Children with autism are likely to engage with specific types of toys that appeal to the senses. It’s important to purchase toys that are both age and autism appropriate. Purchasing the right types of toys ensures that your child will enjoy playing with them, but it also aids in both mental and physical development.
Toys for infants and toddlers should ideally play with toys that require physical interaction and creativity. Balls come in a variety of sizes, textures and colors. Children can throw and catch them to increase awareness and build motor skills. Ride-on toys are also a hit. They encourage children to explore their environment and foster creativity. Blocks are good for stacking and building whatever runs through a child’s mind. Bubbles are another hit with toddlers. They pop easily and children can learn how to blow them on their own as they get older.
Preschool is another area where autism toys should be selected to foster physical development. A tricycle is a step up above ride-on toys and allows the child to work on their physical motions. Blocks are still a hit with children in the two to four age groups. The creations can be more involved and elaborate. You can increase creativity by purchasing draw-and-erase boards and various crafting supplies, which includes paint, crayons, sand and even beads. Puzzles help develop problem-solving skills and can even encourage teamwork if multiple children work on the same one.
Toys should be suitable for the age group that they are geared towards. When an autistic child enters grade school, typically at age five or six, they are ready for toys that are more involved and interactive. Board games encourage children to play with others and can increase cognitive abilities. Some games are suited for children in elementary school, while others are more advanced and geared towards those in higher grades. Creativity begins at a young age and abilities and imagination get better as a child gets older. A school-aged child can use an easel and make their own creations using pencils, crayons, paint and whatever else inspires their artistic side. Physical activities are also important for all children, not just those with autism. Children enjoy swinging, sliding and climbing on various obstacles to burn energy.
Help your child develop mentally and physically by introducing a wide variety of toys and activities to their daily routine.