50 Best Spinning Toys for Teens and Adults with Autism

life skills special education teachers teacher experience transition Apr 22, 2024
 

Prism Cube  |  Helicone Lollipopter   |  Weighted Hula Hoop   |  Twisting Board

 

Spinning, whether handheld fidgets or their own body, is a visual and vestibular sensory input experience enjoyed by many teens and adults with autism spectrum disorder and ADHD.  

 

As I've mentioned before in 101 Sensory Toys for Teens and Adults with Autism and ADHD, autistic children turn into autistic teens who grow into autistic adults, and everyone deserves age-appropriate toys to meet their preferences and needs.

 

For teens and adults with sensory processing disorder, spinning both objects and/or one's body can provide needed sensory stimulation and/or physical regulation for the sensory system.  The function of stim toys like the spinning toys listed below is to regulate sensory information.  

 

An easy and great way to find lots of non-spinning fidget toys is to check out my 101 Fidget Toys for Teens and Adults with Autism and ADHD blog post.  I share a wide range of fidget toys beyond just those that spin.  

 

 

Need for Spinning Toys:

In my experience as a special education transition teacher, there are two types of spinning toy needs for those with autism spectrum disorders, spinning something (like an object) and spinning the body.  I've worked with a few really amazing occupational therapists who taught me about sensory sensitivities in different learning environments and sensory integration (i.e. Interoception) in general.  

 

1.  Spinning objects may be a self-stimulatory behavior and provide focused visual input.  

 

I worked with a student who loved to flick small desktop fidgets and watch them spin. The spin time was short, so the student was visually engaged and had to initiate spinning it frequently to stay engaged.  

 

2.  Spinning the body, whether it be propelled by upper body movement (like a sit-n-spin) or from someone else providing the push-to-spin motion (like a swing), provides full-body vestibular input.  

 

I had another student who loved to run and spin, as in they would run and spin their body across the big backyard behind our building anytime we were outside.  This was typically accompanied by verbalizations, so it was a mix of visual, physical, and auditory input.  

 

 

 

Spinning Toy List Goals:

My whole idea for the list below is to make it quick and easy for someone to find their next great spinning toy. As always, I took into consideration the different spinning preferences and needs of teens and adults with disabilities.  

 

As with all my other sensory toy lists (101 Sensory Toys & 101 Fidget Toys), it is important to find objects and devices that are age-appropriate in terms of color, size, and overall theme. Every sensory-seeking teen and adult wants a great item that both meets their needs and fits in with their preferred and natural environment.    

 

Even though new toys may seem really cool on TikTok, make sure they meet the individual's preferred sensory needs and gross motor and/or fine motor skills. On that same note, sensory toys with bright lights and soothing sounds can be visual and auditory sensory solutions for some, but the need to spin something or to spin one's body is a specific visual and vestibular sensory need.  

 

Therefore, when selecting the right things for sensory rooms, sensory tables, and/or a sensory gym, the best way to ensure that the individual's needs will be met (without risking sensory overload), is to take into account their sensory preferences.  Do they gravitate toward other spinning fidgets or toys with repetitive movements, do they spin when given physical space or when on sitting on a rolling office chair.   Do they need something small and handheld for social situations and/or do they need space for full physical spinning motion and movement?

 

 

Why Amazon & Etsy?

While there are companies that specifically design and manufacture toys and equipment for individuals with autism, the price tags were often much, much higher (like $4,000 for a hammock) than other options that were readily available on Amazon and Etsy.  As a consumer, trying out a new spinning toy should be a smaller financial commitment, therefore the list below thinks outside the box of traditional autism spinning toys while still meeting the age, size, and spinning needs of teens and adults.  

 

Supplemental Security Income may be an option to help offset the cost of sensory toys and activities, like those listed below.  To learn more about whether someone would qualify for this financial benefit, check out my 5 Things to Know about SSI blog post.  

 

 

 

50 Best Spinning Toys for Teens and Adults with Autism

                                     

Spin Things

 

Small Spinning Color Wheel Clothes Pin

 

Short Spinfinity Nut and Bolt

 

10" Prize Wheel Spinning Desktop Spinners

 

Fidget Spinners Dice

 

Mini Spinning Gyro (Powered by blowing)

 

Kinetic Handheld Size Coaster

 

Hand Powered Spirograph

 

Finger Spin Optical Illusion Desktop Toy

 

Anti Gravity Balancing Gyroscope

 

Long Spin Levitating Spindle

 

Wood Ball Finger Spin Desktop Toy (Heavy)

 

Articulated Octopus

 

Wind Spinner (Small)

 

Two-Handed Spinning Ball

 

Wrist Spinning Gyro Ball (available in a Smaller size)

 

Kinetic Spinning Desktop Ball (Can be activated with a light touch) 

 

3-Ring Fidget Spinner

 

Extra Large Gyro Hoops ($$$ High Price)

 

Spinning Prism (can also be set in a Gyro Stand)

 

Keychain Finger Spinning Anchor (Add to the end of any preferred visual chain to spin easily on the finger)

 

Finger Poi Paracord Spin Rope

 

Toroidal Fidget Spinner

 

Tornado Lamp or Handheld Pet Tornado

 

Mandala Spin Art

 

Helicone Playable Art

 

 

 

                                     

Spin Body

These full-body input spinning toys are a great source of vestibular input.  Consider the individual's balance, overall awareness, safety skills, and home structure before pursuing some of the options below.  

 

360 Degree Low to Ground Swivel Chair

 

Rolling 360 Degree Swivel Chair with Arm and Leg Rests

 

Adult Sized Hanging Wooden Spin Disc for Tree

 

Large Outdoor Round Swing

 

Hanging Tree Swing (For adults up to 700 lbs, Stand sold separately) 

 

Spinning Balance Board (with Stabilization Ring and Handles to balance and initiate spin)

 

Indoor Chair Hammock

 

Tire Swing

 

Hanging Ninja Twist Spin Handles (For individuals up to 300 lbs)

 

Extra Long Scooter with Handles (For adults up to 300 lbs)

 

Low Rolling Upholstered Seat (For adults up to 286 lbs)

 

Ninja Spinning Wheel (For adults up to 250 lbs)

 

Human Hamster Ball (For rolling on the ground)

 

Wrist Hoops

 

Arm Hula Hoops

 

Hula Hoop with Spinning Ball (Watch video) 

 

Aerial Yoga Swing & Hammock (For Adults up to 440 lbs)

 

Twisting Board (Push off wall or counter to spin)

 

Compact 360 Degree Swivel Chair (Hard push to spin) 

 

Hoverboard (For adults up to 265 lbs)

 

Extra Large Pool Float Ring for Spinning in Water

 

Pair of Small Poi Ribbons (Ribbon Dancer for Gross Motor Spinning) 

 

Self-Balancing Segway ($$$ High Price)

 

Extra Large Snow Saucer with Strap

 

Low to-Floor Swivel Chair with Short Backrest

 

 

 

 

 

To find your next great sensory toy to meet auditory, olfactory, oral, visual, and vestibular system needs, check out the 101 Sensory Toys for Teens and Adults with Autism and ADHD blog post! 

 


 

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