Toys For Children With Special Needs

Toys are learning tools for children. Children use these tools to express themselves, to learn, to explore, to dream. Give the wrong toy to a child and they will express frustration. But give them the Toys for Special Needsright toy and they will have a very productive and enjoyable time. A toy that is properly chosen can aid a child in addressing his or her difficulties. At the same time, choosing a toy without consideration of a child’s special needs will only lead to aggravation for them and disappointment for both of you.

There are toy categories that are well suited for children with special needs. They are often used by therapists and teachers to help children build social and gross motor skills. Here are some of them:

Board Games: These toys are excellent for children with difficulty mastering social or communication skills. These are perfect toys to teach them about rules, turn taking and social interaction with other kids.

Electronic Games: Although, you might be opposed to video games, there are video games that can be beneficial in building attention skills. Some computer games reward attention by adding difficulty as the child progresses through the game.

Sports Toys: Do not do a disservice to an uncoordinated child by declining to buy them a sports toy. A sports toy can actually help a child with limited gross motor skills. For example, a softer foam ball can give a child a chance to practice the art of throwing and catching without getting hurt. Well-chosen sports toys, designed to help build skills rather than to highlight weaknesses, can help.

Fantasy Toys: There is no better way to help a child with special needs than by engaging his or her imagination through play. Fantasy toys, from dolls to puppets, provide avenues for communication and a window of insight for a parent who might want to know better what a child is thinking or feeling.

Be prepared to adapt these toys to the needs of the child. Just because everyone else is playing with the toy in a certain way, it does not mean that they have to. Consider the setting. Where they play can have a direct impact on the child’s ability to enjoy the toy and the playtime. Be creative in your setup as well. You know your child more than anyone, so if your child has problems with attention he may have better concentration sitting in a chair at a table rather than on the floor of the living room. A child with low vision will need more lighting. A child with hearing difficulties may do better in a quiet room. Scan your play area with the child’s special need in mind before sitting down to play.

In the end, taking the time to match both the toy and the environment to your child’s special needs will make a world of difference in the enjoyment their new toy brings.


Reference: Marianne Szymaski, “Toy Tips”, Jossey-Bass, 2004, p. 74-78

About the Author

My name is Harold Serrano, owner of BluePixo Entertainment, LLC. I was born in Ecuador and I currently reside in Phoenix, AZ where I am pursuing an MBA from Argosy University. Understanding how toys and play helps a child's development is a topic which I am very devoted to. Because of that I founded BluePixo Entertainment LLC, an entertainment company involved in the Toy, Animation and Game industry. Our mission is “To Entertain The World” with innovative, fun toys, enjoyable animated cartoons and interactive games.


One Response to “Toys For Children With Special Needs”

  1. Exercise Rhymes are fun playful rhymes and exercises for adults to do with young children, including those with special needs. Exercise Rhymes are effective in educational therapy because the combined rhyme and exercise stimulate both motor and language centers of the brain. The rhymes also help with the brain’s timing mechanism which is critical for the interpersonal communications and social interactions that are sometimes weak in special needs’ children. Pediatric therapists have stated they get significant eye contact and interaction while using Exercise Rhymes® with autistic children and they are an excellent resource for parents to continue therapy at home.

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