Shopping for toys for children on the spectrum can be a difficult task. There are many products today that are too much of a sensory overload for children with Autism. Luckily, with the increasing research on Autism Spectrum Disorder, comes a new wave of awareness.
Many toys on the market today are advertising as sensory friendly, which for those who have little loved ones’ on the spectrum this is a reason to celebrate. However, how efficient and practical are these toys?
Here’s a list and review of some of the more well-known toys today.
BizyBeez Magnetic Building Blocks Set
First is the BizyBeez Magnetic Building Blocks Set Special Needs Toys for Kids with Autism. This set consists of multiple building parts that can be taken down and rebuilt in hundreds of different figures.
This toy is great for children who are high functioning and have a desire to create and explore. It will keep children busy for hours with the amount of combinations.
However, for other children who have less impulse control, this toy is not ideal due to the fact that there are many smaller parts that could be a choking hazard.
ToyerBee Sensory Fidget Toys Set
The next product is the ToyerBee Sensory Fidget Toys Set for Adults, Kids, ADHD, ADD, Anxiety Autism, Autistic to Stress Relief and Anti-Anxiety with Squishy, Stretchy Strings, Squeeze Balls, Perfect for Classroom Reward. This set of toys consists of various tiny trinkets that are made to help with fidgeting and anti-anxiety.
There is everything in this set from rubix cubes to squishy dolls. This set of toys may be good for children with ADHD to help with restlessness, but is not suitable for children on the spectrum.
Although one or two of the items in this bundle may help children with ASD, the majority of the items are overstimulating and distracting.
The Original Mood Flipbook for Kids
A great idea for a toy is The Original Mood Flipbook for Kids; 20 Different Moods/Emotions; Autism; ADHD; Help Kids Identify Feelings and Make Positive Choices; Laminated Pages (Monster Flipbook). This is a spiral book that comes in varying sizes and is a great idea for children atypical and neurotypical alike.
The pages have various monsters on them with different emotions, and a helpful guide with how to aid those emotions. This is great for children on the spectrum working on recognizing emotions of others and processing their own feelings.
KINGYAO Liquid Motion Bubbler Timer Toy
Another toy is KINGYAO Liquid Motion Bubbler Timer, Liquid Timer Sensory Toy for Kids Autism ADHD Calming and Stress Relief Lava Timer Desk Toy. This one is a plastic timer that passes the time with multi-colored drops and spinning colors.
Unless specifically looking for a timer or a gift for a child who has a fixation with spinning colors, this is not an ideal toy for children on the spectrum.
There is no hands-on interaction with this toy and will not captivate the attention of a child with ASD. More likely kids with ASD will become frustrated with the toy and will resort to damaging it.
Similar to the last bundle mentioned, the Sensory Fidget Toys Bundle-DNA Stress Relief Balls with Fidget Hand Toys for Anxiety Kids & Adults-Calming Toys for ADHD Autism Anxiety is not practical for children with autism. Like in the ToyerBee Sensory Fidget Toys Set,
there are many items in this that could benefit those with ADHD or anxiety.
Many of the toys are great for squeezing or stretch which could benefit children who prefer to be active with their hands. However, again, many of the toys could be highly overstimulating.
Additionally, this set has been reviewed to be cheaply made and therefore easily breakable. For a child who has anxiety or ASD, it is desirable to have toys that can withstand a large amount of pressure but these toys seem to break with that.
101 Games and Activities Book
The last item is the 101 Games and Activities for Children With Autism, Asperger’s and Sensory Processing Disorders book. This paperback book consists of various games to help aid children with autism in topics such as social skills, eye contact, and fine motor skills.
As far as activity books go, this one is great for children with varying types of autism. The book allows for the activities to be done almost anywhere and are productive for the child.
The only critique for this book is that there aren’t many visual aids, making some of the activities difficult to grasp.
When getting a gift for children on the spectrum it is important to remember that every child with ASD has differing needs. Therefore, a toy that is great for one kid may be overwhelming for another.
What is important is that the toy market is constantly developing new ideas for children with autism and there are a lot of great options out there.
For children who are more inquisitive and interested in creating, the BizyBeez Magnetic Building Blocks Set is definitely the choice to go with. If shopping for a child who tends to exhibit more signs of anxiety and need to use his or her hand, the best option would be the ToyerBee Sensory Fidget Toys Set.
However, be aware that it can be overstimulating for some, or dangerous for children who tend to be more destructive when overwhelmed.
The toy with the most universal benefit, however, would be the The Original Mood Flipbook for Kids. This book is one of the best ways to help a child improve cognitive understanding of emotions and ways of coping with them.
It is most important to know the child you are shopping for and buy a gift he or she will love. Happy shopping!
We’re hoping that this has helped in some way. If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section and we will be more than happy to help you out as much as we can.
Categorised in: Accessories
All the best,
Jacy and Ryan (TMD Team)