April is Autism Awareness Month and Toy Insider Parent Charlene DeLoach stopped by Western Mass News in Springfield to talk about the best toys for children on the Autism spectrum. For more on the items featured in this segment, check out the product notes below.


  • Squeezamals are super soft and ultra squishy plush.
  • There are more than 36 cute characters to collect in spring with more on the way. Ranging from narwhals and unicorns to penguins and puppies there is something for everyone to squish and collect.
  • Squishamals come in three sizes: Backpack clip at 2.25 inches, Core Squishamals at 3.5 inches and Large Squishamals at 8 inches.
  • Spa-like scented plushies!
  • Age: 6+
  • MSRP: Backpack clip $3.99 / Core Squishamals $7.99 / Large Squishamals $14.99
  • Available Spring 2018


  • Kids writing their first letters will get helpful up, down and sideways instructions via easy-to-follow arrows.
  • A magnetic stylus pulls beads up to create solid lines.
  • Erases with the tip of a finger.
  • Also available in cursive, numbers, and free play versions!
  • Age: 3+
  • MSRP: $
  • Available: Specialty stores


  • Super squeezable and collectible, Soft’n Slo Squishies are based on the latest trend from Japan as a slow-rising and soft collectible.
  • They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and produce a fun transformation that’s different every time.
  • If kids are lucky they may even find the secret limited edition Soft’n Slo Squishies with a special holographic seal.
  • Soft’n Slo Squishies Sweet Shop features favorite high-end bakery products, including slices of cake, cinnamon buns, ice cream cones, and super squishy s’mores.
  • Soft N Slow Squishies Gross Desserts features bakery favorites with a few gross surprises, like eyeballs and bugs.
  • Ages: 8+
  • MSRP: $5.99-$14.99
  • Available:  Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walmart


  • Monster Match is the screaming-fast game of catching cute, donut-eating monsters.
  • Players roll the special “Monster Dice” and race to find a monster that matches the dice rolled. How fast can you find a monster with three eyes…or four arms? Be quick and be strategic!
  • Everyone has the chance to catch a monster, and each monster is worth different donut points. Do you search for any matching monsters, or do you try to find the monster with the most donuts?
  • Whatever your strategy, be careful! Go too fast and you might catch the wrong monsters and lose your donuts!
  • Age: 6+
  • MSRP: $17.99
  • Available: April 2018 on Amazon


  • From zany cupcakes to make-believe cookies, kids can bring out their inner baker with the Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Spinning Treats Mixer Set!
  • To start, little ones use the child-friendly kitchen mixer to press out tons of their wildest cookie and cupcake creations. Once the colorful “treats” have been stamped out, it’s time to decorate! Top off the imaginary baked goods by adding swirls of fluffy Play-Doh Plus frosting compound with the decorating tool, then shape pretend candies and sprinkles using the half molds on the mixer and the spatula.
  • Recipe cards are also included to provide little bakers with even more inspiration for unique Play-Doh treats!
  • The set includes mixer playset, bowl, cupcake/cookie inserts, decorating tool, spatula/knife, plate, two recipe cards, four standard cans of PLAY-DOH compound, and one standard can of PLAY-DOH PLUS compound.
  • Ages 3+
  • MSRP: $14.99
  • Available: Major retailers


  • Let your imagination blossom with the Clicformers Flower Set! Fold, build and stack to create tulips, roses and sunflowers.
  • Once you’re done following along the included idea booklet, you can work to build your own ideas and creations!
  • All Clicformers sets are compatible, allowing the building possibilities to be truly endless.
  • When playtime is over, use the clicking mechanism to simply stack and store.
  • Age: 4+
  • MSRP: $9.99
  • Available: Specialty retailers



  • Botley the Coding Robot gives children as young as five early exposure to coding and helps them gain confidence in STEM through fun, imaginative play.
  • Botley is 100-percent screen free and does not require the use of a smartphone or tablet. Ready to use right out of the box, a simple remote control allows children to code up to 120 programmable steps.
  • And, a 77-piece activity set gives children the tools to create challenges and activities like obstacle courses and mazes.
  • Botley grows with children and has many features to discover including looping, black line following, and smart logic to detect objects – and avoid them! There are also secret hidden features for children to discover.
  • Age: 5-9
  • MSRP: $79.99
  • Available: Amazon