Raising a child with special needs is a responsible and challenging task. Therefore, parents are often cautious and ask professionals what toy is the best for their children.
However, parents who choose a toy for their special-needs child and any child, in general, have to consider two things: assessment of the kid’s skill level and awareness of what children are interested in.
In addition, special needs toys are often marked with specific letters to help indicate which toy is the most appropriate for each special needs child.
For example, DD means developing disorders, including autism and Down syndrome, PI – physical impairment, HI – hearing impairment, and an LV mark implies low vision or blindness.
Whether you are purchasing a toy for a five-year-old kid with impaired hearing or a nine-year-old autistic child, there is a vast range of toys for joy and educational purposes on the market. We present some of them.
Fine motor skill toys
That sort of toy belongs to the “products with a purpose” category that helps children develop skills such as fine motor skills. Various products require the mentioned kind of skill to create items or just use them.
Whether it’s threading, making a necklace, or sewing plush toys, these special needs toys require adequate cognitive ability and fine motor skills to complete the task.
In addition, toys such as various cubes and balls, labyrinths, papers for learning to write, and many others are created to impact the development of fine motor skills
Arts and crafts items
The arts and crafts category has been developed to keep little kids’ hands busy with creative work.
Namely, scientific studies have shown many therapeutic and developmental benefits of exploring through imaginative and art play. It can help develop creative thinking, observing, describing, interpreting, etc.
With plenty of different colors, shades, sheens, and textures, children can meet the boundaries of their creativity and show their unique visions.
Many products include tactile surfaces, canvas, plasters, and materials such as wood, cotton, denim, and many others. There are also fun things like crayons and jewelry bead kits.
Arts and crafts items are an excellent way to boost children’s imagination and, at the same time, use fine motor skills.
Toys for soothing and decreasing anxiety
Children with special needs are very sensible and often exposed to noise, the loudness of music, and other disturbing distractions.
Therefore, the creators of special needs toys came up with unique toys that aim to calm kids down and decrease their anxiety.
By creating calming sensory toys such as, for instance, sensory fidget tubes, they help little ones focus their attention, manage their emotions, and practice calm quiet engagement.
Enchanting motion inside that toy offers the child a soothing visual distraction that is so pleasant even to their parents
Sensory toys for autistic children
The assortment of special needs toys is consistently expanding worldwide. Therefore, nowadays, you can also find a wide range of products for autistic children.
They improve the kid’s understanding and social deficits and meet their sensory needs.
These products include, for example, chew toys for oral stimulation, fidget toys to help with sensory processing, stress squeeze balls, a variety of wooden block puzzles, and many more.
Toys for auditory stimulation
There are also plenty of auditory toys and tools in the special needs toys market.
They include various kids’ musical instruments, calming shag toys, balls, learning games, sound puzzles, and other fun and educational things.
Those products also help children cope with various emotional, physical, and cognitive challenges.
Weighted toys are particular sorts of toys that include various plush animals of different sizes and weights, which can help satisfy the need for deep pressure.
Smaller toys are often filled with sand and are readily available wherever your children are. Namely, weighted toys can aid children with sensory processing disorders to feel soothed and relaxed.
Weights can differ depending on the children’s comfort level and needs. In addition, the toy’s size depends on what best suits the kid.
If you’re raising a child with special needs, you will probably ask yourself where you can purchase special toys for their fun and education.
Nowadays, there are a lot of online stores where you can find a good toy for your kid. Amazon, The Therapy Store, and eSpecial Needs are some of the most popular.
Of course, there are more online shops, but here you can find a vast range of creative and fun special needs toys.
Sandra is a health blogger based in San Diego, California. She is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. She loves being outdoors and exploring new places with her husband. She is a mom of two awesome kids and a dog named Luna!