Adapting Organizational Activities for 2-3 Year Olds with Autism:

The key for this age group is to keep things fun, playful, and sensory-based. Here are some examples of adapting organizational activities:

1. Sorting Symphony:

  • Low skill: Use large, brightly colored bins labeled with pictures (e.g., teddy bear, ball) and encourage toddlers to match toys to the pictures as you sing a sorting song.
  • High skill: Introduce more nuanced categories (soft toys, hard toys) and provide smaller containers with descriptive labels.

2. Rainbow Rush:

  • Low skill: Scatter colorful scarves or pom-poms around the room. Place baskets in different color zones and guide your toddler in “collecting the rainbows” by putting each color in its matching basket.
  • High skill: Add a matching game element. Hide cards with corresponding colors and have your toddler match the pom-pom colors to the cards before putting them in the baskets.

3. Sensory Sorting Spree:

  • Low skill: Fill a box with different textures (feathers, cotton balls, sandpaper) and let your toddler explore them freely. Provide containers and encourage simple texture sorting while describing the sensations.
  • High skill: Blindfold your toddler and have them identify the textures by touch. Ask them to sort them into “soft” and “rough” containers or create texturescapes by sticking fabrics of different textures on cardboard squares.

4. Button Bonanza Bingo:

  • Low skill: Use large, colorful buttons and a simple bingo card with pictures of familiar objects. Draw buttons one at a time and let your toddler cover the matching picture on the card. Assist them if needed.
  • High skill: Create a bingo card with color or shape categories instead of pictures. Introduce counting by asking them to count the buttons before covering the squares.

5. Bath Time Bubbles:

  • Low skill: Fill the bathtub with bubbles and provide colorful soap cups or buckets. Encourage your toddler to scoop and pour the bubbles, creating a sensory and organizational play experience.
  • High skill: Introduce sorting by color. Give them two cups and ask them to scoop blue bubbles into one cup and yellow bubbles into the other. Add counting by encouraging them to count the bubbles they scoop.


  • Keep the activities short and engaging. Use positive reinforcement and celebrate their efforts.
  • Adapt the complexity and sensory input based on your toddler’s individual preferences and skills.
  • Make it fun! Singing, dancing, and using silly voices can add to the enjoyment and learning experience.
  • With a little creativity and flexibility, you can turn everyday activities into playful opportunities for organization and skill development for your 2-3 year old with autism.

  • Remember, these are just general examples, and the specific adaptations will vary depending on individual needs and abilities. Always prioritize building upon existing skills and interests to make the activities engaging and achievable. Celebrate progress and encourage independence while providing support when needed.

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