing up liquid to the colouring quickly and watch the swirls.

Print and get more ideas – Building Attention Printable

Want to save some time and have 23 fun activities in an easy to print and use format? My printable includes the 17 activities above with another 6 alongside tips on getting attention.

This Building Attention eBook is designed to be printed with one activity per page so easy to use as you work through the activities.

Designed to support young children that struggle with attention and communication.  Each activity can be completed quickly using household items.


More information on the printable Building Attention eBook.

You may also be interested in my online course ‘ Communicating with your non-speaking child‘.

Other products that may be helpful –

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Attention bucket fillers

Bucket Fillers

You my also be interested in my post on Attention Autism bucket fillers. Share your favourite attention builders in the comments, especially ones that are easy to do at home.

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    • admin
      25th July 2019 / 2:59 pm

      Hope you enjoy them as much as we have

  1. 28th July 2019 / 9:16 pm

    These are amazing! My daughter has recently had dual diagnosis of Autism along with her Down’s syndrome and I’ve been looking for ideas like this. Some of these will be right up her street – especially the bubble snake. But I see I might need to invest in a large blue tray first!

    • admin
      28th July 2019 / 9:24 pm

      The bubble snake is always a good one, works really well every time. You can use a plastic sheet or in this weather just do it in the garden. As much as I love my huge cement tray it does take up most of my cupboard space when not in use!

  2. 8th August 2019 / 8:44 am

    I must look at your attention autism post too as it sounds good. I still can’t believe you have so many good ideas – I’ve done a few of these but still a way to go! Thanks for linking it to #spectrumsunday!

  3. Anonymous
    5th January 2020 / 1:23 pm

    Wow these look amazing
    I will be trying these with my class

    • admin
      5th January 2020 / 3:36 pm

      Glad you like them, let me know how you get on. I hope your class enjoy them xx

  4. Mike Atkinson
    13th August 2020 / 8:43 am

    These are all great, thanks for sharing all your ideas. I’m going to try a few with my new class this year.

    • admin
      13th August 2020 / 9:24 am

      Your welcome I hope they work well with your class.

  5. Selina J Martin
    27th January 2022 / 5:56 pm

    Thank you so so much! This is a blessing for me and the family I nanny for!!

    • admin
      27th January 2022 / 8:12 pm

      You are very welcome I am glad it is useful for you and hope you have fun with the activities.

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