Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological condition that can affect an individual's social interaction, communication skills, and sensory processing. As parents, caregivers, or educators of children with autism, we understand the importance of providing them with an environment that fosters growth, development, and enjoyment. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to supporting children on the autism spectrum, we firmly believe that as a part of autism therapy,  play and engagement can be used as powerful tools for their progression.

At Action Behavior Centers, our ABA therapists aim to share valuable insights, creative ideas, and resources that can empower you to create an enriching and inclusive experience for your autistic child or the children you care for. Whether you are looking for solo activities that stimulate independent play or interactive experiences that facilitate bonding with peers and family members, we've got you covered.little-boy-playing-with-wooden-motor-skill-toy-2022-12-16-22-20-51-utc

We find it vital to recognize that each child on the spectrum has unique preferences, strengths, and challenges. As such, we have curated a diverse range of ideas that cater to different interests, abilities, and developmental stages. With this list, our goal is to present a broad spectrum of activities and toys, allowing you to select the ones that resonate most with your child's individuality and needs.

  1. Mr. Potato Head: When it comes to the well-being of our children, being able to communicate and express pain or discomfort effectively is crucial. Teaching children with autism to verbalize their pain and identify the specific location is an important skill. Mr. Potato Head can serve as a helpful tool in introducing the first step of understanding body parts. Through steady repetition, this can enhance their comprehension by creating a fun and interactive learning experience that encourages their participation and understanding. 
  2. Hammer & Ball Toy: It's no secret that young children on the autism spectrum are captivated by cause-and-effect toys. Cause-and-effect toys hold tremendous potential for engaging children with autism by facilitating imitation skills and promoting joint attention. This toy also encourages hand-eye coordination. By demonstrating how to interact with these toys, such as hitting balls, we can encourage our children's participation. Adding silly faces and playful sounds can promote joint attention, while repeatedly pairing relevant words like "ball" and "hit" strengthens their vocabulary. 
  3. Sensory Mats: Sensory mats are fun for kids with autism due to their ability to provide a variety of sensory experiences in a controlled and safe environment. Sensory mats offer a range of tactile, visual, and sometimes auditory stimuli, allowing children to engage their senses in a structured manner. The different textures, colors, and patterns on the mat provide opportunities for exploration and stimulation, which can be calming, soothing, or even invigorating to kids. 
  4. Assembly Toys: Toys that can be put together and taken apart can be really engaging for kids on the autism spectrum due to all of the variations of creation that can happen during play. Connecting blocks, train tracks,  car tracks, or robot construction toys are all different options that can allow for the encouragement of varying levels of play. This type of play can be done in a manner that allows for practicing turn-taking or requesting skills. Creativity can be encouraged or kids can follow a set of verbal or visual instructions to create a specific outcome with the toys. When selecting an assembly toy, keep your child’s level of coordination and fine motor skills in mind.
  5. Soft Comfort Items: Items like a soft blanket, weighted stuffed animal, and memory foam stuffed animals. These cuddly companions offer a safe and soothing tactile experience, promoting a sense of calm and providing different sensory experiences for children with autism. Smaller-sized versions are easy for your child to carry around and provide comfort at daycare, doctor’s office, or restaurants. 
  6. Play Tents and Tunnels: Play tents and tunnels are great for kids with autism as they offer a range of sensory experiences and promote engagement, imagination, and social interaction. These versatile play structures provide a safe and enclosed space where children can explore their sensory preferences and engage their senses. The enclosed nature of play tents and tunnels creates a calming environment, offering a sense of security and comfort as they foster imaginative play and creative exploration. The tunnels even offer the opportunity for physical movement and motor skills to be developed as children crawl, maneuver, and navigate through the tunnels. 
  7. Insert See & Spell Learning Puzzle: Language development is crucial to any child's growth, especially for those with autism. Engaging in simple activities, such as insert puzzles, can provide a fantastic opportunity to build vocabulary and foster language skills. You can even enhance the activity by incorporating animal sounds, creating a multisensory learning experience. 


We encourage you to embrace this journey as an opportunity for growth, learning, and connection. Engaging in activities with your child can foster a stronger bond, open avenues for communication, and provide them with a sense of security and support. Together, let's embrace the joys of play and embark on a path of discovery, where we witness the incredible potential that lies within our children with autism. Let's create a world where every child feels empowered, celebrated, and cherished.


At Action Behavior Centers, we strive to provide compassionate care for children on the autism spectrum. We believe that early Intervention can be a great foundation in building a brighter future with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. ABC is committed to getting your child started as soon as possible because every moment counts. 

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