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  • Writer's pictureElle James

30 Best Toys For Autistic Children Ages 3-5


30 Best Toys For Autistic Children Ages 3-5

When my twins were toddlers, I quickly realized that my autistic son had different interests and played with toys in a unique way compared to his twin sister. It took me some time to understand his preferences and identify toys that catered to his specific needs. Through this journey, I discovered that play often looks different in autistic children, and it is crucial to find toys that meet their individual requirements.


As I delved deeper into understanding autism and its impact on play, I discovered that autistic children often engage with toys in distinct ways. Their play may involve repetitive actions, intense focus on specific features, or unconventional uses of toys. For my son, it was crucial to find toys that stimulated his senses, encouraged creativity, and fostered his particular interests. I learned that by embracing his unique play style, I could nurture his individuality and provide a meaningful play experience.


Every child is different, with their own set of needs and preferences. It is vital to approach toy selection with an open mind and observe how each toy resonates with your child. Some may gravitate towards toys that provide sensory input, such as those with different textures or stimulating sounds. Others may find comfort and engagement in toys that promote imaginative play or offer repetitive motions. By closely observing and listening to our children, we can identify their individual needs and tailor their play experiences accordingly.


While every child's preferences may vary, I want to share a list of my autistic son's favorite toys. These toys have been instrumental in capturing his attention, promoting his development, and bringing him joy. They have provided him with a wide range of experiences, from sensory exploration to developing fine motor skills and promoting social interaction. They have become cherished companions on his developmental journey.


In sharing his favorite toys, I hope to provide guidance and inspiration to other parents seeking toys that can engage and delight their own children or loved ones. Here is our list of top 30 best toys for young autistic children.


30 Best Toys For Autistic Children Ages 3-5


[This post may contain affiliate links and I could earn a small commission at no cost to you. However, I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in or use myself.]



Sensory toys like Fidget Pop Tubes, Push Poppers, Stretchy Monkey Noodles, and Fidget Spinner Soccer Balls are some of the best toys for autistic children. They offer various tactile and auditory stimulations. These toys can provide a calming and soothing effect, helping your child engage their senses in a controlled and enjoyable manner.


Sensory fidget toys


Kinetic sand has a soft and moldable texture provides a calming and therapeutic sensory experience, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. Kinetic sand also encourages fine motor skills as children shape and mold it, improving hand strength, finger dexterity, and coordination. It offers a creative outlet for imaginative play, allowing children to build, sculpt, and explore their creativity while engaging their senses.


Kinetic sand

3. Slime


Slime provides a tactile and sensory experience that can be both calming and engaging. Its squishy texture and stretchy properties offer a satisfying sensory input, promoting relaxation and sensory exploration. Slime also encourages fine motor skills as children manipulate and stretch it, improving finger strength and dexterity. With its endless creative possibilities, slime can spark imaginative play and provide a fun outlet for self-expression.


Slime kit


Playdoh provides a hands-on and sensory experience, allowing children to explore different textures, shapes, and colors. By manipulating and molding Playdoh, children enhance their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and finger strength. Playdoh also offers a calming and therapeutic effect, making it a great tool for sensory play and stress relief.


Playdoh



The Melissa and Doug make some of the best toys for autistic children. Their Cutting Food set allows your child to practice their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination while pretending to slice fruits and vegetables. This toy promotes imaginative play, introduces basic food concepts, and encourages creativity.

Melissa and Doug Cutting Food


These Melissa and Doug ice cream-themed toys provide opportunities for pretend play and social interaction. Your child can practice fine motor skills by scooping and stacking the ice cream flavors while engaging in imaginative role-playing scenarios.


Melissa and Doug ice cream-themed toys


The Wooden Wobble Board is an excellent tool for developing balance, coordination, and core strength. Its curved design challenges your child to maintain stability while standing, sitting, or even rocking back and forth. This toy provides sensory input and helps improve body awareness and motor skills.


Wooden Wobble Board


The Balance Beam offers a fun and interactive way for your child to improve their balance and gross motor skills. By walking or crawling along the beam, your child can enhance their coordination, body control, and spatial awareness. It also promotes focus and concentration.


Balalnce Beam


Stepping Stones engage your child's imagination while improving balance and coordination skills. They can create a stepping stone-like pathway, allowing your child to explore various movements and develop spatial awareness.


Stepping Stones


Despite struggling with pedaling and coordination, my son found solace and accomplishment in scooting on a Micro Scooter. The Micro Scooter offered him a sense of freedom and independence. As he glided along, he gradually improved his motor skills, balance, and coordination. The act of scooting became a source of joy and a means to engage in physical activity alongside his siblings, fostering a sense of inclusion and accomplishment.


Micro Scooter


I have noticed that my son has a tendency to jump and climb on furniture, so I decided to introduce a trampoline as a safer alternative. The trampoline offers a controlled and secure space for him to engage in energetic play while enhancing his coordination, balance, and overall gross motor skills. The repetitive bouncing motion provides valuable sensory input, aiding in the regulation of his sensory system and promoting a sense of calm.


trampoline


The Hopper Ball provides a unique sensory experience through bouncing and balancing, which can be both calming and regulating for autistic children. It helps them improve their body awareness and coordination.


Hopper Ball


Magnetic building sets are are another one of the best toys for autistic children. They offer endless possibilities for creative exploration. These toys consist of colorful magnetic tiles that can be easily connected to construct various shapes and structures. They encourage spatial exploration, creativity, and problem-solving skills. The magnetic properties of these toys make them engaging and easy to manipulate, promoting logical thinking and fine motor control.


Magnetic building sets


Picassotiles Marble Run are magnetic building sets that offer endless possibilities for creative exploration. These toys consist of colorful magnetic tiles that can be easily connected to construct various structures and intricate marble runs. They encourage spatial exploration, creativity, and problem-solving skills. The magnetic properties of these toys make them engaging and easy to manipulate, promoting logical thinking and fine motor control.


Marble Run


An LCD Writing Tablet provides a screen-free drawing and writing experience for your child. It promotes creativity, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination while allowing them to practice writing, drawing, and erasing with ease.


LCD Writing Tablet


Despite my son's general disinterest in cuddling plush toys, there was an exception: Squishmallows. These irresistibly soft and huggable plush toys quickly won his affection. With their plush, squishy texture and adorable designs, Squishmallows provide a unique comfort and sensory satisfaction.


Squishmallows


Sorting toys are not only fun but also beneficial for developing cognitive and fine motor skills. Your child can sort and categorize the bears based on color, size, or other attributes, promoting logical thinking and critical reasoning.


Sorting toys


These adorable toy cupcakes combine play and learning. Your child can match the cupcakes to their corresponding shape molds, promoting shape recognition, fine motor skills, and problem-solving abilities.


Sorting Cupcakes


The Melissa and Doug Wooden Clock is a captivating and educational toy that supports children in learning about time-telling and numbers. With its vibrant colors, distinct numbers, and engaging shapes, it captures the attention of children. This interactive toy allows for the practice of fine motor skills as children place the colorful wooden numbers in their designated spots. It's a valuable tool for promoting both cognitive and physical development in an enjoyable and hands-on manner.


Melissa and Doug Wooden Clock


The B. toys Wooden Activity Cube offers a variety of sensory experiences and interactive features. With different shapes, textures, and activities on each side, this cube stimulates cognitive development, fine motor skills, and sensory exploration.


B. toys Wooden Activity Cube


The Tot Tube Playset is such a simple concept, but offers endless hours of fun and encourages imaginative play. Your child can send toy cars or balls zooming through the tubes, fostering hand-eye coordination, cause-and-effect understanding, and visual tracking skills.


Tot Tube Playset


This stacking toy’s vibrant colors and spinning discs captivate children's attention and promote visual stimulation. The stacking and dropping actions involved in the toy help enhance fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness. Additionally, the repetitive and predictable nature of the toy can provide a sense of comfort and predictability, supporting sensory integration and focus.


 Fat Brain Toys Spin Again Kids Stacking Toy


Wooden stacking blocks encourage your child's creativity, problem-solving skills, and hand-eye coordination. They can build towers, create structures, and learn about balance and spatial relationships while exploring their imagination.


Wooden stacking blocks


Puzzles are another one of the best toys for autistic children. Chuckles and Roar ABC Wooden Chunky Puzzle and Chuckles and Roar Shapes & Animals Learning Puzzles are great options. These puzzles are designed to introduce your child to letters, numbers, shapes, and animals. The chunky pieces are easy to grasp, promoting fine motor skills, cognitive development, and early learning concepts.


Puzzles


Hand2mind MathLink Numberblocks Cubes are an outstanding toy that combines the magic of the beloved Numberblocks characters with hands-on mathematical exploration. These colorful, interlocking cubes are sturdy, easy to manipulate, and encourage imaginative play, enabling children to create their own Numberblocks adventures while learning essential math skills.


Hand2mind MathLink Numberblocks Cubes


While my son showed little interest in popular TV characters, he became captivated by the Numberblocks. I was thrilled to discover Numberblocks plush toys, which made him ecstatic. Having characters he was genuinely interested in opened up a world of imaginative play for him. These plush toys not only provide tactile and visual stimulation, but also allow him to explore different textures and shapes.


Numberblocks plush toy


In addition to the Numberblocks plush toys, my son also adores the Numberblocks Friends Toy Figures. These toy figures of his favorite characters have further fueled his imaginative playtime. With these toys, he can create exciting storylines and engage in imaginative adventures. The action figures provide tactile and visual stimulation, allowing him to explore various textures and shapes.


Numberblocks Friends Toy Figures



The Crayola Art Case is a fantastic toy that encourages creativity and artistic expression in children. With its wide array of vibrant colors and variety of art supplies, it provides endless possibilities for imaginative artwork. The portable case allows for easy organization and storage, making it convenient for on-the-go creativity.


Crayola Art Case


Bubbles are a fascinating sensory experience for children. Using a bubble blower encourages your child to engage in visual tracking, hand-eye coordination, and breath control as they chase and pop the floating bubbles.


bubble blower


Sidewalk chalk offers a creative outlet for your child to express themselves through art. Drawing on the pavement promotes gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and imaginative play while enjoying outdoor activities.


Sidewalk chalk


Final Thoughts


As parents of autistic children, we understand the importance of finding toys that resonate with our child's unique needs and interests. By embracing their individuality and seeking out toys that engage their senses, foster creativity, and cater to their specific play style, we can create meaningful and enjoyable play experiences.


While each child is different, I hope that sharing my son's favorite toys will serve as a starting point for other parents on their quest to find toys that bring joy, growth, and fulfillment to their own autistic children or loved ones. Let's celebrate the beauty of individuality and nurture our children's playtime in a way that best suits them.



Ultimate Toy Guide: 30 Best Sensory Toys for Autistic Children


Ultimate Toy Guide: 20 Best Board Games for Preschoolers (Ages 3 to 5)


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