Gifts for Children with Special Needs
Tips provided by Black Bear Academy
The Holiday season is upon us and the season of gifts and giving has begun! Gifts for children with special needs can be especially difficult to find. Below are some ideas from our clinical team to help make your shopping a little easier. These items are functional, yet fun and engaging for your child.
- Sensory Tables:
This is the gift that keeps on giving! There are endless ways for your child to engage in play with a sensory table. Fill the bin with a number of items including: water beads, sand, noodles, beans, grass, straw, corn, etc and get exploring! Add items like a digging truck to turn it into a construction site, toy boats and fish to turn it into an underwater adventure, or just use the tubs as a way for your child to get messy and enjoy the sensory experience!
- Magnet Stories and Play Scenes:
Magnet stories are a great way to make story-reading more engaging and interactive. You can have your child participate in the story by placing the magnets on the board as you read, or you can get creative and make up your own stories with your child!
- Sound Puzzles:
These puzzles are fantastic for several reasons! The cause and effect nature of these puzzles are very engaging for kids. Additionally, environmental sounds are one of the best ways to help elicit sounds in the developing talker. Puzzles also support visual tracking and fine motor development. Melissa and Doug have several great options for sound puzzles!
- Puppets and a Puppet Theater:
Puppets are great toys for developing your child’s imagination! Use puppets as a fun and interactive way to generate stories, express thoughts, act out social situations, and share ideas!
- Board Games:
Games are a great way to incorporate the whole family in play time. Games help instruct turn-taking and how to manage the concept of winning/losing. A few of our favorites include: Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel, Hi Ho Cherry-Oh!, Candy Land, Honey Bee Tree, Zingo Bingo, Chutes and Latters, and Don’t Break the Ice. Many of these games also incorporate color identification, matching, visual and fine motor skills, as well!
We hope you find this list helpful as you navigate the stores for your holiday shopping. We wish you a very Happy Holiday season from Black Bear Academy!