ASD (Autism spectrum disorders) table time crafts- vintage toys for fine motor skills.


“Play is the beginning of knowledge.”

George Dorsey


I have been so busy lately, so many unfinished projects have made it impossible for me to design and share a fun little craft with you all to do with your children. Instead I thought I share with you some toys I bought for my kids when they were little to help with fine motor skills.


Children on the Autism spectrum will have their favorites of course and there are melt downs sometimes when we try to redirect them to try other things but I encourage everyone to try to get your children to slowly try new things.

When a child struggles with picking up little things and using their fingers it can be really upsetting. I don’t blame them for being afraid to try, it is so frustrating when we can not put something together or make something that seems so easy when we watch someone else doing it. I always think of my aunts trying to teach me how to crochet and how my fingers could not do what they were doing, at least I gave it a go before I threw in the towel.


To help my children develop their fine motor skills I always searched out toys that were colorful and entertaining at the same time. I preferred vintage toys the most because they seem to encourage more hands on creativity then some of the modern toys now days.


Like Lite Brite with all it’s tiny colorful pieces. The kids would draw a picture on black construction paper and pop in their pieces. The excitement of turning off  their bedroom lights to reveal their art encouraged them to play with this toy over and over. This was a fun one for the whole family to enjoy. I might bring that toy down from the attic to play with again now that we are all in quarantine.


Another fun one was Lincoln logs. Take your logs out to the woods and creeks, build little log cabins out in nature. Add some sticks for a fence and get a bag of farm animals to add some pretend play to it.


Legos were number one in our home for many years. I was always very careful not to vacuum pieces up. Every little colorful piece was a future robot, space ship, tiny home, giant misshaped animals and anything you could think to create. My son was so into his Legos, he would spend hours creating things. We still have huge plastic containers full of Legos. I donated some of our toys to the Autism center here in our city after my children grew up but Legos stayed.


Marbles- you can use marbles to create shapes and pictures in sand like mosaic pieces. Marble roller coaster wooden toys are fun to play with. Marbles are also great for counting as well. To play marbles the way they are suppose to be played will be difficult to teach and may lead to melt downs, but hey, give it a go but make sure to include lots of giggles with your mistakes. I encourage you to create your own unique and fun games to use marbles that don’t lead to frustrations. You can even use marbles like a tic tac toe game.


Blocks- I had all kinds of sizes when it came to blocks, and colors too. Build a giant structure and see how high you can go before it falls apart, you know like the tumbling game.


Polly pocket- I think they are bringing this vintage toy back. Polly had tiny little rooms that came with doors, people, even furniture. Everything was so tiny. Those little fingers got a work out playing with this toy. There were Polly pocket sets that came with horses, tiny swimming pools, kitchens, swings and even little cars for them to drive in. We had a ton of fun with Polly in our home.


Hope this was helpful for you all. Remember to encourage your children to play these toys with other children. Also make sure they are at the right age. You do not want really young children playing with small pieces because of chocking hazards. Have fun everyone.


21 Comments Add yours

  1. simplywendi says:

    looking at all those toys brought a smile to my face.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awww…we all need smiles right now, so glad you liked this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. simplywendi says:

        I loved it! I so loved playing with my kids when they were younger! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Me too, I miss those little years. Now I have fun making tiny creatures and teddies, guess that is my play time now, My daughter will see something I have made and then she wants it. My son is very serious and loves science more. My son helps me out in the garden and I give him lessons on some of the plants and what they do. He is studying Bio Chemistry, but he is enjoying biology so he might switch his major. School is all online now, both my college kids are missing that.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. simplywendi says:

        I understand this. My oldest son is in college too and he is missing his in-person classes.
        The are very lucky to be at home with an awesome mom like you! 🙂 and I love that your daughter still enjoys the creations you make………so sweet! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you Wendi, so sweet of you as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. simplywendi says:

        🙂 bless you

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this! Great ideas and I’ll share them with my daughter for my grandson. 🤗💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Laura, I think those old toys from the past are so much funner then toys now days. At least they still have Crayola and playdoh around. Oh, and also slinky and I have seen etch a sketch in some stores.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do too! My grandson Ezra, who was born at 26 weeks gestation at 1 lb 10oz, is on the spectrum and has cerebral palsy, it’s much more difficult to find those types of toys today that that have the most benefit for him.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Over the years I have noticed it is harder to find these toys. Sometimes you can still find some on Ebay and in thrift stores but mostly I still see old toys at retirement communities during church sales and yard sales. Those old toys would be perfect for your grandson, bet he is a cute little guy. Children are so sweet and adorable. Next month I need to do a post on making something fun that helps with fine motor. For gross motor we would do a lot fun activities with Radio flyer wagon, balance beams and a simple ball at the park.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Great ideas! Can’t wait to see what you’re up to next!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Marbles and Lego were a favourite when we were kids. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fun times. I always loved the different colors the marbles came in.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. All favourites!!! What a great walk down memory lane, and some of the best toys that there have ever been 🙂 Wendi is right, these bring smiles to faces 🙂 🙂 Still praying, and thanking God for your uncle, and for your daughters friends family, and your husbands cousin too. I shouldn’t say still praying. I always ask God once for things and them I thank Him for it every time I pray after that. I thank the LORD for continuing to bless you 🙂


  5. Seeing all those toys especially the lego reminded me of my son . I bought him lego when he was a young lad, he kept it and now is has multiplied plus plus and now he and my five year old grandson spend hours building it for the model railway that they have 🧮🚉🚞🚝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How fun, I bet it looks really cool. I will always love Lego.


  6. Sabrina says:

    Lite Brite! That brings back memories! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it, I really need to bring that down to put out so everyone can play while we are stuck inside.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. These are great ideas for fine motor activities for children with Autism. Lego is always great for social skills and fine motor skills. The Like Lite Brick looks cool.I don’t think we have them in Australia but the joy of turning the lights of and seeing your creation light up would encourage and motivate children to use this.

    Liked by 1 person

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