Sensory activities involve toys, games and activities that stimulate the senses. Sensory play is important for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who often struggle processing sensory information. Children with autism are often sensitive to certain sounds or lights, or even certain textures. Sensory activities for kids with autism are important to help regulate the sensory system. Engaging children with autism in sensory activities is beneficial for the development of several skills, including:
- Language skills. Engaging in pretend play helps develop a child’s language skills by increasing their vocabulary as they discuss their experiences.
- Fine motor skills. Manipulating small objects not only aids in hand-eye coordination, but it also helps strengthen the muscles in a child’s hands and wrists, which in turn helps develop their fine motor skills.
- Gross motor skills. Encouraging kids to practice their running, jumping, and throwing skills through pretend sensory play is an excellent way to develop their gross motor skills by strengthening their large muscles through fun body movements.
- Social skills. Engaging in pretend play with peers doesn’t just build little imaginations. It also teaches important skills like sharing and taking turns!
- Self-control. Sensory play helps develop a child’s ability to respond appropriately to sensory stimulation, which helps enhance their self-control and self-regulation.
Try a range of activities to stimulate all of the five senses – touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing.
The list below has been compiled by Autism Speaks for children with Autism, Aspergers, and Sensory Processing Disorders. There are several sensory friendly toys as well as specific online games and activities designed for children with autism.
Fun and interactive computer learning tool to help children manage and overcome stress, anxiety and poor concentration. Children interact with a family of bright and colorful animal characters who teach them important coping skills to help them manage stressful situations.
Autism Toys and More
Autism toys, books, puzzles, games, and resources for parents and professionals. Categories include: fine motor skills, focus and attention, cognitive development, sensory, social/pretend play, and more!
Automoblox award-winning line of mix-n-match, wooden toy cars have been used as an important learning tool for children with autism.
Here you will find the web’s most unique online kids games. This is a free online preschool games site built specifically for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Award-winning BionicBlox invents building and construction products for 2D and 3D sensory and educational play. The open-ended, captivating press together blocks and connectors provide enhanced stimulation. The size and durability of children’s masterpieces promotes social processes through collaborative play.
bluedominoes: Shaping A Healthier Playtime
bluedomines’ Activity Dough and Finger Prints are the first art supplies product to receive approval from the Celiac Sprue and acceptance by the Feingold Association. Both of our products are gluten free, artificial color free, bromine free and heavy metal free.
Discovery Toys: A Link to Learning for Children with Autism
Discovery Toys interfaced with the famous Princeton Child Development Institute to develop an Autism Support Project. This project has created toys to develop independent play with some limited instruction, toys that promote sustained engagement, toys that build skills for cooperative play, toys that create opportunities for children to talk about their play experience, toys with obvious completion criteria and more!
Fun and Function
Fun and Function was founded by a mom who also happens to be an occupational therapist. Her goal in starting the company was to fill a void for a lack of high quality toys, games and therapy products geared towards special needs children. Funandfunction.com provides children with special needs outstanding products to enable them to reach their fullest potential.
Give Me 5 Social Skills Board Game
Give Me 5 is a fun, non-competitive social skills game covering 8 sub-domains of social skills: self-awareness, situational awareness, non-verbal communication, verbal communication, emotional awareness, perspective taking, manners, and understanding the big picture. It incorporates learning through analyzing social scenarios, using visual cues, role playing, problem solving, and the use of an emotional awareness model. High 5s are given along the way to support the children’s positive social development and nurture their self-esteem.
Her Interactive: Nancy Drew Adventure Games
Her Interactive is the leading mystery-maker and pioneer of fun and inspiring interactive entertainment. Her Interactive’s Nancy Drew games have sold more than 9 million copies. Nancy Drew players now include moms who have introduced their daughters to the girl detective, making her one of history’s longest-running iconic figures spanning generations. As the number-one PC mystery franchise since 2004, unit sales of the Nancy Drew series have exceeded those of Harry Potter, Myst and Tomb Raider.
Smartly-designed products for happy parenting. Packed with smarts, full of fun and ready for the daily adventures of parenting, we’ve created a line of products to help you and your little ones grow together. They’ve all been thoughtfully designed and smartly styled, from tip to toe, to make this whole parenting thing less of a job and more of a joy. Here’s to happy!
Make Beliefs Comix
Come visit MakeBeliefsComix.com, where parents and children can create their own comic strips online and practice writing, ready and storytelling. Parents and teachers of autistic children are using the site to communicate more effectively with their children by creating comic strips to teach and convey information to them.
Me and My World™ Social Skills Board Games and Curriculum
The set of 6 unique themed puzzle cut game boards (Dragon, Pirate, Space Alien, Castle, Zoo Adventure and Sea Life are interchangeable with any of the Me and My World Game Card Decks. The Me and My World Curriculum includes more than 50 lessons that are aligned with the American School Standards for Students. Each lesson addresses a specific objective, includes several activities and recommends children’s stories to use.
Melissa and Doug
Over 2,000 unique and exciting products for children of all ages. Our promise is to make each and every customer a happy and permanent member of the Melissa & Doug family, while offering products with tremendous value, quality and design. Our line offers something for everyone!
OZMO Fun Toys for Autism and Other Special Interests
Created by parents of an adult with autism and OCD to encourage easy, safe, wonderful fun with toys, books, puzzles, sensory and special interest items all geared toward individuals with autism.
Piano Wizard is an amazingly simple video game that can teach anyone from 3-103 how to play the piano and read music in minutes. With a digital piano hooked up to your PC or Mac, you’re playing real keyboard within seconds of sitting in front of a song. The game’s 4-step method has won awards for its simplicity. Even a 3-year-old can play Step 1 and by the time you finish Step 4, you’re reading real musician notation. After Step 4, we’ve seen kids go straight to real piano, and find themselves playing the same song effortlessly.
Pick and Draw
Pick and Draw is a fun, one-of-a-kind drawing game that teaches you how to make very creative cartoon faces. It is simple and easy to use providing endless hours of fun and learning. In five minutes or less you will know how to play!
A world of special toys for special kids. PlayAbility Toys is THE source of fun, unique toys that are developmentally appropriate for all young children and in particular children with special needs! The company specifically designs and markets toys that have many sensory features that incorporate auditory, tactile, visual, and motor stimulation.
Playtime with Zeebu
Bring the world of Playtime with Zeebu home to play! Our goal at Thought Bubble Productions is to make the connection between you and your child/student purposeful.
Raise Your Rainbow® Health Eating Tool
Raise Your Rainbow® is an interactive game that motivates children to eat fruits and vegetables. Kids track the fruits and vegetables they eat throughout the day using the colorful rainbow band magnets – when all 5 bands have been raised to form a complete rainbow, they win! Raise Your Rainbow® is easy to play, fun for kids, and promotes healthy eating. Play right on the fridge or portable for tabletop – also comes with food list by color.
SimplyFun Board Games
Simply Fun offers award winning educational board games for all ages. Our board games are unique and can not be found in stores, they are easy to learn and fun to play, they are designed for learning and connecting, and they are high quality. We have a great deal to offer to parents and families of loved ones with autism and other special needs.
Special Needs Toys
We are providers of carefully selected fun products designed to help you or those in your care enjoy life, and achieve more. Use this site and our catalog to stimulate your imagination, begin programs, or reinforce encouraged behaviors. There is a lot that we can achieve…while having Fun. We are committed to offering the best customer service available.
The Speech Bin
We have tons of fun, new games to improve speaking and listening skills!
Stages Learning Materials was founded by a UCLA trained ABA Therapist in 1997, when Autism diagnosis first began to rise. Our top-selling autism education product, the Language Builder Picture Cards, was designed to specifically meet the learning needs of the individual with Autism. The Language Builder Series has become a staple in home and school programs across the world. Today Stages offers a full range of real photo products for autism education. Stages products are found in pre-schools, day care centers, early childhood classrooms, autism programs, speech language programs, and homes around the world.
The Step2® Company, LLC, headquartered in Streetsboro, Ohio, is the largest American manufacturer of preschool and toddler toys and the world’s largest rotational molder of plastics. Our mission is to be the leading innovator of children’s products that build imaginations and enrich the family’s celebration of childhood.
Topobo for Children with Autism and ASD
Topobo is the world’s first construction toy with kinetic memory, the ability to record and playback physical motion! Research studies with autistic children show that, in comparison to passive blocks, Topobo leads to far more cooperative & parallel play, increased observational behavior, and reduced solitary play patterns.
Toys”R”Us Toy Guide for Differently Abled Kids
Toys selected by experts to aid in the development of children with physical and cognitive disabilities.
WonderWorx invents products for musical, sensory and educational play – and unique pieces for parks, gardens, schools and museums. These imaginative creations combine splashes of sound, color, music or motion to stimulate the senses and encourage social, cooperative interaction.
ZAC Browser: Zone for Autistic Children
ZAC is the first web browser developed specifically for children with autism spectrum disorders. Come find the best environment on the internet for your autistic child!
Zigo Leader Carrier Bike System
Our Mission is to provide human powered vehicles, strollers, and bicycle trailers for use by active parents or other caregivers along with their children. The Company’s first product, the Zigo® Leader™ Carrier Bicycle System,can operate as a three-wheeled carrier bicycle, a stroller, jogging stroller, urban bicycle, or trailer, converting among these modes in under one minute.