The Importance of Toy-Based Play with Children on the Spectrum
J James Myers

The Importance of Toy-Based Play with Children on the Spectrum

Aug 3, 2022

Children on the autism spectrum have their unique development milestones. However, simply because they communicate and process the world around them from a unique perspective does not mean that they cannot receive learning benefits through toy-based play. In most cases, children on the spectrum can build significant skills through a tailored style of play that focuses on progressive development. Discovery Toys has multiple award-winning toys and games for kids to help children with autism develop their fine motor, sensory awareness, social interaction, and other skills.

benefits of toy based play on brain


Building Hand-Eye Coordination From a Young Age

For babies and toddlers on the spectrum, finding ways to develop their motor skills at this critical time means that they have a better chance of advancing these skills as they get older. With a toy like the Froggy Ball, you can help your toddler develop fine motor coordination more effectively. The Froggy Ball makes noise when moved and has holes in the ball for children to easily grasp. They can become more accustomed to objects making sounds and build more strength as they play, hold, and interact with the ball. 

Super Yummy presents another toy that can help with sensory development and ease teething through reward-based play! The bright red color attracts sensory attention, and the soothing vanilla taste provides a pleasant taste as babies and toddlers explore their natural hand-to-mouth movements.


Path Completion Based Play Helps Therapists Connect With Kids

Therapists can play an essential role in the overall development of children with autism. Their training helps connect with their young clients and enables them to better communicate and interact with their children’s families and care-givers. Therapists often used play-based activities to encourage kids to engage with the therapeutic exercises throughout their sessions.  One particular play product used by many therapists is the MarbleWorks® Grand Prix offered by Discovery Toys. This particular toy has multiple benefits, including the ease of building a track, engagement with marbles as they race down the track, and incentive to get creative by making their own track. The most beneficial aspect comes in the form of the pick-up-and-play nature of the set. The children can engage with the toy but not be entirely overwhelmed by the stimulus and easily return to the session. 

Additionally, utilizing toys that have clearly defined beginnings and endings can help your child understand the concept of path completion. Starting an activity from the beginning, seeing it through to the end, and then moving onto the next activity is a vital tool for them as they get older. Busy Bugs can help as a fun and creative way to understand path completion while developing fine motor skills and early math skills.

As your child grows older, finding the right toys to help continue their development becomes essential. One such toy that helps them understand patterns and spatial awareness while exploring their creativity is Mosaic Mysteries! The array of puzzle combinations allows them to not only follow a set path to the end of the game but also express themselves creatively through the endless combinations of shapes and colors!


Building Connections With Family

One of the most unique opportunities for family members of children with autism is finding ways to communicate effectively. With card games like Family Talk, Family Talk 2, and Grandparent Talk, you can have an outlet to initiate conversations with your children. By allowing the child to pick which card they want, you give them agency or control over when and what they want to talk about.. The cards selected by parents or grandparents allow them to share their experiences while showing the children that it is a safe space to communicate and connect with their elders if they feel comfortable.

Children on the autism spectrum and their parents possess a wealth of avenues to continue development moving forward. Their ongoing development requires attentive care, patience, and the right learning toys and learning games for kids to help build the cognitive, social, and communication skills they will need later. Finding the right toys to help them can be the opportunity they need to interact with the world around them more effectively.

Link to share

Use this link to share this article

A Alice Crowley-Mize
Jun 17, 2024

Thank you. My grandson is not quite 4 and is on the autism spectrum. Language is particularly a problem. Tonighthe and his twin were here. I had purchased the Marble works grand prix set, for his older sister mainly who is 6. He was intrigued. We assisted a lot with the building, but he was hooked. He returned again and again to play. Thank you, thank you.