Find Toys For A Spectrum Of Play

At Creative Kidstuff, kids aren’t just our business, they are our passion… families too. That’s why we are so proud to partner with St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development, a center of excellence with more than 50 years of experience in early childhood education and specialized autism services. This partnership allows us to provide the families of children on the autism spectrum with a new level of service as they strive to help their children grow and thrive. In celebration of April being Autism Awareness Month, we are providing you with even more insight, inspiration and suggestions. Watch below to find out how to boost a child’s creativity, problem solving & so much more!

We invite you to come play, discover and learn with us! Browse our recommended toys, broken down into the following 6 Skill Categories. Each item was thoughtfully chosen by specialists from St. David’s Center to help enhance the play and development of children on the autism spectrum. Click on the green headers to see our top picks for play!

Social Engagement & Interaction

These toys should successfully move children in a desired direction by appealing to what already engages and motivates them. This allows them to take small steps toward more meaningful interactions. Look for toys that:

  • Are simple to enjoy
  • Provide the sensory input they prefer
  • Reinforce desired skills and successful behaviors
  • Promote taking turns and cooperation
  • Allow opportunities for imitation
  • Provide a certain amount of predictability or familiarity

Emotional Development & Regulation

Certain books and toys can help children on the autism spectrum develop strategies to recognize social cues, emotions and how to behave in a socially acceptable manner. These toys should allow children to:

  • Develop skills that will help them build connections with others
  • Learn to make positive self-management choices
  • Express emotions appropriately
  • Demonstrate a range of emotional states
  • Imitate and “try on” different emotions
  • Initiate conversations about the “why and how” of different emotions or emotional reactions

Creative Thinking & Imaginative Play

Imagination is the key to figuring out what someone else might feel, believe and desire. It contributes to the development of logic, memory and abstract thinking. Toys that support creative thinking will:

  • Actively engage children’s imaginations
  • Allow creative self-expression to help them gain confidence
  • Be a learning tool for how to navigate their own world
  • Include elements of construction & building, dress-up & costumes or be interactive with arts or music.

Sensory Motor Development

Children need to have regular opportunities for enhanced sensory and motor experiences as well as for restful and calming experiences. Toys that help children develop their sensory and motor skills should allow for some of the following:

  • Help with organizing themselves in relation to the world around them
  • Support large motor play and physical body awareness
  • Guide physical skill development and self-regulation
  • Support hand-eye coordination, motor planning and attention
  • Enhance positive sensory inputs that are specific to that child

Communication & Interaction

Teaching communication through play can help children  effectively convey their messages and express their needs or feelings. This often reduces frustration and promotes positive interactions with others. Opportunities to instill those communication skills during play might include:

  • Promoting taking turns while playing
  • Creating a “give-and-take” nature of play
  • Requesting and talking about pieces or components of a game or toy
  • Assembly, step-by-step and dress-up activities
  • Verbal participation activities

Cognition & Problem Solving

Helping children on the autism spectrum put together parts of a whole can lead to a sense of achievement and boost self esteem and confidence. When engaging with a child’s sense of cause and effect, one should consider toys and games that:

  • Encourage mastering new skills and concepts
  • Form essential building blocks for independence and social integration
  • Create opportunities for kids to respond to visual cues or abstract ideas
  • Aid in helping kids to stretch their minds to solve problems
  • Tackle complex and abstract ideas

At Creative Kidstuff, our mission is simple: We help families play!

CKS_Blog_DTOP_BelowContent
Criteo CKS
Creative Kidstuff 's mission is simple: we help families play. Why? Because play is joyful, educational, creative and inspiring. Creative Kidstuff purchases help GreaterGood.org reach thousands of children in need each year.