Buying for certain people at Christmas can be difficult. Choosing gifts for the nonverbal child who doesn’t ask for anything…nearly impossible. Since we want to make the holidays special for our children, here are some ideas that have been on my mind, and some toys my kids love.
- Give the gift of an experience. My mother-in-law renewed our zoo passes every Christmas, which was way better than some random toy. In RVA, you can buy memberships to the Metro Richmond Zoo, Children’s Museum, or splurge on season passes to Kings Dominion or Busch Gardens. If your kids love the Short Pump Express as much as mine do, a ride card makes an excellent stocking stuffer.
- Gifts that develop gross motor skills and compliment the hard work our kids do in occupational and physical therapies are great. My oldest struggles with pedaling a traditional bicycle, so we bought him a Go Glider last year. Radio Flyer’s Ziggle intrigues me…and I saw this Spin ‘N Saucer in Target and thought it would be a stimming fantasy come true.
- I love the IKEA MULA series. Inexpensive and durable, trust me.
- I always think about getting my kids sensory items, like a weighted blanket or sensory swing. If you’re crafty and can sew, I’m sure there are DIY patterns available. I’m not crafty, so I use my credit card. I like this Taco Swing, and I found these weighted blankets offered in different sizes that can also be personalized. (I don’t own, nor have we tried, either of these).
- Every year, Toys R Us offers a Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids. I think it’s worth mentioning here…If your child is 8 but enjoys playing with toys intended for a 2 year old, so what? We want to encourage functional play and meet our children on their level. Don’t be hung up on what your child “should” be doing.
- Lego sets. I have yet to meet an autistic kid who doesn’t love Lego.
- Ask your child’s teacher what your son or daughter enjoys playing with in class, or ask the speech therapist, occupational therapist, or behavior therapist for suggestions. Thanks to our son’s teachers, we found out he LOVES Boggle Jr. and Don’t Break the Ice.
- We often ask for iTunes gift cards for adding new apps and music. The iPad can be a lifesaver many days.
This year, Santa is bringing my oldest a Lego set and Thomas & Friends DVD; middle child is getting a Radio Flyer Ziggle and Chuggington DVD, and the baby is getting a Baby Einstein Gift Set. We’ll sprinkle reindeer food on the front lawn on Christmas Eve and leave cookies and milk for Santa, even if my kids don’t completely understand why. They do know that cookies are awesome, and that’s enough for me.
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