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15 Best Gifts & Toys for Autistic Kids & Toddlers

Children with Autism have a more difficult time navigating the world around them than children who do not have this condition. These children develop at a different rate and in a different way than so called “normal” children and therefore might have no interest in toys that other children may typically find fun or interesting.

Toys for Autistic children should be geared to the child’s individual interest and offer tactile stimulation to help them better understand the world they live in. To help you shop for your Autistic boy or girl we have put together a list of some great gift ideas and toys for Autistic kids and toddlers. 

Our List of The Best Toys & Gift Ideas for Autistic Children

Our selections here include toys that autistic kids are most likely to enjoy and they should help them in their development. We do however caution you to remember where the child is at in their development since it can vary so much from child to child and it’s not necessarily age dependent.

1
Fat Brain Dimpl Toy

Summary

This simple toy encourages sensory exploration as toddlers and children poke and push on the brightly colored bumps to pop them. The bubbles can be popped over and over again which meets the needs that many Autistic children have to engage in repetitive activities. It also helps develop fine motor skills.

Pros
  • Holds up well to rigorous play
  • Holds attention for long periods of time
Cons
  • Many parents found this toy to be much smaller than expected
Recommended Age

12 months to 5 years or as long as the toys hold appeal for the child

What Makes the Dimpl Stand Out?

The fact that the Dimpl is such a gift and allows for repetitive actions while providing stimulation for the child.

2
Playfoam

Summary

This 20 pack of playfoam is a great gift for autistic children as they not only like the tactile feel of this material it also allows them to fashion different shapes over and over.

Pros
  • Easy to work when the child is feeling stressed or anxious
  • Helps develop fine motor skills
Cons
  • Sticks to hands
Recommended Age

3 years and up

What Makes This Playfoam Stand Out?

These playfoam beads are easy to work and come in a pack of 20 so they should last a long time

3
Foam Pogo Jumper

Summary

A pogo jumper allows a child with Autism to engage in acceptable repetitive behavior and not only will provide the child with an activity that they can enjoy, but may also calm them down and help them to concentrate. A pogo jumper is a good autistic toy to give a child who falls within the spectrum.

Pros
  • Helps child with balance and strengths gross motor skills
  • Children like the squeaker
Cons
  • Doesn’t bounce very high
Recommended Age

3 years and up

What Makes the Pogo Jumper Stand Out?

The fact that the foam foot stand is easy for most kids to stand on.

4
Fubbles

Bubbles make a great gift for toddlers and autistic toddlers as well. These fubbles will make bigger longer lasting bubbles for children to watch and chase.

Pros
  • Bubbles are pretty rainbow colors
  • Makes tons of bubbles 
Cons
  • Some of the solutions are not as good as others 
Recommended Age

3 Years and up

What Makes Fubbles Stand Out?

The Fubbles solution tends to be thicker than other brands of bubbles

5
Teachable Touchables

Summary

These 20 squares are designed to introduce children to different textures. These touchables make a good autistic gift because it introduces various textures to the child in a manner they find safe. These little pillows come in 10 pairs so the child can learn to match like pillows to one another.

Pros
  • Nice variety of colors and texture
  • Nice drawstring storage bag 
Cons
  • Cheap fabric 
Recommended Age

2 Years and up

What Makes These Teachable Touchables Stand Out?

The fact that these touchable come in pairs and don’t contain beading that the child can choke off if they chew on them.

6
Hide Me Tent and Tunnel

Summary

One of the best toys for children with autism is this hide me tent and tunnel. This crawl tunnel and tent will give an autistic child a sense of privacy and independence while still keeping them in a safe environment. This tent gives the child plenty of room to grow.

Pros
  • Easy to set up
  • Durable 
Cons
  • Seems a bit flimsy
Recommended Age

3 to 10 years

What Makes this tent and tunnel stand out?

This tent and tunnel holds up well over time and will grow with the child

7
Pop Tubes

Summary

There are thirty tubes in this gift set and they can be pulled, pushed, connected to one another and swung to make various sounds. These tubes are great autism toys since they can be used in a number of different ways offering stimulation and learning for all children.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Offers a variety of different ways to use
Cons
  • Plastic seems a bit thin 
Recommended Age

6 months and up

What Makes the Pop Tubes Stand Out?

These stand out due to the variety of ways a child can use them.

8
Water Table

Summary

Sturdy and easy to fill this water table is a great gift for autistic children as it allows them to fill objects with water, use water to spin wheels and just have fun.

Pros
  • Nice size table
  • Easy to assemble  
Cons
  • Sometimes parts are missing when you open the box  
Recommended Age

18 months to 10 years. Stools make it easier for older children to play with this water table.

What Makes This Water Table Stand Out?

The size of this water table makes it stand out among other water tables.

9
Kinetic Sand

Summary

Kinetic sand makes a good toy for kids with autism because it provides them with sensory exploration and helps them build hand strength. This sand allows them to build sand castles and use molds but doesn’t cling to their hands.

Pros
  • Easy to Sculpture with
  • Fun for all ages 
Cons
  • Some people don’t like the smell of this sand 
Recommended Age

Ages 3 and up

What Makes This Kinetic Sand Stand Out?

This kinetic sand is grittier than other kinetic sand and forms more structured sculptures.

10
Stack and Sort Board

Summary

Stacking toys are good toys for children with autism because many autistic children like keeping things in order. It also helps them develop their fine motor skills as well as introduce them into colors, sorting and counting.

Pros
  • Made from wood making them more durable
  • Helps with hand/eye coordination

Cons

  • Not as durable as some consumers hoped 
Recommended Age

For Children 18 months and up

What Makes this Stack and Sort Board Stand Out?

This stacking and sorting board has 5 different shapes so children have more blocks to stack.

11
Simple Puzzles

Summary

Puzzles make good toys for autistic toddlers and helps them to develop concentration, hand eye coordination and organization skills.

Pros
  • Bright colors holds interest
  • Helps develop fine motor skills 
Cons
  • Small puzzles and cheaply made 
Recommended Age

18 months and up with supervision

What Makes These Puzzles Stand Out?

The bright colors and simple pictures that toddlers recognize

12
Magnetic Pattern Blocks

Summary

Magnetic pattern blocks make good autism gift ideas and helps children develop their fine motor skills and encourages them to develop their imagination.

Pros
  • Can follow patterns on accompanying cards or create their own
  • Magnets work well 
Cons
  • Some of the pattern pieces may peel 
Recommended Age

3 years and up

What Makes these Pattern Blocks Stand Out?

These blocks are easy and fun to use and they come with a box children can build their pattern in.

Summary

Swings provide a recreational activity for children with autism and provides a type of sensory input which can benefit children of all ages.

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Very sturdy 
Cons
  • Some of the ropes broke 
Recommended Age

3 years and up

What Makes this Swing Stand Out?

It can hold several children at once.

Summary

This fishing game makes a good Christmas or Birthday gift for an autistic child because it helps them concentrate on an activity and helps develop hand/eye coordination.

Pros
  • Requires children to concentrate 
  • Helps develop fine motor skills 
Cons
  • Lots of small pieces 
Recommended Age

3 years and up

What Makes this Fishing Game Stand Out?

This game is fun for all ages and encourages social interaction

15
Weighted Lap Dog

Summary

This cute spotted weighted dog helps provide sensory input and a calming influence to autistic children. The softness of this dog makes it a great autistic toy.

Pros
  • Soft and Huggable
  • Helps calm children who tend to get anxious 
Cons
  • Nose can come off easily and child may choke on it 
Recommended Age

3 years and up

What Makes This Weighted Lap Dog Stand Out?

Much more portable than a weighted blanket

Buyers Guide for Choosing The Best Gifts & Toys for Children with Autism

If you are looking for the best toys for a child within the Autism spectrum then this buying guide should help give you some tips.

Talk to a Professional

The best place to start when looking for toys for children who have autism is to speak to the professional who is treating your child. They will often be able to make suggestions based on your child’s current abilities and interests.

Consider What Skill You Are Looking To Improve

Look for toys that will help the child develop the skills you are looking to have your child improve. For example if you want your child to improve their concentration skills then provide them with puzzles, building toys such as Lego Duplos and board games that require them to concentrate.

Consider the Child’s Interest

Many autistic children have high IQs and are interested in a variety of different things so when choosing toys for a child with autism consider the child’s individual interests. Sometimes a child will be mentally above his age level development and so you will need to choose toys that match his development in both physical and mental abilities.

Sheryl Jackson

Sheryl is a grandmother who has 3 adult children, many grandchildren and a large number of nieces and nephews. Over the decades Sheryl has purchased countless toys and gifts for her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Sheryl has a degree in communcations and creative writing and has been writing about toys and gifts for many years. Sheryl is excited to be part of the Pigtail Pals content and editorial team!

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