Children on the autism spectrum love toys just as much as any other kid. But because of their unique sensory needs and sensitivities choosing the right toys can be a little more complicated. When choosing toys for autistic children, it’s helpful to find ones intended to help develop their social or fine and gross motor skills. You may also want to look for specialty toys that are weighted or tactile pleasing and intended to provide a sense of comfort and security. Consider the needs and interests of each specific child when choosing their toys. Check out this list of toys suited for the needs of autistic children to help you get started.
Top Toys for Autistic Children
Ruff’s House Tactile Set is an adorable sensory exploration toy. Children can explore the different textures of the bones through touch. This set stands out among toys for autistic children, especially younger children, because it provides opportunities to work on vocabulary and communication skills. Ruff’s House and bones can also be used to teach taking turns and sharing, in order to work on social interaction. This appealing toy also aids in fine motor skill development.
2. Cozy Canoe
Cozy Canoe is a great toy for a child with unique sensory needs. The canoe is a standout among toys for autistic children because it provides deep pressure in order to help calm restlessness. The coziness is ideal for creating a calming space for coping with anxiety, aggressive feelings or difficulty sitting still. The canoe is also a fun toy! Kids can bounce around inside and pretend to be on the water. Or turn it over to make a play fort or tent. The durable material will hold up to quite a bit of rough play.
Chubuddy Chewable Robot Pendant is a great toy for children who find oral sensory stimulation to be soothing and helpful with concentration. This pendant is a fun robot design and can be purchased in multiple colors. This robot is made from non-toxic materials and is a pleasing texture. The pendant comes on a cord with a safety breakaway clasp. The robot pendant can be worn as an ordinary necklace when not needed for oral sensory stimulation.
Squigz are fun little suctioned poppers kids can stick together to create all sorts of things. Sticking Squigz together to create everything from animals to buildings to jewelry is good for hours of fun. You can also pull them apart for a satisfying popping sound. Squigz stick to walls, tables, desks, bathtubs and each other. Children can exercise their creativity and fine motor skills while they pop these together or stick them all over the house. Squigz encourage social and interactive play as they are fun to bring out for groups of kids to enjoy together.
Crocodile Hop Floor Game is a versatile game with options for playing alone or working on social and behavioral skills in a group play setting. Players can work on gross motor skills as well as shape and color recognition. This game provides a great opportunity for active play indoors. Kids can exercise their wiggles out while enjoying the game.
Teeter Popper is the perfect toy for children seeking movement and unique sensory input. They can sit, rock, stand, spin, and come up with their own moves on this imaginative toy. In addition to engaging the imagination, this toy improves strength, balance, and gross motor skills. The suction cups on the Teeter Popper create fun popping sounds when moved around. This durable toy is perfect for indoor physical activity and fun!
Transformer Sensory Sack provides deep pressure and resistance for children with autism who crave that sort of heavy work movement. Kids can enjoy the cozy comfort of the sack while reading and relaxing. They can also enjoy rolling, flopping and stretching inside when they crave resistance movement. The Transformer Sensory Sack can also be integrated into imaginative play.
Blunders is a board game for teaching social skills and manners. This game tops many lists of toys for autistic children because they can enjoy this silly and fun game while also learning and practicing their social skills. This game provides opportunities for acting out and practicing social behavior in a fun interactive setting. The entire family can join in and play the game.
Gears Gears Gears provides limitless opportunities for imaginative building and playing. There is no wrong way to put these moving parts together. Children can practice fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they put together the various moving parts. Color recognition and basic science concepts about cause and effect are also picked up while creating with these toys. If you know a child that likes to build, this is the perfect toy to let them get creative while putting things together.
Classic Pin Art Game teaches focus and creativity in a tactile and visually appealing game. If you’ve ever played with a pin art table or board, you know how entertaining these can be. Kids can get creative by pushing their hands or various objects into the pins and creating their own art. People of all ages can’t resist playing with these boards when you leave them out on the coffee table. It’s a relaxing sensory toy that is a lot of fun for kids and adults too.
11. Dino Soars
Dino Soars is a fun oral motor toy kids will love. Children can blow as hard as they want to make the Dino-Copter soar slow or fast. A fun and unique toy for exercising oral muscles. A great switch up from blowing bubbles. Dinosaurs are a long time favorite for kids and these copters will entertain both indoors and outdoors.
Have we missed anything on our list? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, diffus_.