By: Laura Bueche, MOT OTR/L
If you are looking for the perfect holiday gift for your child, here are some ideas to give your little one the input they are looking for over winter break. I also included other helpful websites, stores and catalogs for children with special needs.
Heavy Work and Movement
Cuddle Me Sensory Tunnel– Great for therapy requiring tactile input and crawling practice as well as for sensory seeking kids to cuddle in for comfort. $49.99
Scooter board– Develops sensory processing, coordination, balance and agility skills. $19.25
Mini Kids Trampoline– Helps with muscle development, coordination and sensory processing. $68.99
Wiggle Sit Cushion– provides subtle movement input and is a great seating option that often helps with focusing, while developing balance skills and trunk control. $14.90
Deep Pressure Toys
Weighted toys– A great sensory diet addition that provides comforting deep pressure input. $36.00
Body Sock– excellent for providing calming/organizing deep pressure input, and for developing motor planning, spatial, and body awareness. $31.98
Weighted blankets– Can calm anxiety and ease stress for some children with autism, sensory processing disorder, developmental disorders, and more. $ Prices vary
Vibrating Pillow– Provides a sense of calm. $17.95
Balance and Coordination Toys
Balance Board– helps develop the necessary skills for normal childhood activities which require good balance and coordination. $19.95
Velcro Toss– Great for practicing motor-planning and timing skills. $8.49
Zoom Ball– great for bilateral coordination, motor planning skills, shoulder stability, and building upper body and core strength. $13.99
Balance stepping stones– Helps to improve balancing and coordination abilities. $29.49
Tactile Exploration Toys
Fidgets– Great for calming and alerting, to promote focusing and concentration, decrease stress, increase tactile awareness of fingers/hands and as a way to keep fidgeting fingers busy. $ Price Varies
Water Beads – These make for fun sensory activities. $5.95
Kinetic Sand– Great for a calming sensory experience and for tactile therapy play. $12.99
Be Amazing Insta-Snow Jar– great for use in sensory tables for early childhood. $9.89
Santa’s Little Hackers– A seasonal toy drive to adapt toys, making simple modifications to the electronics of toys and giving them away. These adaptations make the toys accessible to individuals with disabilities so they can play independently.
Other Adapted Toy Resources:
Adaptive Tech Solutions: Adaptive Tech Solutions is a therapist owned and operated company that provides adapted equipment for individuals with disabilities at affordable prices.
Beyond Play: Features switch toys which are wonderful way to teach cause and effect and can help children develop a sense of control over their environment and self-esteem.
I’m looking forward to checking out this new store in the Chicago area, Spectrum Toy Store.
Toys R Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids – Prepared by the National Lekotek Center, the catalogue is available at your local “R” Us store.
And last but not least, view our Amazon Wishlist for therapist recommended toys and games for all children’s developmental stages at bit.ly/eswishlist.