Gift Ideas for Kids with AS

Compiled by Erin Sheldon and Yvonne Hamrick


Infant to Preschool Aged Kids:

*IKEA Egg Chair (click to visit IKEA site) This chair is such a huge with Joshua also. When he is overstimulated, or just wants to be moving while he watches a tv show, he can get in there and spin himself. If he really needs to regulate from being overstimulated, he can close the little canopy and I will spin him, slowly, and it gets SO quiet and still, it's amazing! ALL of his friends think it's the coolest thing in the world too! So this can be for ANY age child who fits! ;-)


Since a very young age we have used this spinning board for Joshua. He has learned to spin himself very well!! He uses it to self-regulate his sensory system when he's over-stimulated. Which, in this video, he's being very stimulated! I don't reccomend spinning this way, but this is what siblings will do! ;-)

If you want to order one of these my dad has some for sale, after I BEGGED him to make more of them! They are $125 each and hold up to 300 lbs! You can put carpet on it, or paint it if you like. As you can see, ours is naked. I keep meaning to paint it but haven't. I don't know if I'd like carpet on it or not, since it cleans so easily this way. Email Will at for to purchase! 



*PLAY TUNNELS (click for examples)

*CLIMBING BLOCKS (click link for examples) (the ones pictured were homemade by Erin)

*TODDLER FURNITURE (click link for examples)


*A PLAY KITCHEN (click for example) is great for practising pulling up to stand plus age appropriate. Look for heavy wooden or plastic ones that are sturdy enough for pulling up.

Baskets or HAMPERS are always a big hit! (click link for examples)

*INFLATABLE (or pop up) BALL PITS (click for examples)

*RUBBERMAID TUBS filled with a smaller tub with bubbles/water/etc. Joshua also has a baby pool filled with pinto beans, that he LOVES! You can also use a rubbermaid tub, so that it has a lid. Good for practicing scooping and pouring. I got the idea from his OT clinic.


or fill with GRAINS OR PASTA

*Erin says: "Single best investment we ever made was all the swings we have. Rainy Day Indoor Playground: we have each piece of this installed in the floor joists of our main floor, in the basement. When Mag was little, we used the pressure-mounted door hanger which is guaranteed to about 300 lbs so it can hold a child plus adult. In the picture, you can see the infant-style swing and glider hanging next to it: Here is a link to the whole set. I got mine at a huge discount by purchasing it at a sensory integration conference. There was a huge discount just for purchasing at the conference and when the guy discovered I was a parent and not a therapist, he dropped the price even more. At that age, Mag's therapists used the platform swing and infant-style swing every time they came over and we all loved lounging in the hammock with Maggie.

Another swing idea is one that we got Joshua from IKEA, and they also carry it on Amazon, since IKEA doesn't ship. It's called the Ikea Ekorre Swing.

*TODDLER TOYS TO STAND AT (click to see on


*KEYBOARDS FOR KIDS (click for examples)

The keyboard pictured below, is by far the COOLEST keyboard! So many options and different crazy/fun sounds!! Everyone enjoys playing with Joshua and this keyboard! Here is the link to this specific one: VTech- KidiJamz Studio.

The Hipper Lovey is something Joshua really loves to take everywhere with him! It is SO well made and so soft with the minky dot fabric. Joshua's is blue minky dot on one side and cool motorcycles on the other. There are many different chewy's sewn onto it, that don't come off. I can also attach one of Joshua's Q's that he loves with a carabiner to one of the ribbon loops.

The same mom also sew's the Hipper Bib, and there is the option to attach a chewy to it also. They keep shirts dry, which I love, and have a chewy, which Josh loves. 


*Chewelry is a huge hit! (click link) (pictured Rylee Tipton)

You will rarely see Joshua that he doesn't have one of these in his mouth! 

Joshua LOVES these Vibe Critters (pictured below) from Super Duper, and I love them too, because he will sit during and entire church service very happily with his Vibe Critter in his mouth! He squeals with joy when he sees it! ;-) 

*Skwish Classic Josh has had this for years, and it's just another something to chew, throw around, play catch with, that he LOVES. You can tell from the ends, that he chews on it a lot! LOL! 

*LARGE WOODEN KNOB PUZZLESthis one has the pieces velcro'd down, Joshua loves taking the pieces out and it's really helped his hand strength!

to see their beautiful faces in!

*MUSICAL FISH BOWL (click link)

*Joshua's ALL TIME favorite is the Fisher Price Gumball Machine. Here is a VIDEO of how I adapted it for Joshua, by gluing it down to a cookie sheet. Now it won't just tumble over, and the balls stay right there, where he can get them. So easy, but it has made a world of difference in his success playing with it!

*PLASTIC BOTTLES (500 ml, 1l, or 2l) FILLED with water, oil, glitter/metallic confetti/marbles/food colouring/plastic figures, then glued shut. Great science experiment, great heavy work for sensory play, AND great motivator to crawl towards!

*Pound'n Play (click link) (pictured, Elijah Humphries)

*Weighted things: blankets, socks filled with rice and sewn shut and decorated like hand puppets, or lap weights. (click link)

*Super Spiral Play Tower

School Aged Kids:

*Magna Doodles Maggie has this one and Erin wrote this about it: "The child can make marks with either the attached stylus pen or can race the car around the board, and the tire tracks make marks. Maggie is new to scribbling and she LOVES LOVES LOVES writing with the race car. She'll use a marker or the attached stylus when really prompted but the motion of pushing the car back and forth is really easy to her and she's scribbling for hours at a time with this game. She also loves erasing the board by pushing the truck, To'Mater, back and forth." (click link)

*Plasma Car

*Survival Blanket, (click link) which is sold in therapy catalogs as a "Space Blanket" for about $25.00! It's a really fun, crinkly, mylar material! I'm told that Walmart sells them in the camping supply area! (went to Walmart last night and found them for $2.99)

*Giga Ball, reccomended by a couple of families! Kids can crawl right inside! (click link) (pictured Emma Young)

*Swing for larger kids, (click link)

*Wedgits (their main website w/a video) Click HERE to see many different sets on Amazon. Erin wrote about Maggie's love of these:"Maggie has become awesome with Wedgit blocks and she is HIGHLY motivated by them. I never thought she'd voluntarily want to stack blocks but its now one of her favourite things to do. If she's bored in the car, I can hand her just one cube-like Wedgit and one small yellow square and she'll play with putting them together over and over. She often walks around with her Wedgits. I've had my family room full of teenagers playing with these blocks."


Both my camera and Maggie's camera have been destructo-proof so far and I mean, they have been thrown out the car window and gone swimming and had no trouble. Maggie's camera: Fuji FinePix XP10. Maggie is becoming an awesome photographer. Her camera is very popular with friends. We get more pictures of her day and her outings than I can keep up with. She documents her own day plus her friends help. At Brownies and at other fun events, I can hand off her camera to other kids and don't worry it will get broken. My camera: Canon PowerShot D10. A little more pricey than Mag's but just as indestructible. I prefer my camera to Maggie's just because I like Canons and have used them for so long.

Some of Maggie's photography:

Maggie got a KAROAKE MACHINE for Christmas last year. We have to keep it in storage unless we're carefully supervising but she LOVES "singing" with her friends and thinks its hysterical to hear the voices being amplified. The one she has lets you just put your iPod in the space and start playing music. She gets so vocal when we take out the microphone! I would love to find a durable one that she can carry around.

Maggie LOVES her KEYBOARD. She often sits on it and plays with her fingers at her side. I'd love to get her a real piano. When she was younger, she loved this KEYBOARD and it was also very durable.

Joshua also loves his keyboard, has since he was 1! He does have a piano also, and it's his FAVORITE thing ever. He plays the piano at least 10 times a day! 

He also has a set of DRUMS that he LOVES! Here is a video of him doing it all!

*JUMBO MAGNEATOS , Amazon link to Magneatos sets There are several different kinds of sets that Maggie enjoys. The school uses them for matching and fractions. All of Mag's magnetic blocks are very exciting to her friends too. For Maggie, I put the blocks on a large, heavy metallic tray so she its easier to stack them.

*Maggie has a wall with shelves with a lava lamp, glitter lamp, disco ball, light speaker for her iPod, etc. She can turn it on and off with a simple remote and loves this.

*LeapFrog TAG JUNIOR Book Pal

*INFLATABLE FUN ROLLER (pic from website)

*SUPER SHAPE CHANGER (sometimes called a body sock)

Just ordered this for Joshua! Cindy Berkley wrote about it on the listserve, it's so cool!

*Joshua has LOVED his peanut ball since he was 2! It's fun to bounce on, it's great for exercises and it's calming to him too, if he's on his tummy!
The Amazing Peanut BALL

*Auto-Inflate Whoopie Cushion- This is just a little something fun, that Joshua LOVES! I'll post a video of him, and you'll see how much loves it! This one is just great because you just have to cover the little air hole in the middle and push and it gives it's wonderful sound, uncover the air hole and it auto inflates, unlike the one in the video that we had to blow up over and over again.