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Sensory Toys and Games for Children with Autism

By: Molly Schwichtenberg

Playtime can be a crucial part of a child's growing and learning experience as they age. Children develop fundamental skills by playing, whether it's with their favorite toy, playing a new game with friends, or engaging in a sensory activity. Sensory play is when a child is engaged in any activity that stimulates the five senses. These five senses are sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste. Sensory play can be especially important for children with autism. Sensory play can help children with autism learn and develop social skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and self-control. When they are engaged in a sensory activity it can help them regulate and even at times prevent an oncoming meltdown. Children of any age can start learning and having fun with the sensory games, toys, and activities below.

Sensory Play for Kids with Special Needs

This article discusses how sensory play is important for children to learn about the world surrounding them and how their bodies work.

Sensory Activities for Preschoolers with Autism

Sensory play can be fun for kids of any age, this site focuses on some activities designed for preschoolers.

National Autism Resources: Toys and Gifts

This site has a ton of fun sensory toys and games for children with autism.

Sensory Integration (video)

Lindsey Biel explains what sensory integration is and how to raise a sensory smart child in this video presentation.

Growing Hands-On Kids

Find some sensory activities for children with this helpful list of ideas organized by age.

DIY Calm Down Sensory Bottles 101

Sensory bottles can be calming for when a child becomes overwhelmed. Learn how to make your own with this site.

Sensory Sensitivities: Children and Teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Learn about how some children can have sensory sensitivities and how to help. This site focuses on children aged 4-18.

31 Days of Sensory Play Ideas

A whole month worth of fun sensory play ideas for your child that they will love.

Sensory Activities for Toddlers

Sensory play can be for any age, even toddlers. Help their little bodies growing and learning with these activities.

Sensory Play Ideas, Sensory Bins, and Messy Play Ideas

Find fun activities that focus on the sense of touch with sensory bins and messy play.

Sensory Activities for 0-18 Month Olds

Help promote your baby's sensory development by engaging in these sensory activities for babies aged 0-18 months old.

Helping your Child Cope with Sensory Needs

This page will help you learn how to help your child with their sensory needs whether it's an over sensitivity or under sensitivity.

PBS Sensory Play

Kids can create, investigate, and explore with these PBS sensory activities you can do at home.

17 Sensational Sensory Activities for Toddlers

Rasmussen College lists 17 great ideas for sensory activities you can play with your toddler.

Tinker Lab: Sensory Activities

These sensory activities will help children to develop fundamental skills and have fun while doing them.

Sensory Motor Activities

Learn how important sensory motor activities are to a developing child with this article.

Pre-K Pages: Sensory Bins

Explore this list of fun sensory bin ideas for children in pre school, pre-k, and kindergarten.

MSU: Cognitive Development and Sensory Play

Michigan State University helps to explain the relation between cognitive development and sensory play in children with this article.

NARYC: Play

The National Association for the Education of Young Children explains how play connects to learning.

Importance of Sensory Play

Learn the meaning of sensory play and why it is important in young children.

KaBOOM Sensory Play

Build your own sensory rich playspace with these helpful tips from KaBOOM.

Infants and Toddlers: The Power of Sensory Experiences

Understand how a baby explores through their senses with this scholastic article and recommended books on the senses.

What are Sensory Toys?

Learn all about the toys that engage children by keeping their focus when they use one or all of their senses.

Multi Sensory Environments

Examine the benefits of having a multi sensory environment for your child with this helpful article.

Activities for Autistic Children

Take a look at these fun activities and games for children with autism. They will have a blast while learning fundamental skills.

The Five Senses by ABCYa

Explore the five senses of sight, taste, touch, smell, and sound with this fun educational activity.

15 Five Senses Activities

Kids can learn all about their five senses with any of these activities.

KVIEKids: My Five Senses

Children will learn about their five senses by clicking on the correct sense to finish the sentence in this game.

Play the Senses Guessing Game

This game will keep your taste bud's entertained by guessing what is in each container.

Host a "Sensory Olympics"

Stage a five event sensory olympics with help from this better homes and gardens article.

KidsHealh: All About Your Senses

Try out some of these fun experiments to test all five of your senses.

5 Senses Lessons, Activities, and Teaching Ideas

Help a child learn about their five senses with these educational lessons, activities, and teaching ideas.

The Five Senses Science Activities

Learn about the five senses with some activities to learn more about each specific one.

12 Sensory Play Ideas to Encourage Hands on Learning

Have a hands on play party by using any of these 12 sensory play ideas with your kids.

10 Fun Sensory Play Activities You Can Do at Home

Kids will love these fun sensory activities that are bouncy, squishy, noisy, and yummy.