Books are a critical part of every young child’s development. You probably remember certain books you had as a child that taught you about animals, shapes, colors, numbers and more.
For children with autism, books are a great sensory toy that can help them recognize emotions, understand social cues, and receive valuable sensory input.
We’ve gathered a short list of our favorite interactive, sensory, or counting books to help your child’s development in a fun and stimulating way.
POINT TO HAPPY
Point to be happy includes a plastic hand pointer toy and is filled with large photographs with pointing instructions such as:
The Boy is Happy
Point to Happy.
The Girl Wants a Drink
The Girls Says Please
Point to Please.
We like this book because it covers a broad range of topics that children with autism need including emotions, social cues, daily routines, closeness and nearness, and so much more.
Plus, it’s just a fun and interactive activity to enjoy with your child. It even includes two blank pages which you can place your own photos and pointing instructions!
Never touch a monster includes rhyming poems matched with pictures of colorful creatures including rubbery silicone textures to touch. While it’s a great book for all children, children with autism who crave tactile sensory input will love this book!
Many reviewers like that the rubbery and bumpy textures offer a different sensation from the more common soft and fuzzy inclusions in other sensory books.
Touch! is a sturdy, oversized volume including 150 word associations and 30 textures for your child to touch. Owners of this book love the variety of textures including soft, smooth, bumpy, and even a sticky texture for the child to interact with.
This book is a great addition to give young children with autism an outlet for sensory play while helping them develop word associations.
The Ocean introduces children to over two dozen marine species, offering textures like rough or shiny scales, smooth fins and flippers, and many more.
The text includes fun facts about the different animals featured, and every single page includes something for the child to touch and interact with.
This books is an excellent way to introduce your child to the wonders of Earth’s oceans in an interactive and tactile way.
Grab a copy on Amazon, and if your child can’t get enough of this book, you can also check out others in the Touch and Explore series such as the Safari and Farm editions.
DOG’S COLORFUL DAY
Dog’s Colorful Day tells the story of a white dog with a single black spot who, throughout the day accumulates more and more spots of different colors.
First, it’s a drop of red jam fallen from the breakfast table. Then, a spot of blue paint as he brushes past a man painting a door. As the dog accumulates more spots, the book reviews the number and colors of spots.
Dog’s Colorful Day is great as both a counting and sensory book for children with autism. It’s also one of the most affordable books on our list at just $5.99 for a paperback copy! If your child enjoys numbers, you’ll definitely want to add this adorable story to your shelf.
THE THREE LITTLE PIGS: A NOSY CROW FAIRY TALE
Nosy Crow’s “Three Little Pigs” takes the classic story and pairs it with bright, lively illustrations to tell the familiar tale using numeral, written, and most importantly, the ordinal numbers first, second, and third.
If your children love the book, it belongs to an entire series of Nosy Crow renditions of classic fairy tales such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Others.
Plus, the book has an accompanying app you can download which includes the entire story with included sound effects, making it a more interactive experience for children who have a difficult time attending to books. You can pick up a copy on Amazon or download the app on Apple’s App Store.
TEN PIGS: AN EPIC BATH ADVENTURE
Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure is a counting book about a pig and his duck friend who are trying to enjoy a relaxing bubble bath. Unfortunately for them, all the other pigs decide to join in, bringing with them a variety of toys and props.
As more pigs join the small bathtub, the book reviews the number of pigs in the bath, counting up from one to ten.
Once the bath is full, the pigs are scared off by a wolf and the book counts down as they each flee the scene.
The book is a great deal of fun with its charming story and colorful pig characters, and parents love that the book counts both up and down from ten rather than one way or the other. Plus, if you really enjoy the story, you can check out Ten Hungry Pigs by the same author, which tells a similar story but the pig and duck duo are trying to make a sandwich instead of take a bath.
ENJOY THE BEST BOOKS TO TOUCH, LEARN, AND PLAY
For children with autism, books are a great way to combine playtime with critical development of knowledge and skills. These books provide a stimulating visual, or sometimes tactile, sensory experience while teaching them about emotions, social cues, counting and numbers, and more.
This list includes our favorite interactive, sensory, and counting books for young children with autism. If you purchase one of these books, let us know what you thought!