2018 Mom Approved Gift Ideas For Special Kids
Like many parents of a child or teen with additional needs, I find it challenging to think of new gift ideas each Christmas. My son BJ lives with cerebral palsy and although his fine motor skills have improved as he’s got older, he still has difficulty accessing many games. I’m always striving to find activities which will continue to improve his fine, and gross motor skills. The right choice of games motivates him to work harder on these goals.
Every year I spend hours searching for new ideas and as I’m looking for gifts which may be good for my son, I can’t help but take note of games and toys which may be good for others.
Here’s a few I’ve found this year.
This fun game is a larger and easier version of the popular Kerplunk game. With thicker sticks and colorful balls, this is sure to encourage interaction with others while encouraging fine motor skills and color matching.
All About Me Keepsake Book
For children who are non-verbal or have limited communication skills, it can be difficult to share their lives with friends, family and teachers. This All About Me book allows you to add photos and anecdotes about a child or teen to assist them in communicating with others. There’s even space at the back of the book to store some treasures, allowing more opportunities for interaction and inclusion.
Book and Animal Sound Tablet
A book with a sound tablet allows children to interact with the story. The sound tablet can be held by your child or secured to a wheelchair tray, allowing them to press the corresponding sound as you read the book. This encourages matching, isolating a finger and participation.
Smartrod Magnetic Discovery
Building can be tricky when you don’t have good fine motor skills, but magnetic building tools can make it easier. This set is going to be popular with transport lovers as they work towards constructing vehicles and the ramps to run their vehicles on.
Battat 3 Car Garage
My son had a similar toy when he was younger, and it was one of his favorites. It can be played at various levels depending on your child’s ability. It’s fantastic for color matching, talking about the concepts in and out and good for fine motor skills as children work towards turning the keys.
I Spy Dig In
This game can be tailored to your child/teen’s level of ability. It’s a tactile version of I Spy where you match the items on your card with those you find in the bowl. If the game is too difficult with all the pieces you can make it easier by reducing the number of items in the bowl and forgetting the sand timer. Picking out the pieces is good for fine motor skills and matching the items to the card allows discussion around color and identifying and naming the items.
What Comes First – sequencing game.
Sequencing games assist children in understanding how things will work in their own lives. First, next and last are concepts we use daily in life. These 3-piece puzzles allow children to work through these processes with colorful pictures.
Skwooshi Stretchable Dough
No mess stretchy dough which never dries out is great for tactile play. The tools which come with the set allow a child to work for their hands including rolling and cutting. This prompts conversation around many concepts including colors, textures and imaginative play.
Justice League Batman
Action Figures are popular with many age groups. Lights and Batman’s voice are activated by squeezing Batman’s legs together. The legs are easy to squeeze, providing a good cause and effect activity. My son loves his action figures and he’s proud to be able to activate this one.
Flip, slide, and matching is required to play this fun timed game. This is ideal for playing on a wheelchair tray top but does require good hand function and reflexes to match in the time limit. It could be frustrating if not purchased for the right person but loads of fun for those who can manage it. The game encourages matching, manipulation, and speedy work.
More Gift Ideas
- 2018 Holiday Gift Guide
- 18 “Mom Approved” Gifts for Kids/Teens with Special Needs
- Holiday Gift Guide: Give Gifts That Fuel Creativity, Create Music and Challenge Your Child to Learn
- Special Resources: This Season Give the Gift of Knowledge
- Come Bearing Gifts and Wearing Them Too! Technology Ideas for Your Family and Friends
- Gift Guide from the Fitness Guy
- Gift Ideas for Those on Special Diets