Kids with autism can love getting gifts as much as any other kids! Whether for a birthday or holiday, the presents you give can do double-duty by bringing a smile to your child’s face while boosting skills in areas where a little extra help might be needed.
Here are our top 10 toys, games and other products for kids with special needs.
Tumble Trax™ Magnetic Marble Run captures visual attention with motion. Start with any magnetic surface—like the door of your fridge—and let your child arrange the magnetic pieces on it. Then, using fine motor skills, your child will place the small marbles on the tracks to watch the action! It’s excellent sensory stimulation and enhances your child’s problem solving skills as they create different paths for the marbles.
Gears! Gear! Gears!® Sets let your child engage in open-ended building projects that encourage problem solving, sequential thought, and manual dexterity. Once a project is built, your child turns a crank and can enjoy watching all the gears spin, a repetitive action that kids with autism can use for self–soothing.
Where is Howie’s Owie?™ features a friendly cartoon boy and a supply of colorful magnetic bandages your child can place on different parts of their body, learning their names through play and repetition. For kids with autism, this simple toy can also help them feel comfortable communicating their physical needs and understanding their own bodies.
Basic Vocabulary Photo Cards are great to use as an alternate way of communicating for kids who have little or no speech. The cards can lessen the frustration kids may feel in expressing everyday wants and needs.
Primary Science Sensory Tubes let children explore different tactile objects without having to physically touch them. These tubes offer kids with autism sensory stimulation without leading to sensory overload.
Ruff’s House Teaching Tactile Set offers different textures for kids who crave a lot of stimulation. The small rubber and cloth bones feature smooth, silky, scratchy, bumpy, and ridged textures and help kids learn the abstract language of adjectives by describing what they feel. Used separately, the bones are perfect fidget toys for self-soothing.
Color Cubed Strategy Game requires little language but encourages appropriate social interaction with taking turns. It incorporates strong visual skills in game play and helps strengthen spatial and strategic thinking skills.
All About Me 2-In-1 Mirrors are easy to hold, unbreakable mirrors kids can use to explore the different expressions they can make, from frowns to big smiles. The back of each mirror features a silly “fun house” reflection that can help lighten the mood as you discuss emotions. The regular side of the mirror can also allow kids to watch their mouths as they talk, to promote speech development
Time Tracker® helps children who have trouble transitioning from one activity to another by giving clear notice when time is winding down. It features lights that change from green (plenty of time) to yellow (start wrapping up) to red (stop). Alarm volume can be adjusted or turned off if your child prefers visual cues only.
Daily Schedule Pocket Chart provides a visual of the day broken down by time and activity so kids know what to expect. This strategy provides more predictability and helps kids feel in control of their day!