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It can be really hard to get my kids attention and Attention Autism has been a brilliant tool to help us work on this. If you don’t know what it is then read my post on Attention Autism first. For those of you who know what it is, I have pulled together my favourite bucket fillers to give you some ideas.
I’ve got something in my bucket! What will it be?
My attention bucket is actually a children’s plastic storage bin. It is filled with some attention grabbing items such as light up toys, bubbles, balloons and wind-up toys. Party bag fillers are brilliant for this and I have built up my collection over time.
Bubbles & Balloons
A staple of all attention buckets is bubbles and balloons.
- Standard bubbles
- bubble wands for bigger bubbles
- bubble machine for some very excited kids
- handheld bubble machine
- touchable bubbles a bit sticky but fun to be able to touch the bubbles
- standard balloons just blow then up and release
- flying rocket balloons these can make a great noise
Wind up toys
Wind up toys are great for a quick attention grabber.
- chattering teeth a classic bucket filler
- wind up dinosaurs my boys are dinosaur fans
- multipack wind up toys you can pick up some good selections
A great way to gain attention is to use something noisy:
- ocean drum the kids love watching the balls shake about
- mouth whistle my eldest was fascinated the first time he saw one
- hand bells
- party blowers always fun
- animal noise maker
- musical instrument set
Light up toys
Toys that light up are another great attention grabber. A good place to get great light up spinning toys is at fireworks / fairs although they can be pricey.
- swivel wand this is probably the best attention grabber I have
- dinosaur projection torch
- spikey light up ball great quick win
- spinning light up wand
Movement is a great way to catch someones eye:
- Yo-Yo although I often struggle to do it properly
- fidget spinner
- spinning tops these look great if you get a couple spinning at once
Slime, foam and putty
Sensory items can be great and you can offer for the children to take a turn to touch the item.
- mouldable foam soap one of my favourites just clap some between your hands.
- noisy putty some kids find this hilarious
- bouncy putty
- magnetic putty
- kinetic sand
Some things are irresistible to touch …
- stretchy man you can often make them stick to the ceiling
- stretchy cucumber
- egg splat this is a great bucket filler
- eye pop frog another favourite
- animal tongue roller
- squeezy banana
- squeezy dinosaur
Things that fly
Kids love to watch something fly, they are often in awe.
- Minion parachute although I have to get up high to release him
- polystyrene glider
- mini plastic whirly helicopter
- foam rocket launcher these are great and the boys love them
Movement is always great to get attention especially quick movement.
- monster jump ups
- jumping frog
- mini pull and release cars really effective movement from these
- bouncy balls
It is great fun to have a seasonal theme and you can get some great fillers from the supermarkets. I like to stock up when all the holiday novelty items go on sale for the next year.
- wind up Christmas toys you can sometimes get these in Christmas crackers too
- create your own snow
- Christmas spinning wand
- novelty Christmas glasses
- feathers are good at Easter
- Easter eggs that can be filled with little chicks
- Ghost light up wand for Halloween
Movers and Shakers
I don’t have many movers and shakers mostly because they are more expensive and have less impact after the first couple of times with my boys. These are some I can reccommend:
- ZURU PETS ALIVE Boppi The Booty Shakin’ Llama
- Walking noisy pig
- Hamleys Rockin Rabbit
- Vibrating jumping bopper
My Building Attention eBook might be of interest. It contains tips on getting attention and 23 fun activities.
It is designed to support young children that struggle with attention and communication. Each activity can be completed quickly using household items.