myHana Library

Original and curated information about autism and related conditions

Fun With Dough Series – Nature Imprints

It’s always great to combine a fun and therapeutic activity with nature.

Getting outdoors is important for kids with and without autism. Sometimes, an open-ended time to go out and play can cause anxiety. Many kids with autism struggle with unstructured time. Planning an activity with targeted goals can increase participation and engagement. Here’s one of my favorites….

Skills worked on in this activity:

  • fine motor
  • hand strengthening
  • visual-perception
  • following instructions (executive function)
  • imagination/creativity
  • nature exploration
Flowers, Grass, Ferns, and Any Item in Nature Your Child Finds
Play Food Rolling Pin (Amazon link here.)


Go outside with your child. Observe the plants that grow in your area.
Pick an assortment of flowers, blades of grass and touch-safe plants.
Have your child roll a can of play-doh out with a play food rolling pin.
Invite your child to place the plants and flowers on the play-doh.
Encourage your child to use the rolling pin to flatten the plants into the play-doh.
Invite your child to carefully peel the plants and flowers from the play-doh.
Observe the faux fossils that have been pressed into the play-doh.
Make up a story about each ‘fossil’ to encourage creativity and imagination. Give prompts such as a big dinosaur stomped on the grass and then……..


Share your child’s stories and photos of fossils. We love hearing from you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *