For parents and family of children with multi-needs or special needs, gift buying is always so difficult. This is the moment we really want to shower them with something awesome consequently though, it can be difficult to purchase things that speak to their abilities and their ideas of fun. Until Now. I have a list of items that I think you will love and add to your list for Christmas.
This has gained a lot of traction in the the past couple of years. Families are finding that their children enjoy experiences more than gifts and it has been a practice families are transitioning into much more. For special needs children, depending on their abilities, this is the best option for them. Places like waterparks, movie theaters, concerts etc., may be a great options
Sensory On The Go Bag - This bag is equipped with hearing safe headphones and a couple toys to keep your kiddo occupied. This is great to keep with you on the go.
Mystery Sensory Balls - These are identical mirrored balls that make different sounds. When the balls are in motion, rather shaken or rolled they exude different sounds. They are lightweight and easy to hold (made of stainless steel, easy cleaning!).
Musical Instrument Toys - These are all over the web and in local toy stores. There are so many to choose from and they are all about your personal preference.
Sound Spa Sound Machine - For some kiddos, hearing the sounds of white noise or calming sounds, relax them when they are full of anxiety or overly stimulated. Purchase one of these to keep in their room.
Giant Piano - This is one of my favorites and we pull it out all the time. The giant piano will give you all of the nostalgic feels from the movie “The Big.” These Pianos are easy to store (as the fold away ) and are fun for the child that enjoys being on the floor or tunny time. These are available on the web and in stores.
Therapy Bears/Heated Stuffed Animals - These are stuffed animals that exude heat or coolness. You simply microwave or throw it the freezer. These bears are great comfort mechanisms. You can also add essential oils to add more comfort and stimulate senses.
Mirrors - Mirrors can be a a lot of fun for children with various disabilities (and babies too). There is something magical and fun about seeing their reflection.
Liquid Timers and Lava Lamps - Would you be surprised to know that these have a calming effect. Whether the child is using it for its light or watching the oil mixture flow slowly throughout the lamp, these brings about stillness and peace, especially when feeling stressed or full of anxiety.
Light Box/ Light Panel - I love these for children of all abilities honestly! They are great for sensory play. Be sure to buy see through toys to accompany!
Sensory Light Ball - These are fun for children to play with or have as an added element to your sensory room. These balls also have the ability to change colors.
Amazer Light Gloves - Sensory fun element for children. The fingers of the gloves light up via LED lights. Children and adults will be amazed by these cool gloves.
Chew Toys - Chew toys are are great. There are so many on the market now and my favorite are the ones that are on necklaces. Now, I know for some this may seem germy but with kids, what isn’t full of germs. Just sanitize!
Water Beads - Kinetic Sand - Play Foam - These are some of the very popular items for sensory tactile play. Pair these with a box or container for the children to play with it in. There are so many different brands and companies that sell these. They are also available all over the web and in stores.
Sensory Books/ Busy Book - These books are equipped with various textures and activities (zipping or tying laces). Some people call them busy books. You can purchase these BUT if you are up to the challenge you can make one yourself. Instead of a book it could be a wall.
Personal Talker/Quick Talker - This is perfect for the child that has difficulty communicating what they want or need. This specific talker is neat because its easy to carry around (portable) and has up to 48 messages and 12 minutes of recording time.
Talking Photo Album - This is a gift that warms the heart. This is a customizable photo album that allows you to create and record a message for each page (picture). You can actually purchase a few of these and it can help significantly with your child's speech.
Recordable Switch - My son use these to communicate by simply tapping it with his elbow (which isn’t super simple for him, but you get the idea). Simply record a message or phrase and your child can hit or tap the switch to share that information. Example: If you recorded “Yes” as the message, whenever your child needs to respond to a yes or no question, he will know that tapping the switch would communicate “YES” to what is being asked of him or her (this his how my son uses it).
Emotional Magnets - This is a pretty cool way to help children communicate by selecting the magnet that describes their emotion. Perfect for your fridge or a portable magnetic board the child could carry.
Radio or Music System - My son really loves music so gifts like these are great. Anything that sounds off music is great (MP3 players, etc.).
Weighted Blanket - While adults are in love with these, they are also great as a sense of calming for children with special needs.
Neck massagers - Yes, the vibrations are therapeutic for children. See, adults aren’t the only ones that can enjoy these kinds of things.
Inflatable Lounger - This is a great option for those children who have limited mobility but you would like to give them an option other than their bed or wheelchair to hang out. Its also pretty cool and trending.
Indoor Hammock or Swing - This is one item that the entire family will love (or maybe just my household). My son has a hammock in his room and we all enjoy lounging in it.