Incorporating play and activities into your child’s everyday life isn’t just for fun, it’s a learning experience! Games, especially for children, can teach them early on how to socialize and problem solve, and they can even help with motor skills and overall development.
Any child can benefit from playing more games with friends and family, but teaching children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) how to play and interact with others in the spirit of an activity can be even more rewarding and constructive.
But before you head to the coat closet and grab any board game you can find, it’s important to understand what types of games are best for autistic children, giving them a foundation to explore, learn and grow without getting too overwhelmed.
If you’re browsing for games for autistic kids, but you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are a few of our favorite games for autistic kids, with virtual options and in-person activities:
Board Games for Autistic Kids
Board games offer the perfect opportunity for engaged learning. Kids might see board games as a fun activity, but there are also ample learning possibilities! Here are some classic board games that can help kids learn life skills in a creative way.
1. Hungry Hungry Hippos
A classic game, Hungry Hungry Hippos is a fun option for kids of all ages. The object of the game is to feed your hippo frantically in hopes of collecting the most “food” in the game. The concept is simple, and so is the reward – a game like Hungry Hungry Hippos is all about parallel play; taking a break from activities that require turn-taking can make for a less frustrating experience for young children with autism who are just learning how to behave in social situations.
2. Chutes and Ladders
Chutes and Ladders can be a game for children of all ages, but toddlers and adolescents may benefit the most from this game. It’s all about chance – if you roll the dice and land on a ladder, you’re that much closer to the finish line If you end up sliding down a chute, your odds of winning are lower. This means it can be anyone’s game! This option is great for teaching children with autism patience, understanding, and reactions.
Scrabble is a great game for older children and teenagers, encouraging them to explore their vocabulary and learn new words along the way. This is a great opportunity to teach spelling, discuss definitions and inspire social interaction. It can also incorporate basic math skills and teach your children how to control emotions based on the way the game goes, as explained by Autism Parenting magazine.
Online Games for Autistic Kids
Are you looking for educational games online? Here are a few different websites with tons of memory games and other activities to introduce to kids with ASD.
This learning database has a variety of different online brain games for all different age groups, and also includes printables to complete without involving technology.
5. PBS Kids
PBS Kids games incorporate all of your children’s favorite characters into learning opportunities.
6. Nick Jr.
Likewise, the Nick Jr. game database has learning games centered around their own TV shows that can be highly entertaining and engaging for children with ASD.
Other Helpful Activities and Games for Autistic Kids
If you’ve played all of the board games and your child needs a break from screen time, here are three simple activities that can teach them social skills.
7. Memory Card Games
Memory games are useful in improving brain function and emphasize the importance of paying attention and focusing on one object at a time. This game can be as simple as grabbing a deck of cards and encouraging your child to match suits, colors, or numbers.
Charades is a fun and goofy game option for the whole family. The concept makes for simple understanding and can be useful for children who like to get up and move around while playing games with the family. Patience, problem-solving, and using facial expressions are some of the learning opportunities that can come from a successful game of charades.
Give children the opportunity to explore their own minds by having a storytelling session! You can incorporate social stories into your agenda, but focus on helping your child expand their own emotions and imagination and learn how to express themselves.
Consider ABA therapy at Blossom Children’s Center
Parents and teachers alike can introduce dozens of different activities and games for autistic children. If you need some assistance finding the right activities for your child, or you need further guidance in teaching how to play with others, Blossom Children’s Center can help.
Our approach to learning and behavior stems from Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy as a way to help children with autism and other developmental conditions better understand how to navigate challenges associated with communication and behavior.
We use real life scenarios, games, and activities to help children with autism improve their motor and social skills, all while building independence and understanding how to apply appropriate behaviors.
Interested in learning more about our methodology and how we incorporate games for children with autism into our learning sessions? Contact us today to learn more.