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Choosing Christmas Gifts for Children with Autism?
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Or that’s what the song says. But when you have a child who is on the autism spectrum sometimes buying gifts that will last more than a day can be difficult. The reason that I worry about toys and gifts being torn up and thrown away after being played with “correctly” after a few days is that that is the way it is when you have a child that needs that sensory input.
And children who have autism often engage in tons of sensory seeking behavior that may result in broken toys. Unfortunately, it’s just life. No matter how many times you tell them to play nicely or to stop taking things apart, they still do.
So now after many, many failed attempts of trying to buy gifts for my children that all of their friends are playing with, I have realized that they just need super durable gifts that will give them that sensory input. And when shopping for Christmas gifts for my kids, I literally think of every way my kids will try to break something and also try to keep my eye out for sensory gifts.
(THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS HOWEVER, I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND ANYTHING THAT I DO NOT BELIEVE IN OR USE MYSELF. YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT MY DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE)
Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids with Autism
So I am totally that mom that will ask Santa for things that my child needs before asking for tons of toys. This weighted blanket was made especially for my daughter Aubrey who has high-functioning autism. She has a very difficult time getting to and staying asleep and this weighted blanket has made a huge difference.
I wrote an entire post about it here – Can a Weighted Blanket Truly Help My Child with Autism Sleep?
Children who are on the autism spectrum tend to love bouncing and jumping EVERYWHERE. That’s why last year we finally got one of these bad boys. This indoor trampoline is the perfect size for your child to use inside and to help them get that sensory sensation of jumping. It often helps my kids to work out frustrations and puts them in a better mood.
When I noticed that my daughter could not stop chewing on her shirt and hair all of the time, I decided to find something that was better and less destructive to chew when she is bored. These teether necklaces come in a 3-pack set for under $10 and would make the perfect stocking stuffer gift. My little girl loves them and chews on her constantly.
4. The Tangle
The Tangle is a very relaxing fidget toy that you can manipulate in your hands. In fact, I keep one at my desk to help me when I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Oh, if you didn’t know – I have autism too.
Now the tangle links can be taken apart but are super easy to pop back on. Both of my kids have them and love playing with them.
The wooden puzzle fidget is sorta similar to the tangle except that it gives a good click when manipulated. You can move the wooden pieces that are all linked together into many different shapes.
When I was little they had a similar type of toy that came with magnetic balls and sticks. I believe they still sell it – DO NOT BUY IT. Because children can swallow the small magnetic balls and they can become magnetized inside them, they can do some serious damage.
Now the idea was good and there is now a much better magnetic building toy that my kids love. They can build almost anything and have so much fun. These magnetic tiles are also so easy for little hands and the magnets are all inside a durable plastic.
This was one of my best purchases for my daughter back when we couldn’t keep her from breaking toys. She wanted something that she could play within her room, but the problem we kept facing was that she would rip up or break everything because she was bored. So I found this cute little building set by Melissa and Doug for under $15.
That was months ago and she still to this day plays with this set. She loves making different letters and shapes out of it.
These interlocking snowflake-shaped toys are so much fun to build with. And they are so freaking durable for all of the moms out there who’s kids destroy everything. I also love that they can help your kids with their fine motor skills. This set of 150 pieces is less than $20 on Amazon.
You know those times where your child is just so overly stimulated and just need to calm down for a few minutes. That’s where this baby comes in. These bubble timers are so calming to watch and can help your child wind down after running rapidly throughout the house.
10. Bead Maze
When you think about a bead maze the pediatrician’s office suddenly pops into your head. But think about it. They have ti there because it helps to many kids who need to do something rather than just sit and wait.
This Sequin Pillow is perfect for when your child is sitting down and needs to fidget with their hands. By rubbing the sequins in the opposite direction they reveal a different color and help your child to feel relaxed.
12. Kinetic Sand
Putting your hands in the sand and building sandcastles is so much fun when you are a kid – especially sensory seeking kids. That’s why Kinetic Sand has become so popular. You can bring the sand to you and build right from your home.
You know how your kids are always wobbling in their chair and completely unable to sit still? Here’s the best invention for that. The Teeter Popper. Not only does it teether but it also has suction cups on the bottom that make a popping sound when your kids are teetering.
Are your kids fascinated by how things work? If so this is the perfect Christmas gift for them. You have to assemble all of these gears to make them all turn each other. Perfect for kids that love to build.