Still trying to choose the most amazing (and fun) gift to give a child with autism?  We sat down with an expert who will help us all pick out the absolute best-of-the-best, perfect for just about any kid!

Gifts For Kids With Autism 2023 - Best Toys, Games, Gift Ideas For Autistic Children Christmas 2023

Whether it’s for Christmas, their birthday, or “just because” it can be tough trying to find the “right” gift for that special someone in your life with autism.  While there are a bunch of options out there, we’re leaving it to an actual expert in the field to not only let us know some of her faves, but the reasons why, and even some really useful tips too!

Traci Glynn has an M.Ed. Early Childhood with Advanced Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies, has been teaching for the past 15-years in both substantially separate and integrated classrooms, and is the proud owner of Play Date & Playmates which provides individual and small group sessions focused on developing and increasing play skills, social skills, and social-
emotional learning in young children.  There’s no one more qualified (and caring) to help us with this gift guide!

Traci says that what she’s taught has almost always stayed the same, but how she’s taught has changed and evolved depending on the individual child.  These are some of her favorite gifts, toys, and games mainly because they can be adapted in a variety of ways to accommodate a variety of young players, but mostly because they’re tons of fun to play!

Shop our picks for some of the best gifts (games & toys) for the amazing kids with autism in your life in 2023.

1.

The Best Gift of 2023

The Lucky Ducks Memory & Matching Game – Buy It Here

Gifts For Kids With Autism 2023: Lucky Ducks 2023

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Perfect For Ages: 3+
Price Point:  $$$$$

It quacks and moves and gets a child’s attention. Let’s face it, gaining a kid’s interest is the first step in anything! It’s a matching game mostly, but a memory game if you can keep track of the ducks too.

Miss Traci’s TipIntroduce a simpler version of the game by drawing the four shapes onto separate pieces of paper and each player takes turns finding a match. Once this skill is mastered each player picks a shape and must find that match! If it’s too overwhelming, place just a few ducks on the pond at a time. This level involves flexibility, which is a skill kids on the spectrum are working on, but most other kids are as well.  Learn more here.


2.

The Nighttime Pick

The Bunny Bedtime “Make a Choice” Game – Buy It Here

Gifts For Kids With Autism 2023: Bunny Bedtime 2023

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Perfect For Ages: 2+
Price Point:  $$$$$

This is such a fun game to help teach children about a nighttime routine. And it serves as a great reminder to families that giving a child choice helps them feel powerful. It also involves some flexible thinking when a player lands in the same activity and gets to switch the other players choice.

Miss Traci’s TipBe sure to make connections for your child. Time to brush teeth just like bunny!  Learn more here.


3.

The Memory Pick

The Educational Match Stacks – Buy It Here

Gifts For Kids With Autism 2023: Wooden Memory Matching Game 2023

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Perfect For Ages: 3+
Price Point:  $$$$$

It’s a super fun classic memory game, but the wooden pieces give it a more durable and fancier feel. Plus, the container is a perfect place to store your matches.

Miss Traci’s TipTry using a grid for any memory because children understand the concept a bit more when there is a visual. To help “save the spot” teach kids to flip the disc over, rather than picking it up, For beginners, divide the set into two piles and line one set (either side will works based on level) up in front of the child. One at a time present a disc from your pile saying, “Elephant where are you?” Learn more here.


4.

The Multiple Steps Pick

The Paw Patrol Dog House Bingo – Buy It Here

Gifts For Kids With Autism 2023: Paw Patrol Bingo 2023

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Perfect For Ages: 4 – 9 yrs old
Price Point:  $$$$$

This is a fun twist on the Fisher Price Classic Barnyard Bingo. Often using favorite characters is a draw for children on the spectrum who maybe reluctant to play board games. This game is a good introduction to completing multiple steps in order to play the game. Learn more here.


5.

The Teamwork Pick

The My First Orchid – Buy It Here

 

Gifts For Kids With Autism 2023: First Orchid 2023

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Perfect For Ages: 2 +
Price Point:  $$$$$

This is a quality board game with large, colorful wooden pieces. It’s a cooperative game so teamwork and cheering on your partner is a must. There is still the chance the Raven will eat all your fruit before you can pick it, so children still have the social-emotional lesson of dealing with the frustration and disappointment of losing. The die not only relies on coloring
matching, but also involves higher-level thinking of remembering what to do when the picnic basket or raven is rolled.

Miss Traci’s TipYou can tape the path pieces to the table to help keep them in place. The less distraction the better when
playing with youngsters.  Learn more here.


6.

The Super Fun Pick

The Roll & Play – Buy It Here

Gifts For Kids With Autism 2023: Roll & Play For toddlers 2023

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Perfect For Ages: Up to 4 yrs old
Price Point:  $$$$$

This big plush dice game increases joint attention and social interaction, not to mention turn-taking, color matching, dramatic play, listening to directions, and imitating actions. Whew, that’s a lot of fun packed into one game!

Miss Traci’s Tip: Use this game to help increase speech and language. Instead of just reading the cards yourself, have your child fill in the blank. “Oh this boy feels ___.” Or  “Roar like a ____. ” For children who are pre or non verbal use it as a receptive language game. Leave a few of the cards out face up and tell them to  “Find the boy who is feeling sad, or the girl who is jumping.”  Learn more here.


7.

The Helpful Pick

The Hands-Free Card Holders – Buy It Here

Gifts For Kids With Autism 2023: Hands Free Card Holder 2023

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Perfect For Ages: 3 – 9 yrs old
Price Point:  $$$$$

Who doesn’t love a good round of cards? Games like Go Fish, Slap Jack with Flapjacks, and Old Maid are much more enjoyable and organized when using these card holders, especially for those with fine motor challenges.  Learn more here.


8.

The Matching Pick

The Shape Finder Cookies – Buy It Here

Gifts For Kids With Autism 2023: Shape Finder 2023

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Perfect For Ages: 3+
Price Point:  $$$$$

This is one of the favorites of the year! Plus, all the cookies look so yummy.

Miss Traci’s TipAdd cookie sheets, plates, and spatulas for an element of dramatic play. The spinner can be a bit overwhelming for some kids, so you don’t always have to use it. Instead, call out a shape and have them race to be the first to put the correct cookie onto their plate. Using flashcards is another way to help players match the shapes!  Learn more here.


9.

The Book Pick

The Poke-a-Dot Book – Buy It Here

Gifts For Kids With Autism 2023: Poke a Dot book 2023

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Perfect For Ages: 3 – 5 yrs old
Price Point:  $$$$$

These hands-on books provide a tactile experience and are a wonderful way to get reluctant “readers” interested in books. Isolating the index finger for “popping” not only helps increase fine motor strength, but also teaches pointing, which is a skill that is often missing in children with autism.  Learn more here.


10.

The Puzzle Pick

The Wooden Tetris Puzzle – Buy It Here

Gifts For Kids With Autism 2023: Tetris Puzzle 2023

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Perfect For Ages: 3+
Price Point:  $$$$$

We all remember playing Tetris for hours and this board version is just as addicting! Every child has their own way of doing it, and observing their process is fascinating!

Miss Traci’s TipOne of the best ways to help a child when they are stuck is to ask permission to move a few of the pieces so they have more room to try again. Learn more here.


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