Both my sons are on the Autism Spectrum, now ages 11 and 12. For over seven years I have been reviewing products on Epinions. This article will highlight some of the favorite toys that have kept the boys engaged in stimulating play. A good portion of these toys can be used by both boys and girls, depends on their interest, age range and developmental stage. My listing is in no particular order and the link will be included to the full review to read more in depth details.
Fisher Price Go Fish - There is only one fishing pole for up to 4 players. This game promotes sharing, team-playing and works on eye-hand coordination. Age range is 3-7. Matthew was 5 when I picked this up. There are 2 levels to this game that requires no reading. Full review. Estimated price is $7.99, can be found at Target or Amazon.
Mr. Potato Head Silly Suitcase - We prefer the Silly Suitcase since it keeps all the items stored and is portable. This teaches body parts, colors and eye-hand coordination. It was first introduced to my kids through Speech Therapy. There are not many toys that are based on a food item that is both nutritious and delicious. Cheers to the potato! Nicholas enjoyed playing with this the most when he was six years of age. Age range is 2-6. Estimated price is about $16.00 for the potato and suitcase at Amazon. Full Review.
Fisher Price Games - Octopus Dominoes - this is a count and match game that offers two levels of play for two to four players. The beginning level is to match colors and the second level is to match numbers. The domino cards are two sided. Matthew was 6 and Nicholas 7 when they were interested in this game. A child can get some independent play with this and a therapist can use it for matching tasks. Full Review. Age range is about 3-7. Try Target or Kmart for Fisher Price Games, including the Oreo Matchin' Middles.
Milton Bradley Trouble - For 2-4 players. Nicholas started playing Trouble at 6 years of age. He still enjoys the game on occasion now that he is ten. This was a game that was played often with the Family Friends volunteer. Full review. The pegs cause a choking hazard in kids under three. The age range is about 5-8+. The estimated price is about $8.00 at Kmart or Target.
Lights Camera Interaction Magnetic Responsibility Chart by Melissa & Doug. The age range is 4-9; estimated price is $20. This is a great way for a child to share in the household chores while keeping track of their accomplishments daily. Full review. This board can be purchased at Target or Toys R Us. There is also the Lights Camera Interaction Magnetic Calendar that we have in our kitchen and use daily. The age range for the calendar is 4-12. This costs about $20 at Amazon. The Full review. It is also available at FAO Schwartz.
If the child is interested in animals, a one-year subscription to Zoobooks is a great deal at $21.00. Nicholas has been receiving this for several years now. He likes seeing older issues at the school library. As far back as the preschool class Zoobooks has been part of his daily reading. Now is the time to check out Zoobooks and purchase that gift subscription in time for the Holiday season! My review of the Zoobooks Magazine.
Another option is to create a list at Toys ‘R’Us in the store or do a wish list on Amazon and send this to relatives that live far away and might not be up on what is appropriate for the child on the Autism Spectrum. Just because a product is recommended for ages 2 and up does not mean it could not be useful for a six-year old. For example, one year I purchased Playskool Wonderfalls , a baby toy for 12-24 months of age. It delighted Matthew at 5 years of age and lasted two years before konking out. My review of this infant toy.
Milton Bradley Connect Four - this is what Matthew enjoys the most. Traditionally this game is for two children, ages 7 and older. Since the age of five Matthew has been placing black and red checker pieces down the sections in the Connect Four. He is able to follow directions and use the color I instruct him to. My full review. This is available for under $15 at Amazon.
Memory Games - they come in a variety of characters. I believe the first one Matthew ever used was a Winnie the Pooh Memory Game at speech therapy. I always tried to buy different toys than what were being used at Therapy, so we had the Monsters, Inc. Memory Game. These are great for sorting and matching. The age range is preschooler through Elementary school – depending on the ability of the child. My full review. The Pooh game is available at under ten dollars at Amazon.
Other toys worth mentioning - Animal Alley Arby Dog perfect for cuddling. You cannot go wrong with a No spill bubble bucket. A Fisher Price Nature Sounds Lantern is still being used in my household. We had lots of fun with several variations of the MagnaDoodle. We have several of the Wow Wee Animaltronics . Nicholas made all the Lego Dinosaurs and then moved on to the Lego Bionicle sets.
Rescue Heroes Figures are still played with by Nicholas at ten years of age. There was a renewed interest recently in the Rock Em Sock Em Robots. These toys are a blast and good for a parent to play with the child on the Autism Spectrum. These toys have been played with off and on - KerPlunk, Mancala and Pegboard.
The duds were – Don’t Wake Daddy, Color Doodler, Hot Wheels Viper Set, Lite Brite, Gator Golf, Crocodile Hunter Game, Sit ‘n’ Spin, Hungry, Hungry Hippos Game, Etch-A-Sketch, Marvin’s Magic Drawing Board, Shoe Lacing Peg Puzzle, LeapPad, Mouse Trap Game, Magic 8 Ball, and the Barney Banjo.
Toys that appeal to children on the Autism Spectrum.
Sea World shows - feeding dolphins
Taking Autistic kids to Sea World
Adopt A Family for the Holidays
Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.