December 23, 2011

Top Toys for Young Children with Autism

Selecting suitable toys for a child’s holiday or birthday gifts can be challenging, especially when the recipient is a child with autism. This handy list includes a number of popular, age-appropriate toys for children up to five years of age. Parents should keep in mind, however, that every child is unique and will respond differently to certain toys and teaching materials. You can check with your child’s therapist or teacher to determine what’s most appropriate for your child’s needs and interests.

Children under three: 

  • Shape sorters Puzzles (wooden with handles for each piece; suggested brand: Melissa and Doug)
  • Board books Stacking blocks and cups
  • Cause-and-effect toys with lights, sounds and/or music (e.g., Pop Up Pals, Fisher-Price Sing-Along activity Barn, Wiggles products) 
  • Plush toys and animals Dolls and large action figures

For children age three – five

  • Games (e.g., Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Don’t Break the Ice, Connect Four, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Cariboo, Hullabaloo, Lucky Ducks) 
  • Puzzles with up to 25 pieces (suggested brand: Melissa & Doug)
  • Action figures/dolls and related accessories Play sets (e.g., kitchen, construction) Dress up items and beads Puppets Story books with large pictures 
  • Art supplies (markers, crayons, construction paper, glue, clay) 
  • Small building blocks (e.g., LEGOS) Trucks and cars Sorting items (counting sets such as fruit and animals, stacking shapes, peg boards)

For both groups (children five and under): 

  • Large building blocks (suggested brands: Mega Blocks or Duplo) 
  • Electronic learning toys (suggested brands: Leap Frog, V Tech) 
  • Fisher-Price Little People sets (e.g., houses, farms) 
  • Magna-Doodle Play Doh and Play Doh activities

Top Toys for Young Children with Autism
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