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Toys For Autistic Kids for Boys and Girls

Toys for autistic kids can become part of the child’s treatment plan. Autism, including Asperger Syndrome, are being diagnosed more often than in the past. This may be because of understanding the problem better and being able to precisely define the problem better. Along with this, there are more treatments and toys available for autistic children.

How Toys Help Autistic Kids

Parents with autistic children are always on the lookout for toys that engage and stimulate their kids.  Depending on the child’s needs, choosing these can be difficult. In some cases, anything their child interacts with is a big win.

Age appropriate board games require the autistic child to interact with others. If you can find a board game to encourage them to play with others, it’s a real prize.

Just because a kid’s autistic doesn’t mean they don’t have good eye – hand coordination or an ability or interest in sports. There are toys to sharpen these skills.

Musical instruments require interaction especially if they play with someone else, or are taught by a teacher. Musical skills require a child to develop and exercise different parts of the brain.

Construction sets and tool kits require hands on activities. Lego type blocks and tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, and the like help develop fine motor skills.

Electronic devices such as the iPad are a good teaching tool for those with autism. However, these devices have a bad side.  They can lead the child down a road where he becomes interested in the iPad to the exclusion of everything else which isn’t too good for social interaction. Some parents use time on the iPad as a reward for good therapy sessions or other good behavior.

Sensory Toys

Autistic children often need something to stimulate their senses, especially tactile. Sensory toys are good for this. These include toys that encourage the child to feel, touch or interact with them.

yellow moon sandMoon Sand

Moon Sand is a malleable substance that allows shaping and reforming. Manufacturers say it doesn’t dry out. This is a good toy for kids in the autistic spectrum as it helps develop fine motor skills, and they like the touch and feel of the sand.  It has a silky like feel and a different texture than ordinary sand. It is in a 11 x 7.8 x 2.3 inch box that weighs 4.5 pounds. User’s moms recommend washing hands before and after use to extend Moon Sand’s life. It vacuums up easily and best stored in a plastic box when not in use. Good for ages 3 and up.

pink brain food Brain Food

Brain Food won the 2009 Creative Child Toy Award. It comes in various colors. It is said to help develop the brain by networking the right and left side. It is tactile and something autistic people may play with for hours.   Brain Food is very moldable and a great stress reliever. It has a different feel than Play Doh even though it is a similar product. This is actually used to help rehabilitate individuals with certain types of brain injuries. The recommended age for brain food is 3 years and older. Do know that it sticks into carpets and will stain.

exercise peanut ball bluePeanut Ball

The Peanut Ball is a vinyl exercise ball made for rolling and sitting on. It is oblong and shaped like a peanut. It can be used for therapy for people with balance and coordination problems.  It comes in several sizes and colors, including blue, green and yellow. The Peanut Ball is durable and able to withstand a lot of abuse. It is recommended for 6 and older with supervision, but smaller sizes will work for younger kids as well.

rainstick with beads16-inch Rainmaker

The Rainmaker makes soothing sounds that sounds like rain as marbles in a tube flow down through holes. Turn it over and it repeats. It is multi-colored and comes in different sizes and styles. Users can adjust Rainmakers to simulate a downpour or a gentle rain. This is great for stress release. It is sturdy and can withstand rough use. The 16-inch model is 3.5 inches in diameter. This is for age 3 and older.

blue and pink liquid motion toyLiquid Motion Bubbler

Some autistic children like to watch light and motion. This is another toy that has color and motion to help them wind down.  The Sensory University manufactures a series of similar toys. The Liquid Motion Bubbler comes in a variety of colors. It is 6 inches long and 2.5 inches in diameter. It’s similar to a lava lamp, but doesn’t require heat to work. For ages 5 and up.

tangle therapy toyTangle Therapy Toys

Tangle Therapy has created several tangle toys that helps relaxation and reduce fidgeting by giving children something to do with their hands. They are a rubberized material of 20 segments with bumps so as to provide a relaxing and therapeutic sensory experience. These fit in one hand to allow fingers to fidget and massage the toy. It is used in therapy to increase hand usage and dexterity, and has even been used as an aid to quit smoking. It is segmented and is 1 x 4.6 x 7 inches. Recommended for ages 5 to 12.

Spinning Gears for the Child Who Likes to Watch Things Spin

gear toys for kidsKaleiodogears

Kaleiodogears are brightly colored gears linked together that spin. It is a tough toy that will withstand years of abuse. Kaleiodogears is recommended by autistic study groups. It will keep a child’s attention and develop eye hand coordination and special reasoning. This is a simple looking toy with spinning colored gears that engage the mind of an autistic child. It requires assembly, which may involve and engage the autistic child too. Kaleidogears are intended for children 3 years old and up.

maze in a ballPerplexus Original Maze

This is a great toy to improve dexterity, motor skills and eye hand coordination. It has the same object as a flat maze, moving a ball around a series of paths to an end goal. The Perplexus maze is inside a clear plastic globe with several brightly colored layers and paths to maneuver around. The player can pick a color and attempt to maneuver the marble on it to the end. It is a great way to learn patience and control. Intended for 6 years old and older.

One Last Tip: Quality is Better than Quantity

In the case of autistic children, quality is better than quantity. Too many toys can overwhelm them so they don’t play with anything, while a good quality toy will stand up to the play rigors and may engage them for years. You also want the toy to be durable. If you find one that works, you don’t want it to break after a few uses. Engaging an autistic child in play can be a daunting task, and it’s good not to find something they like only to have it break.

Click here for more toys ideas for children with autism.

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