18 “Mom Approved” Gifts for Kids with Special Needs
18 “Mom Approved” Gifts
Buying gifts for a child or teen with special needs can prove challenging. As a Mom to a son who has Cerebral Palsy, I have struggled over the years to come up with gifts that my son can use and that he will find fun and exciting.
My son, BJ, is non-verbal and has problems with his hand function and mobility and that limits what I can buy.
Our lovely family and friends often seek guidance on what to buy him. While I appreciate their desire to buy him a useful gift, it means that I need to have a long list of suggestions to come up with each birthday and Christmas.
Every year I scour the stores for new gift ideas and I thought others may benefit from me sharing the ideas that have worked for BJ over the years. Every child is different in their level of ability and I do find it hard to find age appropriate gifts. Although I strive to give BJ age appropriate gifts, I am conscious that there is no point in it being ‘appropriate’ if he cannot do it or get enjoyment from it.
Keep in mind, it may take more time to buy a gift for a child with special needs but the joy of seeing them enjoying playing. and being able to use the gift, is worth every minute of effort.
Here’s my up to date ULTIMATE GIFT GUIDE FOR PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS with over 100 ideas
I remember this pop-up toy fondly from many sessions with our Occupational Therapist when BJ was younger. There are springs under the little, wooden-people pegs. Isolating a finger is the aim and when you push down on the pop-up toy, it springs out of the container. Lots of giggles and fun can be had with this toy.
SOUND BLOCK PUZZLE
This sound block puzzle rewards children when they correctly match the two parts of the animal. It also comes in a vehicles sound block. The blocks and pictures are large which makes them easy to use. BJ had the vehicle version when he was younger and loved it.
I am a big fan of the Melissa and Doug range of toys. This is a new take on the old matching puzzles. It makes the sound of the vehicle or animal when the puzzle piece is correctly placed in the puzzle board.
I love these tracking puzzles. The knobs on this one make it easier to handle. Building a caterpillar by moving the pieces is a challenge but also fun. There are a variety of themes available in these puzzles.
Maintaining grasp of a pen or pencil can be hard for many children with special needs. In the early days, BJ’s Occupational Therapist made him a little lycra holder for these crayons. The lycra holder had a slit in it which the crayon slipped into and then wrapped around his hand. A little piece of Velcro attached it so even when he let go of the crayon it remained in reach and it was easy for him to start drawing again. Although BJ was never keen on drawing, this gave him the greatest success.
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