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Holiday gift ideas for tweens with autism

autism parenting holidays Dec 05, 2020

Now that Tosh is 9, I'm starting to get more questions about what he wants for Christmas or his birthday. Shopping for a tween doesn't seem as fun or as easy as it is when they're little.

The key is to find toys or games that allow your child to be in their happy state. For Tosh, that's being busy while pursuing his special interests, which include animals, art, domino runs and interactive games with other kids.

Here's what I'm getting Tosh this year. I hope it helps give you some great ideas!

GoSports Bullseye Bounce Bean Bag Toss

Tosh got this for his birthday earlier this year, which I shared in this previous post about gift ideas for big kids with autism. It's been something he can play with other kids while social distancing and taking turns, so it's been invaluable this year. In fact, he loved it so much, he wore it out and needs a new one. There are also Cars, Finding Nemo and Frozen versions available. If you want one, hurry, because they're not often in stock.


Giant Jenga

If you follow me on social media, you've seen lots of videos of Tosh's marble runs and domino runs. I scored this on Black Friday for a great price. Tosh probably wouldn't play with it the "right" way but I couldn't care less about that. However, I will be a stickler about him keeping them outside so he doesn't crack my tile floor.


Giant Dominoes

The giant dominoes were on sale, too. He builds some kind of run every day. This is his special interest, so why not?


Bead Pets

Tosh loves the idea of crafts, but crafts he will actually sit and do are hit and miss. I'm hoping he'll like these because animals are a special interest. He's always liked bracelet beading stations at Great Wolf Lodge and kid's events, so I'm hopeful. And if not, this looks like a good mindless stress reliever for mom. ;)


Connect 4

Thankfully, Tosh got into board games this year, just in time for months of iso. Connect 4 is his kind of game. Regardless of whether he plays it strategically (sometimes he follows game rules, sometimes he doesn't) he can still have fun because he's a visual stimmer and loves watching the checker pieces fall down into place and make that satisfying click noise. 

I like Connect 4 because it offers a fun way to develop three great skills: fine motor, patterns and strategy.


Find & Seek Scavenger Hunt card deck

This seems like such a fun way to learn adjectives, especially for Tosh, because there's frantic running involved. lol This is also something he can take to ABA and play with other kids, and the therapists can run lessons with them. 


Stomp Rockets

This is another repeat gift. Tosh got these last Christmas and since they were the only gift that didn't require several hours of charging, he played with them immediately. It turned out to be his favorite gift.

We take ours down to the playground and after just one launch, all the kids come running and Tosh is the most popular kid in town. Stomp rockets only require one skill: stomping. Pretty inclusive! Even if your child has physical limitations that keep them from stomping, it's still lots of fun to sit right next to the stomper and experience the sensations of the liftoff up close.

Happy holidays, everyone!

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