Autistic individuals often exhibit unique sensory preferences, and for some, a fascination with shiny objects can be particularly pronounced.

Providing stimming toys that cater to this interest can offer a comforting and engaging sensory experience. 

And this list isn’t just for kids or teens; it’s for adult Autistics as well.

Sure, you can go to a hardware shop and get lost in the array of shiny metal, but here’s a quick list of 15 “toys” that shine in their own unique way — for ASD’ers of all ages.

1     Magnetic Desk Sculpture

With this cool AF gadget, the permutations of shapes is endless.

This shiny contraption isn’t just for the desk. It can be set on a cocktail table or anywhere for you to have easy access when it’s time to stim with something shiny.

The shiny metal balls stick together via magnetism. Just plunge your fingers in to form an infinite variety of shapes.

2     Sensory Water Beads

©Lorra Garrick

Pick ’em up and just stare at them. Roll them around. Toss them up in the air.

Hold several in your palm for a smooth feel while you admire their shine.

You can also fill up a decorative glass jar with these beads to add to your home’s decor.

3     Steel Ball Orbiter

Now this thing is really cool. It doubles as a shine and spin fidget!

Hold the bigger portion between your thumb and middle fingertip, though some people may prefer their index finger.

The ball stays attached via magnets. But you can make the ball spin around, while still attached, by rapidly moving your hand.

It may take some practice to sustain rapid movement of the sphere around the orbiter.

4     Shiny Metal Puzzle Cube

Puzzle cubes with a metallic finish add an extra layer of visual interest for those who enjoy shiny textures.

The reflective surfaces of the cubes can make the process of solving the puzzle a captivating and rewarding experience.

5     Tinsel Hair Extensions

Clip them in and whirl around as your buddies become envious of your new sparkling hair!

This isn’t just for kids; adults on the Spectrum who love shiny or glittery things should not hesitate to experiment with various tinsel hair extensions.

6     Foil Paper

Have a blast with foil shimmering paper in different colors!

For stimming you can just look at it for prolonged periods while taking an eye break from your computer.

You can cut it up into different shapes for this purpose. You can crumple it. You can draw on it. 

7     Shiny Paper Eating Supplies

Not just for parties, but shimmery paper plates, paper cups and eating utensils can be for everyday use by autistic people who love things that shine.

8     Shiny Balloons

©Lorra Garrick

Pamper yourself with shiny balloons, no matter what your age.

9     Glittery Pipe Cleaners

Some autistic individuals enjoy stimming with pipe cleaners in a way that’s similar to that of a tangle fidget.

Pipe cleaners with a glittery surface are sold in various colors, and make an excellent fidget with their infinite amount of creatable shapes and transport convenience.

10     Infinity Mirror Tunnel

This device creates an illusion of endless depth with LED lights and mirrors.

The reflective surfaces and the play of lights make this gadget quite enchanting and visually stimulating for autistic people (not to mention many neurotypicals, for that matter!).

11     Sparkling Sequin Cushion

A sequin cushion offers a tactile and visually stimulating experience for Autistics.

This cushion is versatile in that it comes in many colors that will add to the decor of any room in the house.

In fact, it can even be a squishy stim, or just a comfortable foot or headrest. 

12     Tin Foil

Perhaps you’ve already discovered tin foil as a visual stim. What’s cool about this common household product is that you may also enjoy the sound it makes when handled.

However, the visual and auditory experiences are suppressed with the type of foil that’s pre-cut.

If you want that super shimmering silver and especially that distinct sound of handling a long sheet ot tin foil, make sure you buy the rolls that must be torn off.

13     Fidget Spinner with Holographic Patterns

Enhance the classic fidget spinner experience with holographic patterns.

The reflective and ever-changing designs on the spinner’s surface can captivate the attention of those who enjoy shiny visuals while providing a tactile outlet for stimming.

14     Reflective Tangle Toy

The popular tangle toy comes in a shiny version, covered in a reflective material.

As it is twisted and turned, the shimmering surface catches and reflects light, creating a new level of experience when compared to your average everyday tangle fidget.

15     Shiny Stress Ball

The timeless stress or fidget ball comes in many shiny or reflective varieties.

They also range from not so soft to super squishy. 

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical and fitness topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. In 2022 she received a diagnosis of Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder. 


Top image: ©Lorra Garrick