Saturday, November 24, 2012

8 Great Gifts under $25 for Kids with Autism by HASBRO

While at LATISM, I had the opportunity to meet several brands - one of them being HASBRO.  I got to check out some of their toys and I instantly fell in love with the Play-Doh Diggin' Riggs Buster The Power Crane. (I knew that was a must have for The Boy. With Christmas and his 7th birthday coming up - it'll be a wonderful surprise for him.) However I was surprised to discover that many of the toys we have in our home were part of the HASBRO family.

When it comes to toys, we just can't buy anything - we need to make sure that The Boy can benefit from it. Play skills don't come naturally to many children with autism - it really needs to be taught

But there is no need to break the bank when buying gifts. So I'd thought I'd share some of our favorite HASBRO toys all under $25.00.

Playskool Sesame Street Bert & Ernie Figures - $5.99 
18 months - 4 years old
There are other great figures (Elmo, Big Bird, Grover, Cookie Monster etc.) but right now The Boy really loves his Bert & Ernie. They are the perfect size for small hands and great for imaginative play. We love recreating our favorite scenes and making up new dialogue. 

Memory Disney Princess Edition - $8.99 
Memory Game Match and Motor Speedway Disney Pixar Cars 2 Edition - $8.99
For 1 or more players - 3 years and up
We have been playing Memory games with The Boy since Early Intervention. We started off slowly, with 2 or 3 sets and as he got better - we increased the number of possible matches. It has helped with both concentration and turn taking skills.  

Don't Break the Ice - $8.99
2 to 4 players - 3 years and up
This is The Boy's favorite game! It's fantastic for fine motor skills - holding the mallet and setting up the game - and great for turn taking/socialization. The Boy loves when all the ice cubes fall - he doesn't care that it means he lost the game, he's just having fun. I have to admit, I really like playing this game too.  

Scatterpillar Scramble - $19.99 
2 to 4 players - 4 years and up (choking hazard - not for children under 3 years old)
The Boy's former Occupational Therapist used to play this game during her sessions. Holding the tongs helped his pincer grasp and eye/hand coordination.

Play-Doh Diggin' Riggs Buster The Power Crane - $21.99
3 years and up
Because what kid doesn't love Play-Doh? And for kids with autism and sensory processing disorder, Play-Doh is always the perfect gift. When I saw this at LATISM I knew that it had to be on The Boy's holiday list for sure. He loves Play-Doh and cranes - this is really the best of both worlds. Play-Doh addresses sensory needs, fine motor skills, strengthens hand muscles and encourages imaginative play.  When in doubt - anything Play-Doh is great gift.  

Gator Golf - $22.99 
1 to 2 players - 3 years and up
The Husband loves playing Gator Golf with The Boy. Gator Golf is not only fun for everyone but it also helps strengthen hand muscles and core, increases concentration and helps coordination.   

SIT’N SPIN - $24.99
18 months to 5.5 years old
I regret that I jumped on the SIT'N SPIN band wagon too late. I should have purchased this as soon as The Boy was diagnosed. It's a great toy for sensory seekers! Not only does the SIT'N SPIN encourage balance and coordination but it also strengthens core and hand muscles. 

Remember: when buying toys for kids with autism - try not to focus on the age. Think of where the child is developmentally. For example, even though The Boy will be 7 in January - there are many toys in that age category that are too advanced. So I look at toys that are within the 3 - 5 year old range.
*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.