As any parent knows, December can be a stressful month.
That’s because most children eagerly await the holiday season with big-time energy and even bigger expectations.
One of those big expectations is the anticipation of receiving a new toy (or two).
For you, the parent, finding the perfect gift for your little one is just one more task that needs to be checked off the long, holiday to-do list.
And there are special challenges when you are a parent of a child with autism.
You may know the types of interests that your child with autism has, but you may not know which gifts would best meet your child’s sensory needs.
And guess what? Each toy on this list costs less than $100!
Without further ado, here are the best sensory gift ideas for kids with autism in 2018.
You’re probably already familiar with fidget toys, but you likely haven’t heard of Kururin, a Japanese toy that improves hand-eye coordination.
At its most basic, it’s a wooden block.
We know what you’re thinking. I just clicked on an article about gift ideas to be told to buy a wooden block?
Bear with us here. It’s what you can do with this wooden block that makes all the difference.
You’ll have to watch the video to see what we mean.
For children with autism, bedtime can be a challenge.
Whether it’s calming down enough to sleep, or having trouble sleeping through the night, this next toy has you covered.
The calming light projects an image of soothing, blue waves on your child’s ceiling It also has the option to play relaxing music.
That’s a double-win in our book.
Who doesn’t want to relax in an inflatable pea pod? Designed for toddlers (although, here’s one for parents of teens) this will become your child’s new favorite hangout spot.
Read a book, play a game, or take a nap. This pea pod provides a comfortable place for children with increased sensitivity.
Sink in and feel the soothing comfort that only comes from being encased in a pea pod.
This one is great for toddlers who are a little older, in the 6 to 8-years-old range.
Does your child love building things? How about solving problems?
This brainteaser allows them to do both. Even better, it will do double-duty, keeping your child’s hands and mind active at the same time.
Speaking of active, these Sumo Bumper Boppers are perfect if your child is of the more rambunctious variety.
The tight-fit sumo suit ensures that your child will feel safe and secure enough to give it a whirl.
And who knows? Parents might have more fun watching the action than the children doing the playing!
This toy is also great for young minds that like to tinker around with how things work. Best for children from 2 to 6, this toy provides a great introduction to circuits while also providing exciting rewards when your child correctly puts the circuits together.
It doesn’t matter if your toddler is a budding builder or a tinkerer extraordinaire, this toy is a ton of fun.
Did you ever have fun jumping from one object to another when you were a kid?
There’s something innately fun about playing “Don’t touch the floor!”
Designed to mimic stepping stones across a river, these rubber triangles are safe and sturdy enough for even the most energetic children.
Create a path for your child to get across, or let them make one of their own.
The fun is all in the simplicity and the ability for your child to make it his or her own.
_But what if your child with autism finds it too frightening to jump from stone to stone? _
Then this next gift idea might do the trick.
These brightly-colored tiles are designed to simply be stepped on and admired. Filled with non-toxic liquid, these sensory squares will mesmerize children and adults alike.
This toy incorporates sensory play in a fun way.
It’s heat-sensitive, which means it will change colors as your child touches it.
The magical board provides an exciting, ever-changing reward for children who may be hesitant to touch and try new things.
This is a great tool to help your child explore his or her creative side.
Kinetic sand has quickly become a sensory-play staple.
You’ve probably heard of it or seen it before, but have you used it?
Because once you do, you’ll understand what has made kinetic sand so popular.
We saved it for last because it’s a tried-and-true gift idea that has been enjoyed by children and adult of all ages.