The Best Toys for Kids with Autism
There are many different toys out there designed specifically to help kids with autism develop and practice their social skills and improve their focus and attention span. However, you don’t necessarily have to buy a specialty toy to help your child; any toy that encourages social interaction or fine motor skills will do the trick! Here are five great toys to choose from.
Choosing wooden toys
Wooden toys are often considered the best choice for children because they’re durable, easy to clean and safe. Wooden toys are also a great option because many children on the autism spectrum prefer them over other materials.
Choosing educational toys
Educational toys are great ways to help keep your child entertained while also learning new skills. There are a wide variety of toys that can be used to teach things like letters and numbers, words, colors, shapes, and more. Some of the best educational toys use interactive features such as sound, lights, and motion. When choosing an educational toy for your child it is important to choose one that will hold their attention long enough to teach them something new.
Choosing soft, tactile toys
Soft, tactile toys are great because they allow your child to feel the difference between the toy and their own skin. This is important as it will help build your child’s sense of touch, which many children on the autism spectrum lack. Some good examples of soft, tactile toys include: a fuzzy blanket or stuffed animal; an old shirt that has been cut up into pieces; a big towel; a big piece of bubble wrap.
Choosing auditory toys
Auditory toys can be very helpful in calming sensory overload or providing auditory input to those who have difficulty understanding language. There are many different types of auditory toys that can be used, but it is important to remember that children will respond best to the type of toy that has been specifically designed for their age group. For infants and toddlers, a great option is a simple music box or toy piano. These toys provide soothing melodies and are also easy to hold and play.
Choosing fine motor and sensory play
Fine motor and sensory play are important for kids of all ages, but these skills are especially important in the early years. This type of play encourages critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills. It also exercises muscles, improves coordination, and promotes healthy development of speech and language skills.
Choosing gross motor activities
A good way to encourage physical activity is through gross motor activities. These are body movements that use large muscle groups and include walking, running, jumping and climbing. Different types of toys can provide different types of physical activity, such as a trampoline, or a playhouse or swingset. The best toys for kids with autism are ones that provide the opportunity to explore their environment, such as a sensory table or blocks.
Choosing stuffed animals and dolls
Stuffed animals are often a good choice because they are lightweight and can be easily carried. They are also comforting, as children will be able to cuddle them. Children on the autism spectrum may not want to play with others or engage in social activities, but they might enjoy playing by themselves or alongside other children who have autism. Dolls can be another great option because they provide an opportunity for imaginative play, which is especially important for children on the autism spectrum.