In an earlier post I profiled two hot toys this holiday season that could make good Christmas toys for an autistic girl. In this post I profile a few other good hot girls toys for this season.
1. Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Dolls
As I mentioned in a previous post, autistic girls have been found to have a stronger preference for imaginative play scenarios than autistic boys. This makes dolls good toys for them. Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Dolls is this year’s “it” doll for girls made by MGA toys for girls 4 and up.
The main selling point of the toy is its unique hair, which has an easy-to-style bendable structure. Each toy comes with a variety of styling brushes, clips, and beads. It also comes with a pet whose tail can be styled. I don’t get it, but I’m not a girl.
The many ways girls can style the hair can provide a creative outlet for their imagination and also provide a social outlet for girls to share with each other their styling creations. It’s also an interesting alternative to standard Barbie dolls.
Customer reviews talk about the high quality of the doll and its accessories as well as how unique it looks. Customers who love the toy also talk about how their daughters engage in all sorts of play scenarios with the doll, such as tea parties, and even take the doll to bed with them.
Lalaloopsy dolls are available on Amazon for around $20-$30.
This doll has a lot of small parts so it can pose a choking hazard. Even though it’s marketed as being for girls aged 4 and older I would be wary of giving it autistic girls around 4 years of age unless you are absolutely sure she won’t put things in her mouth.
Some customers also comment about minor cosmetic imperfections with the doll, so this is something to keep in mind if you’re buying online and unable to inspect the toy before purchase.
As with any hot Christmas toy, the price for this toy can vary wildly. The standard price is around $30, but it has gone as high as in $70-$80 on some websites and stores. Be forewarned!
2. Barbie – Princess Charm School Series
Based on the recent movie that sounds a lot like Princess Diaries but starring Barbie, the Charm School Barbie toys are the latest iteration of Barbies for this holiday season. The key appeal of these toys is the “transforming” ability (one customer even calls it the “Barbie Transformer”), which allows Barbie to switch clothes with just a few actions. Mattel has also added more joints to the legs to allow better posing abilities. There are several Barbie characters that are part of this toy line.
Nothing really surprising here, but if your autistic daughter loves Barbie and has watched the movie then this is probably a safe choice for Christmas. The toy is marketed for ages 3 and up because it has choking hazards, but depending on how well the autistic girl in your life handles small parts you may only want to get this toy if she is much older.
Barbie Princess Charm School dolls are available for around $20 at Amazon.
Nothing too surprising here–it’s a Barbie. Take it or leave it. Girls throughout the decades have loved (or been told to love?) these toys so it’s a pretty safe bet as far as toys go. The price (~$20) also isn’t bad as far as popular Christmas toys go, although it is higher than standard Barbies which cost around $10.
Some customers say the toy is easy to play with and very durable. Customers also rave about its high quality build and its good looking design.
This Barbie is not a typical barbie in that you can’t change all of its clothes. The core clothes are actually part of its body. This may or may not be an issue for your child but it’s something reviewers often comment about. Some customers complain about this, while others don’t see any problem with it.
Some customers also comment that the replay value is low, but I think as with most toys in the doll/action figure genre the replay value depends a lot on how much your child likes to imagine new scenarios with it.
And of course Barbie has been criticized for not representing real girls accurately.
Mattel’s Sing-A-Ma-Jig toys have won tons of toy awards, including Toy of the Year for 2011 from the Toy Industry Association, a Best Toy Award from Good Housekeeping Magazine, a Toy of the Year from Parenting Magazine, and being named one of Time Magazine’s top toys of 2010. They were one of last’s years hot holiday toys and are likely to continue that trend this Christmas.
What are Sing-a-ma-jigs? Mattel bills them as the “latest singing sensation for kids adults.” These electronic toys have 3 modes: chattering in their own language, singing songs, or singing in harmony with other Sing-a-ma-jig toys. You power them with 2 AAA batteries. In the singing song mode, you press their belly to open their mouth and cause them to sing. You control their singing by changing the rhythm at which you’re squeezing their belly.
Sing-a-ma-jigs are available for around $12 on Amazon.
There’s a lot to love about Sing-a-ma-jigs– starting with its price tag of $14! Their music making ability makes them particularly suited for autistic children, who gravitate towards musical activities.
Sing-a-ma-jigs are also plush toys with no choking hazards, the benefits of which I’ve discussed in another post. They are marketed for kids 36 months and up, but they seem like they would be safe for any age child.
Most importantly, Sing-a-ma-jigs are cute and fun. Even adults comment that they want these toys! Parents who buy this toy overwhelmingly give it positive reviews, commenting how amazed children are when they play with the toys.
A small number of customers comment that the cloth used to make the toy feels low-quality and starts falling apart easily, and several others question its durability. Some parents also say their children got bored with them easily, but as with any toy interest will vary from child to child.
I hope this post helps your search! Please share your experiences with any of these toys or comment about other good Christmas toys you’ve found that are great for autistic children!