Kids love toys, probably because toys are fun and exciting. But, what happens if you have a child with autism? What types of toys do you buy them? If you’re asking yourself this question, then you need not worry because here we have the right solution for you. It is a proven fact that there are plenty of sensory toys for autism out there on the market, but you need to ensure you only select the best one suitable for your child. Quality matters a lot which is why you have to ensure that the toy you buy is outstanding.
Kids with sensory processing disorder tend to experience sensory overload from regular sounds and sights which we take for granted in our daily lives. Adding to the list are the whistles and even doorbells which make children with sensory problems raise temper tantrums and shut down completely. One good thing about sensory toys is that they can help to calm the child, although they are also normally used by therapists to desensitize kids. The main idea here is that they provide a fun and safe way in order to help them tolerate senses around them in a great manner. Sensory toys have proven to be quite helpful and effective which is why they are highly recommended.
What Parents Need to Look into When Choosing the best Sensory Toys for Autism
There are many factors to consider when selecting sensory toys for autism. Although there are plenty of toys on the market, selecting the best one is crucial to helping your child in an effective way.When selecting a toy for your child, you have to consider what is most appropriate for them depending on their age, ability level, as well as their developmental stage.
Select a toy which helps to stimulate the senses of your child –Most autistic children face sensory challenges and toys can greatly help to introduce them to tactile sensations in a safe way, plus they will have full control.
Select toys that will help to develop their social skills –It is a great thing for an autistic child to develop their social skills. Therefore, when choosing sensory toys for autism, ensure you go for the ones that will help in social interaction development and verbal communications. The issue of taking turns and not taking losses seriously is what you should focus on to help your child learn how to cope with them. Although you have to note that it can be very intense for autistic children.
Consider buying toys which help to develop motor skills for your autistic child. Motor skills are very crucial for every child. Normally, autistic kids tend to struggle a lot when it comes to motor skills. Therefore, it is quite essential to consider buying toys that encourage motor skills development. However, you should note that patience, understanding and a lot of encouragement is needed to make this happen.
Consider buying toys that help with organizational skills – Organizational skills are also very important. Functional play helps your child to build upon their strengths. Most autistic kids have creation and understanding of systems skills. To encourage and build upon these skills in your child, you can consider buying toys which enable them to design and construct things such as cars, towns, and even employment of their visual skills. Toys such as building blocks, puzzles and brain games, buttons and beads, toys that need to be assembled, toy towns to organize and even dollhouses.
Consider the skill level of your child – When looking to buy sensory toys for autism, you have to consider your child’s skill level. Younger children require toys that are less complicated or toys with greater sensory. Children that have stronger skills, you can consider toys which feature creating, building, connecting, among others.
Electronic Pet Dog Interactive Puppy – Robot Harry Responds to Touch, Walking, Chasing and Fun Activities.
Pets and toys go hand in hand for kids. Kids love pets as much as they love toys. This pet, Harry, is like a real dog which walks and talks. It is quite a cool toy for kids with autism. Harry is a touch sensitive dog whom does a lot of cool things that we are sure your kid will enjoy. To make the dog do some cool stuff all that is needed is just to press on the nose, tail, or the back. These cool things include singing, moving lights up and even talking. It is a Dalmatian toy suitable for kids from ages 1 to 3 years.
Having been a teacher for kids with autism and with my years of experience, I would highly recommend this toy as I found it to be also great for nonverbal autism. I’ve used it before on a number of kids and it worked perfectly.
Some of the features include:
- It helps to entertain kids.
- It comes with great dimensions of about 7 inches long and 6 inches tall.
- It features greetings and introduction once you press the power button.
- It comes with a touch head that plays songs.
- Shuts down automatically after 30 seconds when not being used.
ALEX Toys – Active Play Monkey Balance Board 778
ALEX Toys – Active Play Monkey Balance Board 778 is also among the best sensory toys for autism. The toy helps kids to improve coordination and balance. The size is quite perfect for little kids, but still able to accommodate large feet as well. It is a wooden wobbly board that is quite sturdy and has a monkey graphic that is quite adorable. The toy is designed for kids of age 3 and above. It can support kids up to 2000 pounds, which makes it quite convenient for the whole family to enjoy. Another great thing about the toy which makes it quite convenient is that it can be easily assembled without much strain.
It is also very durable due to the balance board, as well as fun to use since it can fit both indoors or outdoors play.
- It features a platform
- It comes with two sideboards
- It also includes a dowel and 6 screws
- You can also find instructions.
- Not suitable for kids below 3 years
- It comes with a choking hazard – small parts warning.
Wikki Stix Activity Set
Activity set is also another toy that I’ve had the chance to experience and use with some of my autistic students. One notable beneficial factor about this toy is that it provides endless fun to kids. It has 84 Wikki Stixx with about 16 colors and it also features 2 sizes which help to provide maximum fun and excitement. Having used this toy for a number of times, I can say it’s a great option to consider when searching for a unique and fun toy for an autistic child. It also has a multi-use playboard, a handy storage bag, and booklet with 8 pages which include fun ideas as well as illustrations.
The toy is suitable for kids from 3 – 5 years of age. Another advantage about the toy is that there isn’t any specific or right way to play. Any way can work as long as it suits the kids playing. That is one of the main reasons as to why I normally prefer this toy whenever I want to include some fun activities for my autistic students.
- Suitable for both boys and girls
- It is also suitable for family fun
- Provides a lot of fun
- It involves hands-on involvement which helps to improve kids’ learning
- Might not be suitable for kids under 3 years
- It comes with only 4 pictures to follow along and make
Kinetic Sand 2 pound Brown
The Kinetic sand 2 pound brown toy is an excellent toy for kids with autism. It also provides more fun to kids as you can squeeze the sand to feel more fun. Whether you want to pack it, pull it, shape it, or love it, Kinetic Sand is quite an incredible game that your child will enjoy playing. The meaning of kinetic is that it sticks to itself and not on you. It can ooze, move, and even melt just right before your eyes, which would be an incredible sight for your kid to experience. Just like a slow moving liquid, the toy can flow through your fingers, but your fingers are still left completely dry.
If you want to stimulate the creative skills of your kid, then this is a great to buy them. It allows kids to create anything that they can imagine over multiple times. What’s more the toy is gluten free and it doesn’t even dry up. It can easily clean up and still deliver exceptional fun.
- It is suitable for both boys and girls
- It provides a lot of fun
- It is gluten free
- It helps to stimulate children’s creativity
- Might be too expensive for some people
- Not suitable for kids under 3 years old
5pc Kids Ball Pit Tents and Tunnels, Toddler Jungle Gym Play Tent with Play Crawl Tunnel Toy, for Boys babies infants Children, w/ Basketball Hoop, Indoor & Outdoor Gift, Target Game w/ 4 Dart Balls
This is a ball pit that is quite bright and vibrant which helps to keep children entertained for hours. It features a target wall that is super cool with an inclusion of 3 dart balls. If you want your child to experience fun on another level, then this is the game you need to consider. It entertains both kids and parents, plus can also be customized by kids on the many different maze option combinations. If you have an active baby, then this toy is most definitely suitable for them. The most recommended are about 400 to balls, although this will depend on the size of the ball.
It is also quite easy to assemble and doesn’t require much storage space. You can open it up in seconds. It is also durable and lightweight. It enhances creativity and imagination in kids, as it develops arm, leg muscles, and motor skills. The ball pen is suitable for sensory processing disorders, ADHD, as well as other developmental issues. It is suitable for both indoors and outdoors play.
- Portable and doesn’t take up much storage space
- Easy to assemble
- Enhances creativity and imagination in kids
- Suitable for kids with sensory processing and ADHD issues.
- Suitable for both boys and girls from ages 1 to 5 years.
MindWareKaBlocks Blast- The Build and Blast Construction Set
As a teacher who teaches autistic kids, I would say this is one of those sensory toys for autism which highly emphasize of the learning aspect. Preschoolers learn to build by knocking down what they create. KaBlocks provides students with the opportunity of doing more than just knocking down structures. They have the chance to blow them up. It helps to build basic skills in your child. It is easy to build and blast which is what KaBlocks provides kids with the opportunity to do. You can begin by showing components to your child and you also have the opportunity of showing your child how to shape, compare sizes, and even fit the pieces together.
Your child will also get the chance to learn through play. There is a special building platform where the soft foam blocks which are in an array of shapes, colors, and sizes can be easily stacked into tall, teetering towers. It helps to develop motor skills in kids and also enables them to learn a bit of physics.
- It features great dimensions
- Helps kids develop motor skills
- Kids get to learn physics concepts at an early age
- Suitable for both parents and kids play
- It also teaches kids to be creative
- It comes with 30 foam blocks and 2 launch blocks
- It is not suitable for kids under 3 years old
- Quite costly although worth it
Get Out! Bucket Stilts in Yellow – Kid Stilt 2-Pack (Pair) Walking Cups for Children – Kids Stepper Toy Walking Stilts
This game helps kids to enjoy walking and exploring the world at a new height. It is quite an exciting game to buy for your kid and also provides a lot of fun. They are stepping buckets which provide a fun playing experience for kids. Kids can get up on and walk on them, which also serves as a very good exercise for your child. You don’t have to worry because they are not that high. They are actually quite low and safe for kids to use. The fact that they are suitable for kids of all ages shows how convenient they are in terms of play.
They don’t require any training to start using them and they can also help to improve skills for your kid. They can help to enhance coordination and balance, while at the same time providing as much fun as possible. They include hand cords which are adjustable that are tied to the bucket stilts to provide balance.
- Suitable for the whole family.
- They are quite durable. It has been made from durable plastic.
- Easy to use and doesn’t take up much storage space.
- Kids can play with them on any surface
- They have the perfect size.
Fat Brain Toys Squigz Starter Set, 24 Piece
These are fun little suckers which I also enjoy using to play with the kids. What you need to do is apply pressure to two of the squigz and air will rush out allowing the fun to rush in. squigz are species that are on their own lane, since they connect to each other and they can also connect to any solid, non-porous surface. They are flexible, sticky, and also suck people into their creativity. In order to separate them once they take hold, you need to pull them. One main objective of squigz is to create things. You can assemble squigz to become vehicles, rockets, jewelry, among other things.
It is a lively and innovative toy which greatly encourages creativity, interaction, fine motor skills, and even playful experiments. Squigz also helps to provide sensory stimulation and relaxation.
- Quite flexible
- Helps your kid become creative
- Improves motor skills in kids
- Provides full enjoyment on kids of all ages
- Easy to assemble
Fat Brain Toys Teeter Popper, Blue
The Fat Brain Toys Teeter Popper, blue is a unique and thrilling instrument suitable for kids’ play. It features a concave board that is covered with silicone suction cups which are quite sturdy on the bottom part. The toy provides endless ways to play. The toy is strong and the body can hold up to 110 pounds. The suction cups can stand hours of play and provide an easier stability. They are also very safe for kids. Creativity is also not left behind in this toy, as it encourages children to be imaginative and even stimulates senses.
- It helps to enhance coordination, balance, and even gross motor skills
- It features a versatile shape
- The suction cups are all made of silicone
- Suitable for kids of all ages
- Provides unlimited playing experience
- The plastic body is very durable
Abilitations Dynamic Movement Body Sox, Large, Lycra, Royal Blue
Body Sox provides a protective and hiding experience which most children love. Body sox is an exciting game which provides kids with an imaginative playing experience and also encourages exploration of balance, body boundaries, coordination. It is great toy which helps with early body-image and formation of self-esteem. It has a translucent and stretchy fabric which creates a private and seclusive domain, but still allows the child to discern outside shapes in a great manner. The toy also features a Velcro opening which makes it easier for entries and exits.
The toy is quite suitable for days when days when kids can’t seem to stay away from each other’s spaces, or even quiet days. As a teacher, I normally use Body Sox to demonstrate concepts of space, shape, as well as visual motor coordination. To use Body Sox you can wear sneakers or remove hard sole shoes.
- Suitable for teachers to help kids learn shape and space concepts
- It encourages creativity and increases body awareness
- Provides comfortable pressure to kids with special needs
- It helps to stimulate the spirit of play
Art3d 6-Tile Sensory Room Tile Multi-Color Exercise Mat Liquid Encased Floor Playmat Kids Play Floor Tile, 16 Sq.Ft
Art3d fancy tile is a great tile which can also be used as a dance floor, playmat for kids, house decorative floor mat, chair mat, and even as a floor in a business show. It is a dance floor filled with modular liquid and has been designed with two PVC sheets, and at the back it includes an anti-slip mat. The liquid-filled floors provide are quite amusing and never stop dazzling. The floor comes in many colors and doesn’t even require any installation. A notable advantage about Art3d is that it is quite safe, as it is non-toxic for kids.
- It features a special polymer material.
- There is a wide variety of colors.
- Safe for kids
- You can lay it over carpet
- You cannot use it as a floor mat only
- You can only use it on a flat and even surface
- Quite fragile as the tiles can break if you drop them
BrainUp Toys Sensory Board for Child With Autism
We would be labeled as inadequate if at all we looked at sensory toys without touching the sensory board for children with autism.
Well, the Brainuptoys wooden board with latches, abacus, numbers and cog wheels help the autistic child with their tactile needs as well as offer educational value.
- Engaging because of the design and tactile value
- Durable board so you get true value for your money
- Educational value to enable kid count numbers and cognitive ability
- Could be dangerous as numbers easily come off
The best sensory toys for autism we’ve discussed above show just how much efficient it can be to have a playing and fun experience with your autistic child. You shouldn’t limit yourself or your child in terms of play, and learning of new stuff. Use any toy to help your child have fun and learn as much as possible.
Other than these commercial sensory toys, you can also check out these homemade sensory toys for your child on the spectrum.