Most autistic children often don’t use the toys the same way as the neuro-typical children do. Picking the right toys for an autistic child can be complicated and time-consuming.
We consider the top toys for autistic children are the toys that are fun, lasting and have “extra spins” for autistic children. More often a fun toy is popular with typical children. A fun and lasting toy will be highly rated and recommended by the parents with their values. Toys on our list are not only fun and lasting, but also feature the “extra spins” as we explain further.
Through my experience, the best toy for an autistic child is a toy that is (or will be) interesting to the child and help them improve certain skills or condition in the coming years. Although it requires a real understanding about the child to have the best choice, a toy can be considered as a best toy with the following “extra spins”.
- Supervision-The toy can be used by an autistic child for certain purposes without supervision (above manufacturer’s recommended age).They might not play the toy according to the rules perfectly, but they use the toy in their own way without safety concerns.
- Difficulty-The toy has different levels of difficulty and it is easy enough for the autistic child to start. And the rules of the playing can be modified to meet the individual’s needs.
- Benefits-The toy has more than one area of benefits. The combination of the benefits can be any two or more from the areas of academic learning, cognitive skills, physical activities, sensory integration, and social engagements.
- Core-training-The toy can be used in language learning or social interaction for autistic children when purposely modified.
Most autistic children have other areas of deficits besides communication and social skills. Cognitive skills, sensory integration and physical developments are ongoing efforts beyond their core training. These are also our areas of focus while searching best toys for them.
Sensory toys are most straightforward answers for the searching results of autism toys on the internet. Yes, most autistic children have sensory issues. There are 5 facets of sensory can be considered for autistic children. Sensory toys are the ones that help improve auditory, visual, tactile sense, body awareness and body movement.
We see most sensory toys for hands. There are not nearly as many toys for foot sensory as for hand sensory, but using feet for sensory play has many benefits too. It helps calm the brain to focus on their senses, promotes the awareness of the surroundings.
The best sensory toys for autistic children are the toys that improve sensory deficits besides fitting to our rules of “extra spins”. Let’s take a look on Surfloor Gel Tiles.
Surfloor is not just a beauty of stunning colors on the floor, but a great toy for calming sensory and keeping an autistic child active. Here is how it fits to “extra spins” to be one of the best sensory toys for autistic children.
- An autistic child can use the Surfloor alone. Or walk, jump, stomp on it with their own paces. Or even play it with their hands, sit or lay on it if they like.
- Although the levels of difficulty are not as obvious, but they are been created fairly easily. Or just walk and feel the bubble under their feet as a beginner. Or jump or dance to follow the beat. Or also learn to create shapes by hands or feet through their imagination.
- Surfloor can serve as color stimulation for eyes, motion feeling for feet and hands, a weight on the lap for calming. It motivates an autistic child to stay physically active through jumping or dancing on it.
- According to the need, an autistic child can learn words related to colors, motions, actions and sensory feeling while playing on Surfloor.They can also learn sentences about how they feel about Surfloor, how much they like Surfloor, what color of tile they like most or where they like to place the tiles.
This novel and dynamic toy can turn a floor into an interactive and responsive surface anywhere in the house. Providing a unique source of sensory stimulation for an autistic child.
There is no price tag for their smile with this thrilling Surfloor!
Box & Balls is a simple but well-designed toy with 8 wooden nesting boxes and 8 bouncy balls. Providing an amazing choice for an autistic child. Let’s check it out with our “extra spins” rules:
- Most autistic children over age of 3 can use this toy independently. Or play the toy their own way if they don’t follow the rules printed outside the boxes. Or stack the boxes into a tower or line them up in order. They also can roll or bounce the balls into or outside the boxes. They will enjoy the sound like wooden xylophone when the balls hit the boxes.
- There are different levels of difficulty for this toy, which is from the biggest box as a beginner level to the smallest box as hardest one to aim. With so many ways to stack the boxes for the balls to bounce in, the toy has endless fun and lasts years to come. An autistic child can learn to play from easy to harder more properly with demonstration from others.
- The toy is not only good for visual processing for eye hand coordination, but It also keeps player physically active to running after the balls. It encourages logic sense and creativity.
- According to the need, an autistic child can be motivated to learn to say from single words like ”ball” “box” ”stack” “nesting” “bounce” to sentences “Can I have the ball please?” “Where is the ball?” “Do you want to play?””This is so fun” “I had a great time playing it” “when can we play again?”The list can be created differently based on the need of the child.
This is a toy that is simple enough for an autistic child to have fun with their own ways, but it requires the understanding of some logic to play it in higher levels successfully. There is no end to play the possibilities with this toy as it improves their cognitive level. It is an exciting toy to keep the mind fresh every time and a bonus for a fun family time!
This is a set of 8 beautiful bells with sturdy wooden handles. Each bell has its own number, vibrant color and pitch of the sound. This is another amazing toy that can benefit the autistic children greatly, feeling like music therapy at home. Here is how it looks like with its “extra spins”.
- Most autistic children can use this toy independently in their own fun way. They might make some music that might not be familiar to your ears, but they have fun shaking the bells!
- They are different levels of difficulty to use this toy. An autistic child can start with one bell with one designated number on the sheet, to two bells and more bells as they improve the eye-hand coordination until they can follow the music sheet with 8 highly recognized children’s songs or purposely design their own music. And to play the songs without music sheet is another level!
- It improves the listening, eye-hand coordination skills. It helps the strength for hands and arms too.
- According to the need, the autistic child can learn to cooperate and share the bells with others for the perfect sounds of songs. There are plenty opportunities to learn words from colors, numbers, shapes, materials ( from metal, wood, plastic). Or also learn to ask or answer social questions while playing with others.
This is a fun way to expose an autistic child to music. It becomes a bonus play if it helps the child create their own music and have a family concert night!
This is a toy that looks fairly easy but it requires a strong core to keep the perfect balance while playing out the game. An autistic child might need some help to interpret the game, but it fits into our extra spins! Let’s roll the dice!
- Yes, autistic children can use the toy with their own ways. Or roll or bounce the 2 big squishy foam dice or play the seed bags or read the cards just for fun.
- There are different levels of difficulty to play the game. It may seem simple in first few posts if the child has good balance already. It becomes hard as they add bean bags on different parts of the body. And it can be only harder as they have to flap the arms, make tweet sound with the distraction from the other players who are counting numbers. Providing not easy to stay on focus at that point.
- Sturdy Birdy improves a child’s core strength through balancing exercises. It also requires remaining focus from the distraction. It helps a child’s counting skills while engaging with others.
- According to the need, an autistic child can learn the words of the body parts, preposition and action. Or also learn the sentences to engage in the games with other players.
- This is a wonderful interactive game that an autistic child can handle the challenge in their own ways. They will make other neuro-typical players fall off the poses if they can use sentences with a funny manner. Providing a bonus if they win the game this way!
You can find it on Fat Brain Toys.
Sometimes it can be difficult to have a great way keep an autistic child physically active. Light Up Dance Mat can solve the problem with the addicting dance game. Follow the beat as we are showing its extra spins to make the list.
- An autistic child above the manufacturer recommended age of 5 can use the dance mat when alone. They might just like to press the buttons to see the flashing arrows or stomp on the arrows a few beats late. It’s OK, they lay on the mat when they get tired, or banging the arrows with their hands.
- The Dance Mat not only provides a physical activity for an autistic child, but also helps improve listening skills, and “foot-eye coordination” to follow the beats. It also trains memory when not looking at the arrows.
- There are different levels of difficulty for this game. An autistic child can start with level one of all 3 built-in games with music. Or make up simpler rules with free dance mode. Or advance to higher level as they improve or grow older. And it can take quite some years to master the highest level in level 5.
- According to the need, an autistic child can learn words like names of colors, directions and actions. Or also learn to share with others who are also interested in playing. Or learn sentences when sharing or waiting for the turn.
The dance floor mat is an exciting toy that gets an autistic child to work out while entertained! Providing a bonus that you will get a workout too when engaging to take turn with the child ! You can get it on Amazon.
As you can see, I emphasize the “extra spins” when buying toys for autistic children. I had wasted hundreds if not thousands on toys that only collected dust in the house before I used the “extra spins” rule. It not only saves money and space, but it also helps provide effective tools for an autistic child to grow.
Help us to grow the list of top toys for autistic children with the standard of extra spins.
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