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The Top Interactive Toys for Children with Autism or Developmental Delays

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Squigz

These little plastic suction- cup toys are so super fun for imaginative play and they come in all sizes from very large to mini. They can be used to build different creations so so it will help improve imaginative play.


Zingo

This game is a fun way to play bingo while helping kids with skills such as focus, word to picture association, and early reading memorization.

Guess Who?

This is a great game for language development, attention to detail, developing strategic questioning (does your person have a hat? Instead of, does your person have a nose?), and taking turns.

Frog Wobble

This is an older game that is wonderful for fine motor skill development and strategic reasoning (if I put this here, this will happen).

Connect Four

Like the game says, you need to connect four, so let the strategy begin! This game is great for detecting patterns while teaching kids how to think one step ahead to plan their strategy.

Connect Four

This game is wonderful for number identification, counting, and strategy planning because you can have more than one game piece out at a time. It also encourages acceptance and patience as it is very easy to get into ‘trouble’ but don’t give up, you can still win!

Perfection

This game is WONDERFUL for object identification, focus practice, and helping with object manipulation (trying to get each piece to fit in the right spot).

Memory Match

This is a great game for memory building and turn taking. There are various versions of this fun game, but my favorite one is by Kathy Ireland Kids.

Play-doh

This is probably my favorite sensory and learning toy. You can build with it, form it to learn letter formations, just create, create, create – and parents, can create right along, helping to enhance language. 

Mr. Potato Head

This is a wonderful activity of helping to identify body parts as well as a great activity in task completion. Dressing Mr. Potato Head requires reasoning – where do the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, shoes, hat, and other parts belong. 

 

During the holidays, parents are always on the lookout for the greatest and latest when it comes to toys.  If you have a child that has Autism Spectrum Diagnosis (ASD), ADHD, sensory processing, any kind of learning delay, or are simply looking for supplemental activities that can be exciting and educational, the task can seem daunting. We recently received an IRL request on what games we would suggest for toddler age children (we’re addressing ages 2 -8 years old), who engage and play in different and unique ways.

As a teacher and mother of a child on the spectrum, I’m sharing a list of my ten favorite games and toys that are both educational and fun. But it’s not just the game, it’s also how you engage and interact with your child, so I’ve included how each game can be used to engage your children through play.

  1. Squigz

    These little plastic suction- cup toys are so super fun for imaginative play and they come in all sizes from very large to mini. They can be used to build different creations so it will help improve imaginative play.What makes them even more beneficial for kids with sensory, verbal, or attention issues is that the colorful pieces are made of 100% silicone (BPA-free, latex-free) and use suction to attach to a multitude of surfaces. So if your child is most comfortable playing in the tub, on a favorite table, or in the car, these toys are the perfect match. An extra tip, if you need toys to carry in your purse for public places – in a restaurant during dinner, at a graduation ceremony, even at church – these toys take on the task without being distracting to others.

  1. Zingo


    This game is a fun way to play bingo while helping kids with skills such as focus, word to picture association, and early reading memorization. Players each have a card and there are small chips that are dispensed two at a time. Similar to the original bingo, players are to look and see if the chips dispensed match any of the pictures on their card. If the chip matches a picture on your card, you have to call out the picture in order to get the card.  This requires working on focus and word/image association as your child has to match what is on their card with their verbal identification of what they need. For kids just starting out with these skills, you can play slowly until they work up their vocabulary, speed of recognition, and verbal commands. Once they’ve mastered it initially, start speeding up your responses to challenge them.

  1. Guess Who?

    This is a great game for language development, attention to detail, developing strategic questioning (does your person have a hat? Instead of, does your person have a nose?), and taking turns. In this game, you draw a card that features a person from the game board who has unique features (a scarf, glasses, blond hair vs. brown hair, etc.). Players in this two-person game take turns trying to figure out who the other player has by asking questions to help identify the mystery person. As they rule out persons with specific qualities (their person doesn’t have glasses so it can’t be Bill), they knock out people until only one remains.

  1. Frog Wobble

    This is an older game that is wonderful for fine motor skill development and strategic reasoning (if I put this here, this will happen). In the game, there is a “log” and the object of the game is to see how many frogs of different sizes you can have sit on the log before they fall off. You can play this as a single game or with a partner taking turns trying not to let the frogs fall off.

  1. Connect Four

    Like the game says, you need to connect four, so let the strategy begin! This game is great for detecting patterns while teaching kids how to think one step ahead – many times we’ve played and I won because the wrong coin was placed in the perfect spot, allowing me to connect four. Two players take turns putting coins into the slots to see if they can build to four coins in a row – either straight across, straight up and down, or diagonal.  There is an element of strategy in this game, trying to make sure you block the other person from getting four in a row with their own colored coins. The coins are typically colors that are easily detectable and differentiating so kids can quickly identify patterns as they are built.

  2. Trouble

    This game is wonderful for number identification, counting, and strategy planning because you can have more than one game piece out at a time. It also encourages acceptance and patience as it is very easy to get into ‘trouble’ but don’t give up, you can still win! Each player in this game has four “little guys,” as my son calls them, and you press down on the number dice that is encased in flexi-plastic. The object is to get around the whole board and reach the safe grounds. If someone lands on your little guy, then you are sent back to the beginning and have to start all over.

  3. Perfection

    This game is WONDERFUL for object identification, focus practice, task completion, and helping with object manipulation (trying to get each piece to fit in the right spot). In this game you are playing against the clock! The object is to get all of the little pieces back into their spot before the time runs out and shoots all of your pieces out. For early development, ditch the clock and work on simply matching the shaped pieces to the right spots. To add an element of difficulty and to work on quick verbal responses and identification, hold the pieces and have your child tell you the pieces that they need. This makes the game more interactive and raises the stakes!

  1. Memory Match

    This is a great game for memory building and turn-taking. There are various versions of this fun game, but my favorite one is by Kathy Ireland Kids. In this version of the original Memory game, the pieces are held into a container and you pull out two at a time and see if you have a match, if you do, you get to keep them. Whoever has the most matches at the end of the game is the winner. To add speech exercises to this game, have your child identify the matches they have with verbal descriptions.

  1. Play-Doh

    This is probably my favorite sensory and learning toy. You can build with it, form it to learn letter formations, just create, create, create – and parents can create right along, helping to enhance language. The best part about Play-doh is that you can even make it at home, even with your child, to give them a chance to try different colors, types, and even smells! Try adding essential oils to make different aromas and use a gluten-free recipe if your child has skin or food allergies. Play dough and sand are great for sensory and muscle development; there are many small muscles in the human hand that are activated by rolling and squishing Play-doh. This helps with other fine motor activities such as holding a pencil. Suggestion:  buy a pair of play dough scissors so that your little one can safely work on holding scissors!

  1. Potato Head

    This is a wonderful activity of helping to identify body parts as well as a great activity in task completion. Dressing Mr. Potato Head requires reasoning – where do the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, shoes, hat, and other parts belong. For an older child, if you have multiple items, you can give instructions of dressing the Mr. Potato Head for a season of the year, activity, or occasion. There are many ways to use this activity for kids of all ages – and it’s so silly, it’s fun!

 

**Disclaimer: some of the above items have smaller parts that can be choking hazards.

I suggest playing with your child as much as possible, the interaction will help them as they learn to play – and win! Many times parents struggle with playing with their kids because they aren’t sure how to; I hope these ideas have given you a few creative ideas on how to play with your child in an educational and fun way using common, interactive toys.

Happy family game time!

 

 

Adina

Adina is Co-founder and CFO of momsplained.com. A full-time mom and wife, she dedicates her days to developing  children in the classroom while raising her three children with her loving husband. With one child on the autism spectrum and years of early education experience, she focuses on educating others on behavioral conditions in children.

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What’s New?

Safety Recalls August 2019

30 August, 2019

Safety Recalls July 2019

31 July, 2019
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