Parents with a 4 year old child with autism know there is a lot to consider when attending to their needs. This rule also applies to the toys they have to get for the autistic child. We reviewed the best toys for autistic 4 year old boys and girls in this article.
Many parents though rush into it blindly. For them, it is a case of a miss or hit, and hoping with fingers crossed that there would be more ‘hits’ than ‘misses’. With the right information and guide, the game of chance of getting the right toys for a 4 year old autistic kid becomes unnecessary.
This is what this review is all about. The 10 toys here were carefully vetted to make sure your kid would absolutely adore them.
Evaluating the Best Toys for Autistic 4 Year old kids
Autistic children would play with any toy given to them. In that respect, they are no different from other kids. However, because they respond to sensory inputs in unexpected ways, inappropriate toys might set off unexpected reactions from them.
So aside from the general criteria of safety, fun, attractive, design, etc., that all toys for kids must meet, the following factors played a huge role in selecting the best toys for autistic 4 year old kids.
Vestibular sensory input – we looked at toys that adequately provide enough sensory inputs that help control their balance and the movements of the eye. These toys also provide proprioceptive benefits to the child.
So toys that involve exercises like the trampoline and pogo jumper had a good chance of making it to the review. Toys like that encourage the development of gross and fine motors skills while giving the kid a better sense of balance.
Tactile benefits – parents with autistic kids are aware of the importance of getting the kids to remain calm all the time. Toys that involve the use of the hands to repetitively touch something scored high in our selection process.
Well-made fidget toys are prime examples. The toys keep the hands engaged in an activity that is repetitive and uncomplicated. These toys help the kid tune out distracting external stimuli as they focus on manipulating the toy.
Visually stimulating – Autistic children love looking at things and tracking moving objects with their eyes. Toys that move, light up, revolve, have flashing lights, etc., would appeal to them.
Some toys combine all these characteristics. However, having all in one toy could be a bit too much for the kid. The toys that made it to the review have strong visual power that makes them immediately interesting to autistic kids.
User Reviews – Reviews from parents who have autistic kids can never be discountenanced. These are people from different backgrounds all over the world with first-hand knowledge of buying and watching their kids use these toys.
In using the reviews as a criterion, we focused on toys with more positive than negative reviews. The ideal toy would have a five-star rating from all users, but since nothing is perfect, the toy must have an average of 4-star ratings from all users’ reviews before being selected.
Top 10 Toys For Autistic 4 Year Old Kid (Birthday Gift Ideas)
1. Melissa & Dough See & Spell Wooden Educational Board Toy
The See & Spell Wooden Educational toy is not just a board toy to show your kid colorful pictures of animals, letters and numbers, it also doubles as a puzzle game to help the mental development of your 4 year old autistic kid.
This cool present features 8 double-sided cut-out boards with over fifty letters of different colors. Your kid would be taught how to spell simple words for common animals. There is more fun as the kid completes a puzzle by spelling a word.
The sturdy pieces all fit into a compact wooden case that can be carried around easily. This also solves the problem of a place to store the pieces.
2. Gonge Riverstone
You wouldn’t believe how much fun your kid would have with this deceptive looking toy until you got it from them. These Riverstones are colorful pieces shaped like shells with ridges on the gently sloping surfaces.
Your kid can arrange them in any pattern they wish and simply step on them. This fun toy would help to improve their coordination and balance.
Watch how your autistic kid changes the arrangement of the pieces for variety. This would also be great for the development of their social skills as friends can easily join in the fun.
The pack features three large and three small stones of various colors.
3. Grades PK Early Learning Flash Cards
Though learning flashcards are not really toys, the colorful design and immense fun while using them could easily classify them as toys too.
This flash card features 6 decks of cards with each having 54 cards. That is 324 cards to teach your kid numbers, phonics, first words, colors, shapes, alphabets, and more.
The box set features tab dividers for easy organization and access to any of the decks. Your kid would also learn organizational skills as well.
The cards and the box are made from non-toxic, sturdy cardboard material.
4. Educational Insights Teachable Touchables Texture Squares
Kids with autism, like all kids generally, love touching and holding stuff to improve their tactile awareness and motor skills. Your 4 year old would benefit from the tactile exploration this set of pillows would provide for them.
Featuring 20 pillows and patches, they come in different textures. There are smooth, silky, soft, fluffy and other textures for tactile stimulation.
The tiny pillows can be a source of comfort when they are agitated and need calming down. Included are an activity guide and a convenient drawstring bag where you can store all the pillows.
5. VTech Count and Learn Turtle
VTech’s Count and Learn Turtle is a visual learning toy that would be perfect for your kid to learn so many useful stuff and have fun at the same time.
The cute turtle’s shell is covered by buttons that act as interactive prompts. Pressing any button would prompt the turtle to say the corresponding number. Pressing a combination of buttons would teach simple math.
The plastic turtle features dual language mode (English and Spanish); 125 sounds, phrases, songs and melodies; and rollers that introduce shapes, colors, sounds, etc.
This is a great STEM toy your kid would find captivating for a long time. 2 AA batteries are needed to power the turtle.
6. Sensory Oral Motor Aide Chewelry Necklace
This would be a wonderful present to get for your kid if they love chewing stuff even at the age of 4. After all, kids with autism are famous for being unpredictable.
Beautifully designed with wonderful color combinations, it features a durable stylish cord to hang around the child’s neck. The cord has a breakaway clasp for the safety of your kid
The wings and stuff that stick out of the cute owl make it easy for your kid to fall in love with it. They would most likely wear it around their necks all the time.
It is made from non-toxic, BPA-free materials so no harm would come to your little one no matter how much they chew on the durable material.
7. Melissa & Dough Basic Skills Board
Designed primarily as an educational toy, the Basic Skills Board by Melissa & Dough is one awesome present you can get for your 4 year old kid.
The board helps children learn simple skills like buttoning a shirt, lacing up shoes, latching a bag, and more.
It is basically a puzzle board of six pieces. The repetitive activity would help to improve the kid’s motor skills and mental faculties. The colorful high-quality wooden toy is very durable and would make an excellent gift for special needs kids.
8. Little Tikes 3′ Trampoline
Burn off that excess energy and restlessness with this Trampoline by Little Tikes. Perfect for autistic kids 4 years and older, the trampoline is strong and sturdy enough to take the weight of your bouncing kid.
Specifically made for indoor use only, the trampoline features a handlebar the child can easily hold for safety. And the jumping surface is large enough to accommodate the kid conveniently.
The trampoline is made from strong plastic and metal material and can be moved easily due to its lightweight. It also comes with an instruction manual on how to assemble it.
The child would certainly love this. And as they are having fun, their sense of balance and coordination is being developed as well.
9. Tangle Toys Set of Five Metallic Fidget Toys
Fidget toys are wonderful as therapeutic and relaxing tools. It’d be nice for your 4 year old autistic kid for those times they are agitated. Simply holding, twisting, squeezing and turning the toy has a calming effect.
They are made of multicolored beads joined at right angles that fit perfectly on the palms. The many jointed beads produce a sense of continuous motion when they are held. They keep snapping and twisting in different directions to excite the kid.
Apart from exerting a calming effect on the kid, it also stimulates the brain and aids the development of the muscles of the hands and fingers.
The pack features 5 assorted fidget toys of varying colors, textures and designs, with each one having a different function.
10. VTech DigiArt Creative Easel
DigiArt Creative Easel would make a great gift to explore your kid’s creative arts potential. The product easily transforms to a chalkboard/dry-erase board from a drawing/work table. That is practically 3 functions in this one all-plastic and brightly colored product.
It is also an interactive toy featuring 12 LED lights displaying engaging animations; magic pen to follow the lights and learn letters; 10 classic songs; and three pieces of chalk to draw with.
The kid can have fun with the lightup board by picking any of the six activities on the electronic panel. There is a power button, and controls for volume and to adjust the brightness of the lights.
The 40-inch toy is easy to set up and requires 4 AA batteries.
So these are the top 10 best toys for autistic 4 year old kids, reviewed through our rigorous selection process. We guarantee that most of them would give you and your kid the satisfaction you need from a toy.
However, these are just 10 toys from hundreds. Many terrific toys were cut out for reasons mostly linked to the limit of just ten toys. So you could still find a few more gems out there if you desire something else not captured by this review.
Remember, be diligent in your selection before heading to checkout or you would be one disappointed parent with a disappointed child when the toy arrives.