Best Gifts and Toys for Autistic Children
Looking for gift ideas for that special child in your life? If you’re anything like me, you want to make sure each gift matters. I don’t like buying things for the sake of buying things, you know? Sure, it’s exciting to have lots of presents to open, but that can be a bit overwhelming for some kids on the spectrum. It’s better to get them something you know they will use, and that will help them in some way at the same time. After all, holidays and birthdays are great times to invest in new fun therapy tools, right?! So here are some great gifts and toys for autistic children!
Where to shop for toys for autistic children
Nope, you don’t have to go to some expensive therapy shop – online or in person. There are some great places to find sensory and developmental toys near your home. Some of my personal favorites:
Dollar Tree – Yep, I said it! Check out my other post on 175+ sensory items from the Dollar Tree!
Five Below – I never knew what this store was until last year! It’s AWESOME!!! I have found hopper balls, pod swings, mini skateboards, and countless other impressive items there for $5 or less!!)
Walmart – Recently, they have really hopped on the sensory bandwagon. You can find mini trampolines, bean bag chairs, and tons of sensory toys here. They also have a great variety of developmental toys, like Leap Frog, V-Tech, and Fisher Price. Check the baby/toddler aisle of the toy section, and there are some pretty cool new finds!)
Amazon – You’re already on your computer or smart phone, so why not shop online? Amazon Prime has free 2 day delivery, and they don’t mess around!
What to consider when shopping for toys for autistic children
Don’t just go out and buy something that is popular. When you’re looking for toys for autistic children, there are a few things to consider. First, think about their special interests. If they have an obsession, there is no harm in purchasing a gift in that genre.
Otherwise, think about their specific needs. If the child is non-verbal, you may want to splurge on a speech therapy tool. If they are a sensory seeker, look for items that will provide a lot of sensory input. Children who also have ADHD or anxiety always benefit from fidget toys and calming tools.
If you don’t know the particular needs – say you’re looking for a gift for a friend’s child or a nephew – fidgets and sensory toys are pretty much staples! Or you could always go with an autism subscription box designed specifically for kids on the spectrum!
This post contains affiliate links, which simply means that I may receive a small commission from any purchases you make through my links, at no additional cost to you.
Developmental toys for autistic children
Fisher Price Bright Beats Ball (My little guy has the entire Bright Beats “family” and is OBSESSED with them!!)
Vestibular toys for autistic children
Speech therapy gifts
Fidget toys for autistic children
Small Sensory toys for autistic children
Zuru hamster (My boys hold these vibrating pets in their hands for sensory input)
Calming gifts and toys for autistic children
Oral sensory gifts
Giving the perfect gift
Not every kids needs the hottest new trend. When buying toys for autistic children, keep their developmental and sensory needs in mind, and look for a gift that will benefit them as well as excite them. Don’t be discouraged if you are still purchasing gifts well below your child’s target age – as frustrating as it can be, remind yourself that your child will enjoy it, and that is what matters most. I still purchase a LOT of 6-12 month old toys for my 3 year old, but his face lights up, and they get the most use. Focusing on meeting one of their needs is the goal when picking out the perfect gift. Where are your favorite places to shop for kids on the spectrum? Let me know in the comments!
I taught special education for many years and I think you have made some wonderful choices for the sensory-seeking kiddo! Many of these would be great for school donations too!
Thanks, Sarah! That’s a great idea!
Wow, so much value in this post. Thank you for sharing. This gives me so many new ideas.
You bet! I love sharing ideas! 😄
I am a Special Education Teacher. These toys are perfect for an Autistic child or one that has sensory sensitivity. These toys will benefit the child and make them happy as well. Rachel from Explore Kid Talk.com
Thanks for your input, Rachel! 😁
These are such wonderful ideas! I’m a speech therapist and know that my students would love everything on this list!
Thanks, Lara! I’m sure you see lots of these items on a regular basis! 😄
this is an awesome resource. you have really great toy selections!
This is a wonderful plethora of toys! I think they would be appreciated by autistic children as well as everyone else! Thanks for sharing.
These are wonderful recommendations! I just stopped in a Five Below store about 2 weeks ago for the first time and was shocked at how much stuff they had!
Ohhhhh yes, Five Below is like a hidden gem! I am hooked!
Thanks Tiff! This was so helpful for me with ideas for my nephew! Great information!
So glad your nephew will benefit from this, Carrie! I love to hear feedback! 😄