Toys R Us Autism Friendly Toys – Toys R Us gives parents and friends of children with disabilities an easy-to-use selection of toys that offer kids the best opportunity for fun and learning. With the holidays fast approaching, here are some suggested toys according to the “Toys R Us toy guide for differently-abled kids”; specifically, toys that speak to autism:
Toys R Us Autism Friendly Toys
1. Barbie “Hug ‘n Heal” Pet Doctor by KidDesigns – Children can be a puppy caretaker! Touching puppy’s paws and back provide tactile stimulation and activates puppy sounds. Pup sounds can capture a child’s auditory attention and can aid in providing concrete cues that encourage pretend play. The medical instruments can help children express their feelings about going to the doctor, how it feels to be cared for and to give care to others.
2. City Play Mat by Fast Lane – This colorful mat adds lots of play and skill building possibilities when combined with small toy vehicles. The high contrast between dark streets and dotted yellow lines can help a child focus and follow direction of a car. As kids maneuver cars through the city, they work on eye-hand coordination, reaching, and tracking skills.
3. Learn to Write Your Letters ABC Book by Priddy – This entertaining book provides many levels of use and can challenge and grow with your child. Vivid contrasting colors can grab your child’s attention while the real life pictures are easily identifiable. Sturdy construction and wipe-clean pages make this book durable. Easy to turn pages and a handle make this book very accessible for a child with physical limitations.
4. Lincoln Logs Bil L Ranch by K’Nex – Lincoln Logs is a classic learning toy that remains forever popular with children of all ages and abilities. Children can follow pictorial directions to build the ranch, or use their imagination to create their own designs. The notch design of the logs helps children build stable structures that maintain an upright position. This particularly helps children who have muscle weakness or dexterity issues.
5. 14″ Medical Doll by You & Me! – This doll playset allows children to play doctor or caregiver and may help lessen children’s fears of going to the doctor themselves. The child can feed the baby with a bottle, use scissors to cut a bandage, and “hear” baby’s heartbeat with the stethoscope. During play, fine motor skills are practiced.
6. Little People Lil’ Movers School Bus by Fisher Price – Pretend play can soar and zoom with this Lil’ Movers vehicle. As children press a Little People figure, they hear an auditory response of sounds and music. This can empower a child as he becomes aware of his control in the play and the causality of his actions. Simple in/out play is also encouraged as children grasp a figure with a whole hand or pincer grasp. The open-top design assists in easier access to vehicle’s interior.
7. I Spy Eagle Eye Game by Briarpatch – Are you an “eagle eye”? Can you spot an item on your game card that’s also on your game board? Ring the bell after you’ve spotted an item and you win the round! This is a good beginner game because each child has his or her own game board and play happens simultaneously. Visual scanning skills and attention to detail will help a child play. I Spy Eagle Eye is a terrific family game and presents opportunities for social skills.
8. Thomas & Friends Magnetic Play Book by Random House – Each page of this book is magnetized, allowing a child to place the book’s magnetic train pieces anywhere. The familiar characters of Thomas along with the book’s manipulative aspect can promote interest in books and reading. Train pieces help those who are not reading independently participate in reading.
9. Play-Doh Creativity Center by Hasbro – Mold, shape, cut out and create! This play center provides a child with autism or attention difficulties with a focused play space. Handling Play-Doh helps children use the muscles in their hands and arms as they squish, smash, and mold the “Doh.” The built-in molds are fun incentives for children to create foods, facial features, party decorations and animals.
10. Chunky Puzzles by Melissa & Doug – These high quality wooden puzzle are visually appealing and useful in learning fundamental skills, object recognition and language development can be incorporated by labeling each object and playing simple “find it” games. Problem solving skills and spatial reasoning come into play to find the correct piece and turn it to fit the board.