21 of the Best Developmental & Sensory Toys for Kids With Autism

 

Developmental & sensory toys help kids with autism learn, calm down and focus while having fun. From my perspective as an autism mom, these are some of the best toys for kids with autism.

Have you ever had that moment in the toy aisle where you think you’re the worst Mom ever because you have no idea what to buy? I get it.

As parents, we are always searching for the best ways to help our kids with autism, and toys and games are fun tools to we can use to help improve their developmental and sensory needs.

We know this but finding the right toys is often a struggle, and sometimes it’s downright depressing. So, with a little help from our speech, ABA, and occupational therapists I’ve created this collection of autism toys both developmental & sensory that you can count on to be both educational and fun!

Developmental & Sensory Toys

Melissa & Doug Puzzle

Developmental & Sensory Toys

These puzzles are fun and educational autism toys. They are perfect for working on color matching and counting skills! They are also fantastic for fine motor skills!

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Petit Collage Feelings Book

Developmental & Sensory Toys

This book will help you teach your child a range of emotions from sad to shy. It’s perfect for interactive role play & it’s one of our ABA therapists favorite autism toys! 

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Edushape Sensory Blocks

Developmental & Sensory Toys

Your child can be a creative builder with these soft foam blocks that are easy to grip. The texture, softness, and shape of Edushape blocks adapts well for children with special sensory needs. Stacking promotes gross motor skills by building build muscle tone. Playing with blocks also improves a child’s spatial, logical, and reasoning skills. Bonus! They are super fun! 

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Gone Shopping Board Game 

Developmental & Sensory Toys

Family game night! This board game was designed to help children build memory skills and encourage language development. This game is one of my favorite autism toys for kids because it sets the stage for grocery shopping, introducing new foods to a picky eater, and encourages social interaction!

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Fat Brain Toys Squigz  

Developmental & Sensory Toys

This creative developmental & sensory toy is perfect for kids that need help focusing on fine motor skills a fun way! You can use Squigz to encourage interaction, creativity, and provide relaxation and sensory stimulation.

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developmental and sensory toys

12 Sided Fidget Cube

Developmental & Sensory Toys

The ultimate fidget toy! This toy has 12 gadgets to chose from like smiley minion faces, soft buttons, sliding blocks, silicone gears, a worry stone, and gaming buttons!

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Wikki Stix 

Developmental & Sensory Toys

Wikki Stix are fun and educational autism toys that can help your child learn shapes, letters, and numbers!

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Chewy Jewelry

Developmental & Sensory Toys

Many kids on the autism spectrum need oral sensory stimulation. These necklaces by Chubuddy are fantastic! The Chubuddy is made from lead and latex free high-quality materials making it a safe choice for kids. It’s also user friendly-each of the pendants are attached to a breakaway necklace!

Sensory Rollers 

Developmental & Sensory Toys

One of my son’s current favorite sensory toys! These sensory stress balls come in a set of 4. Perfect for home or school!

Quack Stack

Developmental & Sensory Toys

This bath time toy is tons of fun for kids with autism-but it doesn’t stop there: Pouring the water helps kids with fine motor development while they learn visual and spatial skills.

RELATED: 55 Awesome Gifts for Kids with Special Needs

Crazy Aaron Thinking Putty

Developmental & Sensory Toys

Crazy Aaron’s putty is a great sensory toy for autistic children. Playing with putty has a calming effect on kids with autism and it helps strengthen hand muscles!

Sensory Water Beads

Developmental & Sensory Toys

Sensory play benefits kids with autism and sensory processing issues by allowing them to explore different objects and textures on their own terms. I love these water beads as sensory bin fillers or as sensory toys on their own.

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Handy Scoopers

Developmental & Sensory Toys

This fine motor tool set is an awesome toy for kids with autism! By using these tools your child will strengthen fine motor skills and the muscles needed for writing. We use these in our sensory bins because they are perfectly sized for little hands.

Buy now here

RELATED: 5 Ways Sensory Play Benefits Kids with Autism

Skoolzy Lacing Beads

Developmental & Sensory Toys

Our occupational therapist suggested these lacing beads to help develop fine motor skills! You can use them to teach colors, shapes, and counting!

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Basic Skills Board 

Developmental & Sensory Toys

This is one of the best educational games for kids with autism! It helps kids learn manual life skills like snapping a button, zipping a zipper, and tying laces. It’s also a puzzle!

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Tangle Fidget Toy

Developmental & Sensory Toys

This is one of our favorite fidget toys! Our occupational therapist recommended this one because it’s well made with a special rubberized texture on the outside.

Kinetic Sand 

Developmental & Sensory Toys

Kinetic sand is another awesome toy for sensory seekers! And it’s safe and easy to clean up!

Bubbles

Developmental & Sensory Toys

The Fubbles No-Spill bucket is a must have for all kids especially those with autism! (Holds up to 20 ounces of bubbles-which are not included-but works with as little as 4 ounces!)

Bubbles are great at calming kids with autism and sensory processing disorder because they require slow breathing to “blow”. This no-spill bucket will come in handy and makes a great toy as it allows multiple kids to play at one time.

Here’s the link to 64 oz of bubble solution to put in there! If you’re child loves bubbles as much as mine does this will save you a lot of money (and a few trips to the store)!

RELATED: 50 Tools Every Autism Mom Needs in Her Calm Down Kit

Phlat Ball

Developmental & Sensory Toys

If you’re looking a super cool fun toy that’s preferred by speech therapists get a Phlat Ball! It’s like a frisbee and a ball all in one and kids of all ages love it! It’s great for kids with autism because it introduces cause & effect.

Shopping for Toys for Kids with Sensory Needs

When my son was diagnosed I wanted a list of EVERYTHING-including toys! I didn’t understand why such a list didn’t exist. I do now.

Every child on the autism spectrum is unique and requires a learning environment with toys that reflect his or her needs.

Keep this in mind when purchasing for your child. Also, try to chose toys that are in keeping with what interests your child. No matter how fabulous a toy may be if it doesn’t appeal to your kid he’s not going to play with it!

Pay no attention to age ranges or what she should be playing with. Kids with autism march to the beat of a different drum. Don’t limit them based on what works for most kids.

Finally, don’t overthink it! If it looks like something your child will have fun with or learn from or both-go for it!

Oh, and never throw out toys because your child doesn’t seem interested! Pack them up and reintroduce them at a later time. Things change!

My intention for writing this guide was to make it easier for you to select developmental and sensory toys for your special needs child. I hope I have helped. I know the struggles you face daily firsthand. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help!

You May Also Like

65 Brilliant Autism Toys: Therapist & Kid Approved Games + Toys 

50 Tools Every Autism Mom Should Have in Her Calm Down Kit

55 Heavy Work Activities That Help Kids With Autism Calm Down & Focus

26 Funny Signs You May Be An Autism Mom

If you enjoyed this collection of developmental and sensory toys, please share it on Pinterest!

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