What To Get Your Special Needs Child This Holiday Season
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What To Get Your Special Needs Child This Holiday Season

Here are some holiday gift ideas for the special needs people in your life.

What To Get Your Special Needs Child This Holiday Season
Lions Club

Most often for the holidays, specifically Christmas time, children really want that one special toy that they have been dreaming of getting. Parents then try with all of the care they have to make that child's dream come true. More often than not, they end up making the holiday the child's best ever. However, will those toys help the child develop? Will every holiday be like that for the child? Will he or she get the most out of the gift?

A typical holiday season aside, there are not only less fortunate families out there, but also families that have someone with a disability. Depending on the disability, these children may benefit even more from getting the most fun, yet useful, gifts possible for their growth and development.

Here are some totally awesome gift ideas to make a special needs child have the most spectacular holiday going forward.

1. Get them an Easy Bake Oven

What better way to encourage their growth and development by becoming the toy in their life? Get in the kitchen with them and their new appliance, bond with them and teach them some lifelong skills.

2. Anything arts and crafts is perfect.

It's all about creativity; using their hands and their minds to create something that they will be proud of, even if it's simply painting a pet rock or making a popsicle stick house. To them, it will be special, and that is what truly matters.

3. Kendama toys will keep them occupied.

It will also teach them some much needed hand-eye coordination. It's a simple toy, yet difficult to master for most adults. Even if your child has a difficult time mastering it, it will still teach aiming for a target and sharp focus on a task

4. Interactive story books are great for the imagination.

They are especially great for cause-and-effect purposes. These promote verbal interaction by allowing the child to push a button and learn different outcomes along with different words, letters, and so forth.

5. Fidget toys are a must.

No matter what anxiety level your child has, nervousness, troubles with spitting, twisting their hair or biting their nails, fidget toys can help curb those bad habits by keeping them occupied. Anything from squeezable stress balls, Rubix cubes, the Simon game or hand or finger puppets would be helpful in curbing those bad habits and behaviors.

6. Bubble machines can be fun for anyone, really.

Some children need mental stimulation while others may not be able to move some body parts as well as others. For those who need to gently work an area that is compromised, a bubble machine is nice because children can train their upper body to move a little better by trying to catch every bubble that they can.

7. Kinetic sand or play foam will give them the feels.

Either of these two are just the ticket for those who are extra sensitive to touch. Children tend to enjoy the feeling of sand flowing through their fingers or the forming properties of Play-Doh. However, with these come some stickiness, which can be bothersome in some cases. Kinetic sand and play foam take care of these problems due to their ability to form shapes and tactile stimulation, but not stick to the hands, making them a bonus for kids with sensory impairments.

8. Get them active with hula hoops or jump ropes.

Instead of letting them spend all day sitting in the house playing video games, even inexpensive, albeit old-fashioned toys such as these will get them up and active. These really help with muscle memory and reflexes. If they are not the biggest fan of hula hoops or jump ropes, you can still get them some chalk, a ball and jacks or a deck of cards. These can be calming, yet fun tools that they can enjoy, but still get some much needed time outdoors.

9. Get them playing some bean bag toss.

This game is perfect for these kids because it could be their first exposure to target practice. Some kids can have difficulties with fine motor skills, so bean bag toss is perfect to custom fit the developmental stage for your child. It allows the child to start out close, and slowly move farther back.

10. Be selective, but there is nothing wrong with a few video games.

You hear people complain about kids spending too much time playing video games. The truth is, with the right games and the correct parental supervision on time limits, video games can be extremely beneficial for special needs kids in developing hand-eye coordination and mental stimulation. Plus, it gives them something cool to talk about with other kids at school.

11. Motivate them with "Angus" (1995).

While this film is not necessarily centered around someone with a disability, it is centered around someone who is just different from the rest. Angus, known as the "fat kid" in high school, is made out to be a joke by being elected Winter Ball King. He then uses any resource he can to not be seen that way and finally get the courage to talk to the girl of his dreams. The film is superb for special needs children because it shows them that they are not alone in trying to find acceptance and that it is more than OK to embrace your differences.

12. Musical instruments.

Take them to the closest music store and see what they gravitate towards. Will it be the flute, drums, trombone, guitar, xylophone, or another instrument? Heck, let them try out a few and see which one they like. Music can be very therapeutic no matter if the child is playing or listening

13. Become the gift for them along with a group of peers.

Perhaps the most important gift of all is giving children the opportunity to improve their social skills. Most definitely, the best gifts of all are the memories that you share with the children or that they experience themselves. Just for the sake of inclusion, treat that child to a night out with a group of kids. Anything from bowling, to arcades, ice skating, sledding, bumper cars and so forth would be perfect for them to enhance their self-confidence and self-worth as they get to know some new friends. Who knows? These kids may become like a second family to your kid because of the opportunity you created. Some of these activities don't cost you anything at all except possibly a cup of hot cocoa and a treat at the end. The wonderful memories you are creating and the possible friendships and bonds that you may be forming will mean the world for the rest of their lives.

Even if that child with special needs wants something that is just too advanced, give your best effort in getting it for that child because it might just help them fight harder to be able to play with that item. It is nice to create a challenge for them because each one will help them develop hand-eye coordination, fine and gross motor skills, and mental stimulation. Most importantly, give your best effort in creating lifelong memories for your child as that is the greatest gift of all in rounding out your special needs wishlist.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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