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50+ Greatest Toys {for Autistic Kids

I used to dread this time of year. I went through a stage where I loathed Walking throughout the baby/toddler department of a store, searching for toys for my son who is neither a baby nor a toddler. However, I got over it. |} Today, having this blog for almost 7 years, parents and grandparents often inquire,"What are the top toys for a special needs child? What sensory toys do you advocate for autistic children?"

So I asked my son BSC/BCBA. I inquired what she felt are a Few of the best toys {For children with special needs like autism, intellectual disabilities or developmental delays. |} She just started spouting off suggestions. Happily she had been willing to turn it into a blog article! |}

Greatest toys for special needs kids

This list is geared towards younger kids with developmental delays or Older children that are working on a lower level compared to their peers. I would suggest not reading too much into age ranges or what sex a toy claims . |} In the end of the day, who cares when an 8 year old boy plays with baby dolls when there is so much to be learned in the process and no worries if your little girl is having the dinosaurs stomping throughout the farm. Your children are hard at work acquiring and building skills as they learn about the planet.

Each year Toys R Us lays a toy out Buying guide for children with Special requirements and each year I apologize when I see it. Not that it is the worst record, but there is no real help of why and how. Now that I have two kids of my own, I've got a real appreciation for the thought, energy and hard earned dollars that go into purchasing toys. With this view, I've made a point of speaking to every one the families I use about holiday shopping. There are loads of toys out there that are multipurpose, fun-fulfilling toys that are full with a functional purpose that will not leave you feeling that you might have wasted your money.

Greatest puzzles for special needs children

With this puzzle, children with autism and other developmental delays can function On:

fine motor abilities
cognitive matching skills
easy compliance task to be finished

This Imaginarium foam set of 3 puzzles Is Excellent for:

fine motor skills because of the small bit of extra effort that foam affords you
give you something to talk about since some of these animals are recognizable (a few are Tough to make out) that Provides you more possibilities in the Method of purpose and function {

(Side note,
|} The toy manufacturer Imaginarium in Toys R Us is fairly priced and will serve many educational needs, while providing a lot of fun.)

Pop Designs are a great toy for:


Fine motor toy
putting together and taking apart
can incorporate skills that involve colors and shapes
reasonably priced, durable and usually at a decent container Sensory toys for kids with autism |}

Speak with your child's OT on your child's sensory needs. |} Some have Sensory aversions, some seek sensory, many do both. {

Lacing Beads and cards for fine motor skills and sequencing |}

Beads for stringing/lacing will also be ideal for fine motor requirements. When Picking your beads for lacing, I would suggest that you think"function" and"multi-purpose". When you choose your beads for stringing, select ones that can be used different ways. You can use beads for:

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sorting by color, shape, thing, etc.. |}
Some beads have graphics on these or beads that are small objects
can help prompt communication skills and speech acquisition
have child can ask or identify beads by attribute, thing, etc..
Real-life toys-mimicking daily life-help develop language and cognitive abilities {

Using real life versions of toys is a great way to:|}


Promote language development
cognitive ID abilities
pretend play abilities |}{

Animal Planet toys at Toys R Us
|} Have a variety of animals and dinosaurs that are tons of fun, and provide as much chance for skill building.

Also, adding Things to toys/activities you may already have like kitchen things or baby doll things can make them informative.

With kitchen things and baby dolls there are a lot of functional imitation skills you can work on (with real life items, performing real life items ), on top of the pretend play skills you are growing and the ID skills you are building with these toys.
There's a lot of language that's functional and important to be used with these toys.
You are now exposing and talking about regular things and the activities that go with these toys with your child.
Add some more meals or a tea set to that kitchen. {
Consider getting your child's baby doll a stroller, crib or highchair. |}

When you are adding food to that kitchen, keep an eye out For items like the following:

Every one of these may be seen on Amazon at decent rates. They are Wonderful for Pretend play at the kitchen, however they will allow practice with:

fine motor abilities
cognitive abilities
real-life items
matching and physically putting things together
used as a tabletop action for more intense instruction
skill acquisition
compliance purposes (task completion upon request)
Games for taking turns and socialization

In regards to games, you need to select a focus. Would you want your child to:

Participate with their siblings in certain way
learn/practice turn taking
improve cognitive abilities

Should you ask yourself exactly what you want out of a game, it may help you make a Better option when picking games. such as Honey Bee Tree and Crocodile Dentist are great for turn taking and need minimal skills to participate. |}

The Memory Sport is good for:

Language and cognitive abilities
can be used outside the context of a game
have your child match images as a table top activity
to be performed independently, or in case your child Isn't now able to match picture to film, you can use the Memory cards to work on this significant matching skill {

On Amazon you can get all sorts of Memory Games to fit your child's interests.|}

Light Up/Interactive Toys

Great for children with:

eyesight impairments {

This Fisher
|} Cost pig is a favorite for a number of clients of mine. The great thing about this particular pig is that he is fun by yourself. For a child who has minimal to no play skills, this is the kind of toy that's great to begin with.

Works on:

Fine motor function by putting the coins in
color identification
math skills,"put two coins at" {

Leap Frog Leaping Letters works on:

Identify letters
recognize sounds
first learner is just working on putting something into something else
provides instant feedback for"putting in" with sound {

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Leap Frog My Discover House-- This toy provides all those enjoyable |} Lights and sounds that are always appealing on toys; your child will likely love. This toy offers

many language opportunities
fine motor opportunities because of the way relatable the toy is to the normal environment
For your start learner who has minimal to no play skills-touching the different switches, such as ringing the door knob and turning the light on, and teaching those cause and effect relationships that provide tons of entertainment.
The Exact Same cause and effect connection with sounds and lights will likely reinforce independent play
talk about what you are playing , where you are able to uncovers those things around your own house
keep building language abilities
discovering educational value in conventional toys {

Legos/Blocks-- Blocks
|} And legos are just amazing, plain and simple. Kids are working on

fine motor abilities
problem solving
improving cognitive abilities
imitation-can your child construct the same three part construction you have made?
Can your child imitate banging the table with that long yellow lego versus the small red one? Can your child request those blocks you have stored on your own side of the table?
Request any of these by color?

And as far a multi purpose goes, feel free to add legos and blocks into the List of things you've got them categorize and sort. So much cognitive appeal here with these basic toys!


Melissa and Doug also includes a great |} Selection of blocks.

Who does not love a physician's kit? Lots of pretend play skills to be had here. That baby doll is just waiting to get their shots and have their temperature and blood pressure taken. |}

It's a toy that has always been around, since it's always been fun, and Meanwhile you are sneaking in language development by speaking to your child about

that which we do in the doctor's office
why we visit the physician and
that which we see in the Dr.
talk about exactly what hurts.

Play Doctors Kit from Learning Resources, click to see it. |}


Mr. Potato Head-- you can reinforce|}

Identifying body parts
requesting those body parts
help pushing them because it is not so easy for little ones who have fine motor accidents
Shape Sorters for:

fine motor
problem solving abilities
identify or choose the pieces


Click to find the shape sorters.

Books, Decals, Sticker Books for:

fine motor
cognitive development

Books with large, readily identifiable images is a Good Way to get You:

to read for your child
allow your child be involved
having your child identify those things and activities
helps construct their expressive and receptive language

Books that are repetitive can allow you to work on your child's verbal skills. Brown Bear novels are a good alternative. Let Your child fill in the"what can you see" parts, or any other area they may know. Repetition is good!

We love Priddy Books! Click to view on Amazon.

{Decals would be the ultimate stocking stuffer! |} Decals are an underrated item To be used for fine motor skills. Big decals, small decals, base it on your kid's needs and interests.

With sticker books, you can:


fine motor abilities
Matching Puzzles |}

There are several different Match It mysteries out there. They vary from puzzles Which are simple 2 piece puzzles (like the heads and tails) into the higher proficient puzzles (such as counting and matching words to their images ). The skills addressed by matching puzzles:

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language and cognitive abilities
generally affordable!
Independent task completion

I work with older kids who work on these as independent tasks in a Dining table while their parents attempt to cook dinner or squeeze in a telephone call. {

Yard Sale Finds

If you Encounter the game, Hullabaloo by Cranium catch |} it! It is so much fun and it simplifies numerous skills that have been dealt with in this article. It now runs for $300+ on Amazon and I don't think any game is worth that much, but if you stumble upon it in a yard sale or resale occasion, don't be afraid to purchase it if every one the parts are there. Website owner's note: I'd see it on ebay for $16, that can be better than $167!) |}

Toys that help build gross motor abilities {

Ensure that your child has balls to throw, kick and catch.|}

Something to ride or climb outside are also excellent options. This one is Easier to save money on as a visit to the park covers a lot of the gross motor skills your physical therapist is probably targeting.

If you have a child who is a sensory seeker, then you can try a walker or Swing in your property. However, speak with your OT and PT first, make them return to you before you install something in your house or invest in something that takes up a lot of space.

Other combined toy suggestions for children with autism and developmental delays

No info provided here after the excessive details up over -- but These all hit gross motor, fine motor, language and cognitive skills. One or more of these toys are found in Amazon, Kmart, Toys R Us, or Sears. |} {

Bead maze
Baby action table
Action block
Easel and scatter
Sidewalk Chalk
Tent (without ballpit chunks )-surprisingly, these are under $40! |} {
Fisher Price Little People Toys
Building Toys
Vehicles -- a variety
Shopping cart
Lawn mower
Bead maze
Baby action table
Action block
Easel and scatter
Sidewalk Chalk
Kid sized table
Kid friendly book shelf
House keeping toys
Dramatic Play costumes
Toy telephones
Riding toys (in house)
Riding toys (outdoors )
Growing toys (inside or outside)
Basketball net/soccer net (inside or outside )
Balls (various kinds)
Sand/water table
Shelves and transparent bins to home toys out of your kid's reach to encourage requesting and as a Means to rotate toys out if you need to. |}

The last thing I want to do is seem preachy, I promise, so I apologize if That's the way I seem. It's not easy to perform with your kids as much as you Want with all things parents already have to do. If you are not convinced Where to begin in educating your child how to play with toys or if you are not Sure if your child will enjoy something, speak with your teachers. Other than you, There is no better reference about your child. Pin it so you have it.