The best toys for children with autism

The best toys for autistic children

by Jane McGuire |

If your little one has been diagnosed with autism, finding toys to keep them occupied can be a challenge. Experts believe the right kind of play can help provide autistic children with valuable sensory feedback and develop skills in listening, observing and turn-taking.

What is autism?

Autism is a developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people and the world around them. The condition is often associated with a need for rigidity and repetition. Your little one will want to control life through structure and routine.

What are the symptoms of autism?

Although the symptoms will vary between children, there are a number of different red flags experts have noticed in both babies and toddlers. Take a look at our guide on how to spot signs of autism in your baby or toddler to find out more.

What toys are best for autistic children?

We've hand-picked some of the best toys for autistic children here:

Chad Valley Bubble Lawn Mower

The best toy for sensory feedback
Chad Valley Bubble Lawn Mower

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Bubble machines are great for autistic children as they help provide them with sensory feedback. This fun lawn mower has the added advantage of getting your little one outside, running to catch the bubbles as they go. If your home is big enough, you could always use it as a hoover, or invest in a smaller bubble maker to stow away for rainy days!

Peppa Pig Indoor Childrens Toddler Trampoline

The best toy for developing motor skills
The best toy for developing motor skills: Peppa Pig Indoor Childrens Toddler Trampoline
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A toy that will help save your furniture, and allow your little one to release energy in a positive way whilst improving his motor skills. This indoor trampoline plays a sound as your child jumps up and down, providing them with extra encouragement to keep moving. The best part? They'll love bouncing with Peppa!

Marble race game

The best all-rounder toy for toddlers aged 4 and above
The best all-rounder toy for toddlers aged 4 and above: Marble race game
Amazon

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Marble race runs are always fun and have a number of educational benefits too. A great all rounder, the maze will allow your child to practise fine motor skills as he puts the maze together, he’ll also be provided with sensory stimulation (and a lot of excitement) watching the marble roll through the maze. Suitable for children aged four and above.

Ladybird Touch and Feel Books

The best toy for bedtime
The best toy for bedtime: Ladybird Touch and Feel Books
Amazon

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You may have found story time isn’t very fun for your little one. Why not try a touch and feel book, rather than one with a lot of text to help keep your little one engaged and learning to read?

Casdon Electronic Washer

The best toy to encourage engagement
Casdon Electronic Washer
Amazon

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Many autistic children love watching things spin round, so a washing machine toy could be the perfect solution if you’re worried about your tot sitting in the kitchen watching the real thing! The small washing machine comes with a box of false detergent, so why not turn this into a fun game, asking your tot to load their washing into their machine as you do.

Read next: The signs of Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome in babies and toddlers

Check out Autism friendly cinemas in the UK

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