Hello again! It must be holiday time now, because our office is filled with decorations!
We’ve been thinking about the subject of Christmas gifts, or holiday gifts, or gifts in general. We are asked this a lot, because many of our clients are not developmentally at the same level as their peers. Even if they’re 8, they might be playing with toys that are more for 4 or 5 year olds. And parents often ask, “Should I get those toys? Or should I get toys that will be more challenging?”
We say it’s probably a good idea to go with where your child is developmentally. That way they can learn to work with that toy, and then move up to higher levels where they need to be. It’s okay if your child is delayed a little bit in their play, but we think it’s important that you get the toy that’s going to be most appropriate for their development at that time.
The other struggle that many family members have, maybe an aunt or an uncle, or a grandparent, is “What type of toy do I get for my niece/nephew/grandchild who has some developmental or sensory issues?” We think the best thing you can do is to come up with a list you can give them, because they’re not going to want to go buy a toy that your child is not going to use—they want to buy a toy that’s going to be meaningful. We recommend emailing them a list, with links.
To make your list, the first thing you can do is to check with your therapist. Ask about some of the things that they use in the clinic that you can just buy at the store. If there are specific therapy items that you want people to purchase, send them a link! You can also ask them to give a gift card. It’s much better to get a gift card from a store that is going to be valuable for you, than something that’s not going to be used.
There are many avenues you can take, but we recommend being prepared!
Here are some specific Christmas gift ideas for a Special Needs Child that are also things we use in therapy:
*Hippity Hop Balls. These come in all different sizes, and for our kids who are seeking proprioception these are great
*Yoga Balls. These also come in all different sizes, and you can do lots of activities with these. They can be pushed through tunnels, they can be sat on, kids can even sit on them when they watch TV.
*Dress-Up Costumes. A lot of our kids love costumes!
*Tricycle. Some of our kids are learning to ride a tricycle and really enjoy it. You can also do bicycles with training wheels—just remember not to make it too challenging because it’s supposed to be fun.
*Building Blocks. All kinds
*Mini Tramp. This is one of our favorites! You can get these at Walmart, and they run under $40.
We have so many different things here for therapy that we bought right off of Amazon or right out of the store. It doesn’t have to be a therapy item to be therapeutic. So if you’re wondering about what might be therapeutic for your child, check with your therapist! They’ll give you some great ideas, and you can include those on that list we told you to prepare for your family members.
As always, if you have any questions related to your child specifically, please give us a call!