Holiday Shopping for Children with Special Needs
One question we as therapists often come across is, ‘What are some good toys I can buy for my child?’ Well, with the holidays right around the corner, I decided to dedicate this blog to helping families find some great toys and games that can help develop whatever area your child may need strengthening in, while having fun, because remember, a child’s play is their work! So below, you will find some wonderful links where you can purchase some great toys!
1. The first site I include is the Toys R’ Us Toy Guide for Differently Abled Kids,. As one of the leading major retailers of children’s toys, Toy’s R’ Us, has done an outstanding job of categorizing their site by need, so parents can easily select the category of toys they are looking for. Some of the selections include, gross motor, fine motor, auditory, creativity, language, and tactile, among others. In addition, they also have an area devoted to apps, where they recommend some great apps for children with special needs. Toys R’ Us has collaborated with the National Lekotek Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with special needs by providing services that focus on the use of play and toys, to select the exceptional toys for their guide. Their site, www.lekotek.org is worth looking at as well. They provide a lot of great information about toys and play, and also have lending libraries in many cities, where families can borrow toys to play with.
2. The next site I include is the Discovery Toys Special Needs Toy Guide , which provides shoppers with an easy-to-use chart that breaks toys into different categories based on the type of learner (auditory, kinesthetic, visual) on the vertical axis, and into the individual’s need horizontally (physical limitations, cognitive skills, hearing loss). The only thing that could make the chart better is links to the toys listed on the chart, but definitely worth looking into!
3. The final site I include to help you create your toy arsenal is Able Play, a site sponsored by the National Lekotek Center (remember them?), that provides parents, educators, therapists and the general public with information and ratings on a ton of toys. Though you cannot purchase the toys from this site, it helps users select the most appropriate toys for their kids. I was in love with the sight at first glance and was a little disappointed in myself that I was not familiar with the site before. I would definitely check it out!
Below I’ve listed a couple of additional sites that are worth knowing because they have a ton of great toys and products!
eSpecial Needs is a site has a wide selection of toys, mobility products, daily living products, furniture, sensory motor, etc.
Discount School Supply This site has a section for special needs, along with other categories like, gross motor & discovery, cognitive development, language, etc.