Vanek, whose 3-year-old son has Autism, tries out products for the website and for her own website, coloradomoms.com. Here are some of the products she recommends for Christmas. Most are in the price range of $20.
- See Yourself Camera (Fisher Price) - http://www.timetoplaymag.com/toys/2650/fisherprice/kidtough-see-yourself-camera/
- You can take pictures of common items to help with speech, take pictures or video of actions like brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, etc to create a picture/video schedule.
- LeapPad Explorer (LeapFrog) - http://www.timetoplaymag.com/toys/2865/leapfrog/leappad-explorer/
- Kids love their parents tablet, this one is made just for them. Durable (we've dropped it, oops!) and educational games help with patterns, colors, speech and letter recognition.
- Play-doh duffle bag (Hasbro)- http://www.timetoplaymag.com/toys/3182/hasbro/playdoh-duffle-bag/
- Great for sensory skills. The duffle had cookie cutters, scissors and other tools that help with fine motor skills as well.
- Mega Bloks 80 piece bag (MEGA BLOKS)- http://www.timetoplaymag.com/toys/3183/mega-brands/mega-bloks-80-piece-maxi-blocks/
- The large size of these and the rounded pegs help with small hand to learn fine motor skills like stacking.
- Sesame Street Hide 'n Seek Pals (Hasbro) - http://www.timetoplaymag.com/toys/3156/hasbro/sesame-street-hide-n-seek-pals/
- Helps kids with cause and effect. Often times, autistic kids like the same things to happen each time, this toy helps with that as well as mixes it up by having a different character appear in the different windows.
- Connect Four (Hasbro) - http://www.timetoplaymag.com/toys/3179/hasbro/connect-4/
- Great for fine motor skills such as pincher grasp as well as matching and pattern recognition.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)