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My children have so many toys and this Christmas what I really wanted them to have was gifts that met their sensory needs.
I have two special needs children and while their needs may vary, I have quickly learned that their needs require many tools, many of which can be fun! When family members started asking what my kids wanted for Christmas this year, I immediately knew what I wanted to ask for.
I made up a short list and then realized that many of these would apply to the special needs child of other parents as well. I decided to add to that list to make this post. Many of the items are things that we have had in the past, currently, or hope to get soon. Some are items that my kids use and therapy.
For the family member and caregivers who have no idea what to get the special needs child in their life this list which is grouped by age will meet so many different needs. These gift ideas are listed at various prices and come in different sizes. This means some might be good for stocking stuffers too!
Please note that the age group is the minimum requirement for that item – it does not mean that older kids can’t use it too.
Gift Ideas for the Special Needs Child
6 months +
1. Learn With Lights Piano – Stimulates the senses, encourages creativity, and motor skills.
2. Activity Garden Safe ‘N Fun Mirror – Perfect for tummy time and teaching kids to recognize self.
3. Giga Tent Hide and Seek Play Tunnel – Great sensory activity, perfect for crawling and getting that enclosed feeling!
4. Take Along Shape Sorter – Great for skills such as sensory, fine motor, gross motor, logical, creative, linguistic, emotional, and communication.
5. Baby Babble Speech Enhancing DVDs – Perfect for teaching kids sign language and speech skills to speech delayed kids.
12 months +
6. Wooden Rocking Horse with Safety Surround Seat – Safe and fun for the child sensory seeking child who likes to rock.
7. Cyclone – Great for increasing attention and sensory and visual processing skills.
8. First 100 Words Board Book – Visually appealing and great to use to work on speech skills.
9. Kid’s Playpen Ball Pit – Perfect for the sensory seek and for improving your child’s aesthetic capacity.
10. Duck Pond Water Table – Perfect for the sensory child who loves water play.
11. Crazy Legs Learning Bugs – Educational toy that teaches shapes, numbers and counting, and nature!
Age 2 +
12. Early Melodies Mighty Band – For the sensory and auditory seeker to develop rhythmic and audio skills.
13. Learn Through Music Touch Pad – Perfect for little fingers who love touch and learning through music and rhythm.
14. Counting Caterpillar – This adorable toy encourages number skills, color recognition, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and imaginative play.
15. Plastic Egg Shaker Assortment – Let your child learn about sounds with these eggs that give clear and pronounced sounds.
16. Squigz – A playful toy that encourages creativity, fine motor skills, interaction, experimentation and provides relaxation and sensory stimulation.
17. Theatre Puppet Tent – An enclosed space for your little princess. Encourages creativity, imagination, speech, and storytelling.
18. Sit ‘N Spin – Hours of playful spinning fun for the sensory seeker.
19. Jumbo Stringing Bead Set – A Montessori-based toy, OT recommended and perfect for fine motor skills, dexterity, and hand-eye coordination.
20. Peg Board Set – A Montessori-based toy, OT recommended and great for building those fine motor skills.
21. Meowsic Keyboard – Cute musical keyboard with recording perfect for kids who like to record their voice and hear it back.
22. Parum Pum Pum Drum – A perfect musical set to create imagination and never-ending fun.
23. Crash Pad – Indoor play has never been more fun with this crash pad built for sensory kiddos (and adults too).
24. Crabbie Sandbox – An outdoor sandbox that holds up to 300 pounds of sand. A sensory kiddo’s dream.
25. Playdough – Great for building fine motor skills and hand strength. Just pick a few accessories and you’re good to go!
Age 3 +
26. Lightweight Super Protection Convertible Stand Cover Case for iPad – Versatile, fun to use, free-standing, and kid-friendly!
27. Kids Extreme Weather Tornado Lab – For the child who loves visual stimulation or who loves to learn more about weather.
28. Touch and Learn Activity Desk – A great interactive desktop that will help you child learn about numbers, animals, letters, people, and more!
29. Fingermax Paint Brushes – Special brushes that will turn your child’s fingertips into paint brushes.
30. Q-Ba-Maze – Perfect for the engineering little one in your life. Help them find their imagination with these action-building cubes.
40. Magnetic Apple Tree – A great educational toy to help with learning numbers and cause and effect.
41. My First Touch Lights – Great for developmentally appropriate creative experiences and fine motor skills.
42. Textured Chew Necklace – A wearable sensory solution that’s discrete and fun.
43. Weighted Lap Pad – A soft and cozy lap pad with evenly distributed weight to bring peace and calm.
44. Super Spinner Swing – A comfortable and safe swing that will easily hold one or two kids that love to spin!
45. Kids Wooden 3-in-1 Tabletop Easel – An easel that does so much and comes with so much. Perfect for the art lover!
46. Space Hopper Ball – Great for the child loves to bounce and perfect for indoor and outdoor play.
47. Lap Pets Tablet Pillow – For the child who loves learning from their tablet, this is the perfect friend to have!
48. Mini Trampoline with Hand Rail – Need to get the kids bouncing? This trampoline is perfect for indoor play!
49. Kinetic Sand – Keep your child busy for hours with this fun magnetic sand that never dries out.
50. Scooter Board – A fun way to strengthen your child’s arms, legs, and core.
51. Washable Sensory Play Materials – These sensory beads, balls, and noodles will bring hours of fun for the sensory-seeking child.
52. Washable Finger Paints – Great for sensory fun and learning motor skills, these finger paints are sure to be a hit!
53. Highway or Railway Adhesive Tape – For the child who loves toys with wheels, help them create a place for them anywhere you go.
Age 4 +
54. My First Weather Station – Let this fun toy help teach your child about time, temperature, and wearing weather-appropriate clothing.
55. Cozy Colors Chair Swing – A fun swing to help your child feel at home and promote calm.
56. Glow-in-the Dark Connectagons – A perfect toy for the child who loves to build. Made with multiple wooden shapes.
57. Spiky Tactile Cushion – Help your child with tactile input with this fun cushion. Helps with active seating and balance.
58. Skateboard Swing – A versatile swing made to help kids who need to improve balance, motor skills, tilting reactions and vestibular senses.
59. Kids Swivel Chair – The perfect place for your child to curl up and read a book in quiet, or to easily spin with.
60. Hanging Half Tent Swing – A swing that will bring a sense of balance, body perception, relaxation and calm to your child.
61. Glo Nightlight With Portable Balls – A multi-colored nightlight with soft lighting and glow balls that your child can take with them at night.
62. Neon Mesh Squishy Ball – A cute little stress ball that changes colors when you squeeze it. Perfect for the sensory-seeker or for hand strengthening.
63. Orbeeze Mood Light – Let your child design their own mood lamp with this fun light that has beads that change colors.
64. Magnetic Responsibility Chart – This is the perfect chore chart for introducing chores and responsibility to the visual learner.
65. Plasma Ball Lamp – Attracted to touch, this plasma ball is great visual stimulation and fun to touch.
66. Super Bungee Chair – Similar to a hammock, this chair is great for kids that love that enclosed feeling!
67. Lightahead Motion Lamp – Similar to a lava lamp, this lamp will relax and soothe the visually stimulated child.
68. Dash and Dot Robot Wonder Pack – Jumpstart a smarter playtime with this robot that is controlled with a tablet.
What about YOU? What are some fun ideas that you like to get your special needs child?