When you are buying for a child with additional needs it can sometimes be quite tricky. There are many factors to think about: Is the product right for the children in regards to ability? Will it benefit them to have this product? How long will it last them? It is worth the price tag?
That is where this gift guide comes in handy, whether it is for christmas, birthday or just a special gift this guide will tell you what we think is the ultimate present. Rory has got a list as long as my arm of medical conditions that may have an influence on what we buy him. As well as Down Syndrome, Rory also has hearing loss and cataracts so he has sight loss. He has hypermobility which affects his muscles. I seem to always be on the look out for good toys for Rory as things like sensory toys are very important in his development.
This list will help guide you in the right direction in finding the perfect toy, Rory has tested out all of these products in the list so we are now a bit more about them and can tell you exactly how they helped him.
ToddleBike2*- We reviewed this a couple of weeks back after we were sent it, blog post link below. Originally the bike was meant to be tested by Elsa as I didn’t think Rory would have much interest. As Rory has hypermobility this means that his knee and shoulders can pop out of the socket, he basically dislocates his joints himself. In effect this can sometimes affect his balance and Rory is prone to falling over randomly when walking. Because of this we thought he wouldn’t be ready for a bike just yet BUT he has taken to the ToddleBike2 and races round on it all day everyday! It’s a great gift! Plus ToddleBike as a company has a great outlook on children with additional needs, I absolutely love their attitude and believe more companies should be like this!
Homemade sensory tunnel – We got this idea from Rory’s old Portage worker. As Jonny is a carpet fitter we found that old carpet tubes are a brilliant size to use as sensory tubes with flashy balls. We covered Rory’s in bright blue carpet to give it more of a toy like look and feel. Used with a bright flashy ball this is brilliant and cheap way to make homemade sensory toy.
Not my Books – This one is great depending on the age of the child. Not My Books come in loads and loads of different varieties from animals to vehicles. They can be found relatively cheaply and can be collected to have the whole set. Inside they have a story with corresponding touchy feely pictures. They use different textures and materials to create this books that can be enjoyed by children of all ages.
Sensory Pack* – Sensory is a big part of helping children with additional needs. It can help with fine motor skills, colours, language and so much more. Using sensory to support learning is encourage and it is also great fun! We were kindly sent a brilliant sensory pack from Sensory Treasures and we are amazed by the variety of items in the pack. At Sensory Treasures they ask you what interests the person has so that the pack or basket is bespoke to them and is perfect for their needs. From a flashy ball to a foil blanket, this sensory pack has all bases covered!
VR headset*- This interactive head set from Utopia 4D+ can also be used with just a phone or tablet if you child isn’t keen on having the headset on. You place the animal cards on a flat surface and watch them come alive on your phone. You can feed them with the special food cards that also come in the pack. It is the ultimate sensory experience for children that also need something visual in front of them to help them learn. There is a wide variety of animals in the pack and the graphics used to create the animals is great and the animals really do look real on your table. They also make space exploration and dinosaur experience as well as animal zoo so all bases are covered and it is fun and educational for the whole family.
To read my full review of the ToddleBike2 click HERE
Disclaimer – All products marked with * were sent to us to feature in this gift guide.