15 Best Board Games for Autistic Children

Best Board Games For Autistic Children
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Children with neurotypical development play differently from kids with an autism spectrum disorder.

As a result, they may have fewer opportunities to connect with other kids and develop their social skills.

Thankfully, the best board games for autistic children below can be of help.

Playing games is essential for children because it allows them to develop friendships, social skills, and an understanding of how to share and work with others. 

It may provide the same benefits for children with ASD, but to flourish, you must expressly instruct, support, and create adaptations for them.

Children with autism may connect with peers in pleasant ways through structured play, such as board, card, and tabletop games, which can aid in developing motor skills.

The best board games for autistic children are discussed in this article.

1. Chess

Chess is one of the oldest games known to man. The rules of the game are extremely simple and can be learned quickly.

It is a great way to teach strategy, logic, and concentration. It also helps children gain confidence and learn how to problem solve.

Chess is also a great way to improve hand-eye coordination, focus, and planning. It is a great game for children of all ages.

2. Scrabble

Scrabble is a cross between a word game and an intellectual challenge. The game is extremely easy to learn but provides a challenging puzzle for the player.

There are over 4,000 possible words and multiple ways to score on the game board

The game can also be played by one or by two people. This is one of the best board games for autistic children. 

3. Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan is one of the best board games for autistic children that is easy to learn and challenging to master.

The game takes place on a world map and uses resources such as sheep, ore, and trade goods to build settlements and roads. It is a great game to teach kids about economics, geography, and trade.

4. Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and Ladders might be confusing to look at at first. Like Candyland, it could be difficult to understand which way to move the pieces and when to ascend a ladder or down a chute.

Depending on the spinner and the placement of the ladders and chutes, your autistic child can also find it challenging to understand that you win this game by chance.

Try encouraging your child with comments such as, “Oh no; you got a slide!” to assist them in better understanding their course if they are upset or disappointed during the game or are not in the lead.

5. Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride often involves difficult tactical and strategic choices. It’s a fantastic plan for kids who love trains.

To claim railroads across many continents in the board game, players must gather various colored cards of different categories. The longer the path, the more points you get.

The joy of finishing each journey in this game is beneficial for kids with ASD. Although the interaction between players is necessary for the game, no eye contact is necessary.

You may alter the rules initially if necessary, but eventually, your child can play without them.

6. Candyland

The goal of the game Candyland is to move the piece through the squares while overcoming various obstacles along the way.

Although it’s a classic piece, it may be difficult for your kid if they don’t know how to share the game pieces, when to go ahead or backward, or how to take turns.

By putting stickers with instructions on the board, you may help the child get acquainted with the game’s direction and help prevent awkward situations.

Additionally, you may include a picture of the kid on their game marker, so they will know which piece belongs to them.

Have a tangible item you can hand around to keep track of who is taking turns if you wish to assist the child. It is undoubtedly one of the best board games for autistic children.

7. Uno

Uno is a card game played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The goal of Uno is to get rid of all your cards before your opponent does. It is a simple game that families and groups of children can play. 

Uno is a great game for children of all ages, although it is especially good for autistic children that may have difficulty with more complicated games.

8. Splendor

Splendor is a board game played with a standard deck of cards. It is a combination of a board game and a card game that can be challenging to learn but is easy to play. 

The game takes place in a city with various paths and possible destinations. It is a great game for both children and adults.

9. Monopoly

Monopoly Best Board Games for Autistic Children
Photo by Doerge

Monopoly is a board game that has been played for decades. It is a classic game on a board of streets and houses.

The goal is to buy all of the properties in a city and then make the other players pay rent for using those same streets and houses. 

Monopoly is a great game for all ages and is especially good for autistic children who may struggle with more complex games.

10. Playdom: Mystery of the Abbey

Mystery of the Abbey is a card game that families and groups can play. The game takes place in a medieval abbey and uses images such as knights, monks, and abbey buildings to play the game. 

Mystery of the Abbey is a great game to play while traveling or camping. It is also one of the best board games for autistic children that may have trouble with more complex games.

11. Connect Four

Connect Four is one of the best board games for autistic children that is simple and easy to learn.

It is designed to be played with two players and four game pieces. To play, the first player places one of their colored pieces on the board. 

If the second player does the same, the two pieces will connect and become one of the four combinations on the board.

The remaining two spaces allow players to put their colored pieces to create their combinations. 

The game’s object is for one player to get four of their pieces connected to their opponent’s four pieces, making the board disappear.

This is one of the easiest and best board games for autistic children to learn how to play, but many cannot grasp how the game works.

12. Happy Salmon

As the name suggests, this is a game your child will love. It is an aquatic-themed game where the goal is to get your fish to the other side of the board.

You do that by placing a coin on a space, making the coin’s opposite side the only space left on the board. 

The challenge comes when you have to get the fish across the board without allowing it to fall into the water.

The other advantage of this game is that it can be played with a group of people, making it a good team-building activity.

13. The Game of Life

The Game of Life is like a board game version of what life is like. It has a grid-like board where you can place your tokens and watch how the board changes.

The grid represents people’s lives from birth to death or retirement and everything in between. 

You move your tokens around the grid to create your own story, and the challenge comes from ensuring that all the tokens end up in the same space. 

This is a great game for families where one member is interested in biology, and the whole family can discuss what life is like for people at different ages and stages.

14. Pandemic

Pandemic is a board game with your child thinking and analyzing situations. It is a collaborative game that involves players working together to save the world from various diseases. 

The players gather information on diseases and then use the cards to stop the diseases from spreading.

This game can be played with a group of people or by yourself. The game can be challenging because it requires a team to work together and coordinate their actions.

15. Sushi Go!

You’ll need to think quickly in Sushi Go! If you want to win by collecting the right combination of sushi rolls. You may win points by assembling the most sushi rolls or a full plate of sashimi.

It’s a simple game that takes twenty minutes to learn and play. By handing their cards to other players, children with autism also develop social skills.

To succeed, you must rapidly assess your hand, choose the kind of sushi you want, and make a game plan. This is one of the best board games for autistic children.

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