Toys & Games

The Best Games for Children With Autism

When choosing games for children on the autism spectrum, we want to ensure that they’re not only fun but also beneficial for their development. It can be challenging to find suitable games, but fortunately, there are plenty of options available that can make playtime an enjoyable and rewarding experience. 

Let’s look at some of the best games for children on the spectrum that can provide entertainment and support for their growth.

Simon Says

Simon Says is a classic game that can help children with autism improve their listening and following directions skills. It’s also a great addition to ABA play therapy. ABA play therapy is highly recommended for autistic children’s therapies and is an important part of any autism program.

The game involves a leader giving instructions starting with “Simon says,” and the players must follow them. If the leader gives an instruction without saying, “Simon says,” the players must not follow it. 

This game allows children to practice listening and following directions, but it can also be modified to incorporate sensory input. For example, the leader could include instructions like “Simon says jump three times on the trampoline” or “Simon says touch something soft and squishy.”

Obstacle Courses

Obstacle courses can be customized to suit a child’s individual needs and interests, making them an excellent option for children on the spectrum. 

These courses can help with physical development and improve sensory processing and problem-solving skills. Obstacle courses can be designed to incorporate sensory experiences that are calming or stimulating depending on the child’s needs. 

For example, a child who seeks sensory input might enjoy crawling through a tunnel or jumping on a mini trampoline. In contrast, a child sensitive to sensory input might prefer walking across a balance beam or touching different textures.

Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light is a classic game that’s easy to play and fun for kids of all ages. This game involves following simple rules and commands, which can be helpful for children with autism who struggle with social communication and interaction. It also provides opportunities for children to practice gross motor skills like running and stopping.

To start, choose one player to be the “stoplight” and have them stand at one end of the playing area. The other players should line up at the opposite end of the playing area, facing the stoplight. The stoplight should turn away from the other players and call out “green light!” to signal that the other players can begin moving towards them. 

The stoplight can turn around at any time and call out “red light!” to signal that the other players should freeze in place. If any players are caught moving, they’re out and must return to the starting line. The game continues until one player reaches the stoplight, at which point they become the new stoplight, and the game starts again. 

For children sensitive to loud noises, the “stop” and “go” commands could be changed to a visual cue such as a red or green card held up by the teacher or parent.

Prodigy Math

Prodigy Math is an app that offers engaging math games for children in elementary school. The app adapts to the child’s individual level and provides personalized feedback, making it an excellent tool for practicing math skills. 

While this app primarily focuses on academic skills, it also incorporates visuals and audio cues to make math concepts more accessible to children with sensory concerns. 

For example, when solving a math problem, the app might include a visual representation of the problem or provide audio feedback when the child selects the correct answer. Prodigy Math Game can be especially helpful for children on the spectrum who may struggle with traditional classroom learning.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right games for children on the spectrum can be challenging, but by focusing on fun and beneficial games, parents and caregivers can help children improve their skills and development. 

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