5 Parent-Child Interaction Toys and Games

There are several things to consider if you’re looking for a toy or gift for a child with autism. Oftentimes children with autism like to keep to themselves, and playtime is a great time to teach!  It’s important to look for toys that encourage social interaction.  Keep on reading to learn more about different parent-child interaction toys and games.

Bonnie Fisher, an Autism Resource Specialist at Easterseals Crossroads, and mother of a child with autism, was recently interviewed on local Channel 13 regarding toys and autism.  During her interview Fisher said:

“Kids on the spectrum are just like typical developing peers; the only difference is in their play they might isolate themselves.  So we want to pick a toy that requires a certain amount of social engagement, and we want them to get excited about playing.  And we want to be excited about playing with our child because we can develop social skills and communication skills while playing.”

So in sum, it’s ideal to consider the following while shopping:

  • Look for toys that require a certain level of social interaction
  • Choose something you can work on with your child
  • Try finding toys with a “wow” factor to keep children interested
  • Be mindful of the child’s sensitivities (e.g. no lights or loud sounds, etc.)

5 Parent-Child Interaction Toys and Games:

There are many toys and games to choose from, but I’ll only highlight a handful.  The following list consists of a variety of toys, all which encourage parent-child interaction.

1. Shake & Make Words:

According to the game’s description,  it is “the fastest, easiest word game you’ll ever play!”  You simply shake the dice dome and watch as the dice settle into their slots to reveal a random set of four letters.  (If your child prefers numbers over words, check out Shake & Make Dice.)  The first person to call out a word from the four letters earns a point.

shake & make words game

Features:

  • Mini dice game of rolling random letters and racing to make words
  • Encourages quick thinking, vocabulary skills, creativity, problem-solving skills
  • Whoever yells out a 4-letter word that uses the letters on the dice wins a point
    • Whoever wins the most points wins the game
  • High quality design and materials for lasting durability
  • Ages 6 and up
2. Toyk Flying Ball:

I came across Toyk, a flying ball on the Amazon Special Needs toy list.  It can be controlled by either your hands or included remote.  Children will especially be mesmerized by the colorful LED lights while the ball is flying.

toyk RC flying ball

Features:

  • Parents and children alike will have fun watching the Toyk Flying Ball in the air
  • While holding the ball vertically, turn on the power switch at the bottom and press the button on the remote
    • “Hold for a while – When the flying ball is on, it will delay to fly in 2 or 3 seconds.  Then before letting it go, you need to hold the flying ball vertically until the flying is steady.”
  • When the ball is flying, you can use the remote to make it stop
  • You can control the height of the ball with your hand due to sensors underneath the ball
  • Comes with: 1 Toyk Flying Ball, 1 remote control, and 1 USB charging cable
  • For ages 8 and up
3. BizyBeez MagStix Sensory STEM Toys:

Are you looking for a sensory toy that will engage your child while fostering cognitive development?  The BizyBeez MagStix 41-piece wheel set is a great option.  “This building blocks set features magnetized sticks and colorful metal balls that can be combined in an endless variety of ways with a simple click.”

bizybeez magstix STEM kit

Features:

  • 41-piece building set features 4 different textures, making it ideal for children with sensory processing issues
  • Comes with Portable Playboard so you can take it with you on the go
  • Creates a sense of calm and promotes focus
  • Encourages imaginative play, working with others, and more
  • For ages 3 and up
4. Socially Speaking:

Board games are great for teaching social skills, turn-taking skills, and much more.  Socially Speaking is a game that helps children learn “the art of social communication.”

socially speaking board game

Features:

  • Skills covered in this game include:
    • Listening to your peers
    • The importance of taking turns
    • Making phone calls
    • Asking good questions
    • Showing emotions
  • For 3 to 6 players
  • Comes with game board, 100 question cards, playing pieces, and facilitator’s instructions
  • Teaches key skills that players can use at home, school, or in their community
  • For ages 7 and up
5. Snap Circuits SC-300:

Give your child a fun, hands-on introduction to electronics with Elenco Electronics Snap Circuits.  This is also a great parent-child interaction toy as parents can help their child create projects.

snap circuits parent child interaction idea

Features:

  • The Snap Circuits SC-300 kit comes with over 60 pieces to create 305 different electronic projects
  • No soldering, no tools
  • Pieces include snap wires, a microphone, a resistor, a slide switch, and capacitors
  • Each piece is color-coded and numbered to make identifying them easy
  • Ages 8 and up

Brian Norton, Director of Technology Services at Easterseals Crossroads, was also interviewed on Channel 13.  During the interview, Norton discussed the INDATA Project’s Equipment Loan Library.  Our library features over 2,500 items available for loan.  This is great if you’re not quite sure how your child will react to certain toys or games.  Contact Equipment Loan Specialist, Justin Amber, at 317-466-2013 if you have any questions!