Viewing entries in
Shopping

Holiday Gift Guide For Special Needs Children

Comment

Holiday Gift Guide For Special Needs Children

Although it is only the beginning of October, the holiday season is upon us and some stores are already in full swing in getting the word out there about their particular products.  With that said, I have curated a list of toys that I believe are some of the best in regards to their purpose and how well they can be an integral part of the special needs community that encompasses children of all ages.

Each and every one of these toys are special in their own way while working on the skills that are of utmost importance in the life of all children but especially for a child with special needs.  A child with special needs has to work at least 10 times harder than most in order to achieve the same success.  As a parent, securing the tools needed to help your child gain the skills and reach the success that they are so capable of is a must.  My goal in curating not only this list but my previous lists as well are there to inform, educate and assist in making your child’s life easier but your whole family’s life as well. It is a collaboration that takes many parts to make the puzzle whole.  Once all the pieces are in place, the gains and accomplishments begin to surface.

I hope you find this list helpful along with all the toys I have listed previously in my prior blog posts.  In my opinion, any child would love to receive any of these toys.  Learning can and should be fun.  It’s what you make of it and how you choose to approach and address it.

I wish you and your family a very happy and healthy holiday season.  

Who doesn’t want a little calm in one’s life.  This pillow vibrates when you touch or hug it but it stops when you let go.  This pillow is for everyone from kids to adults, no matter what your age or need is.  Keep in mind, it does require 2 “D” batteries so you’ll want to have them on hand when gifts are opened!

This toy is fantastic as it has numerous uses.  Not only can it be used for matching shapes but for teaching colors and counting.  The pegboard is made from foam so it is safe and the pegs are oversized so they are easy even for the littlest of hands to maneuver.  The pieces also help with fine motor coordination and it all comes in a super easy and transportable bag so you can bring it with you on any trip away from home.  I also love this toy because the pieces come in 12 different bright colors as well as 12 different shapes.  Also, the toy is great for girls and boys!  You will keep coming back to this toy again and again.

This toy is a must!  It is super bright with all of the colors as well as super portable.  It can be put in any bag when leaving the house.  Because it is self enclosed, it is great for travel whether it be in a car, plane, train or bus.  The purpose of the toy is to assist in visual sensory development, auditory sensory development, hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills.  It hits upon several aspects of development included in one toy and therefore makes it a must within your child’s “bag of tricks.”

Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?  This balance board assists with stability, coordination and spatial awareness - just to name a few.  But wouldn’t it be fun to see how long your child could balance on it?  With each time, you could log the time and each time after, your child could try to beat the last time.  This way they are in competition with themselves and it helps with their gross motor skills.

This toy is safe for your kids as it made from non-toxic plastic.  The colors are awesome! They are bright and fun and allows for your child to use their imagination and build anything they want.  This toy is great also because it comes with a play board that is portable.  Having this play board allows your child to build on it and therefore gives their creation the stability needed.  The sticks have various textures so it helps with sensory and tactile stimulation.  I love this toy to travel with, wherever your child may go.  With the portable play board and bag that fits the pieces, it is a “go to” whether at home or away.

This Teeter Popper is made for kids up to 110 pounds.  It is a bright green with bright blue suction cups on the bottom so it is happy and engaging.  The suction cups make a “pop pop” sound when the child sits on it, rocks on it or stands on it.  It has a number of advantages as it helps a child’s core, balance and gross motor skills, just to name a few.  I love this toy because it is easily portable and can be used inside or outside.  You can also use it to time the child as to how long they can stay on it and continue to practice until they break their previous record.  This toy has the coveted distinction of being ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids Award 2014.

This toy is so much fun!  You can stretch it, wrap it, twist it and more.  The colors that it comes in are awesome - Super bright!  These are great for kids and adults as it can be used to decrease stress and anxiety. As a parent, you don’t have to worry about the materials as it is BPA, phthalates and latex free.  The best part of playing with this toy is that the strings start out at being 12 inches long but stretches out to 8 feet long.  How cool is that?

This toy is great!  It is happy to look at as it has a smiley mouth on it.  It is bright in color and easy to follow when thrown.  It is fantastic for eye - hand coordination.  Since it’s soft and cushy, it feels good to handle.  The best part is that it laughs when you push on it, so it will always bring a smile to your child’s face.  Also, the ball is 4” in diameter so it is the perfect size for kids to handle when throwing or catching it.

Kids love music.  I can’t think of a better way to introduce kids to different ways to make music.  This set is made for 6 months and up.  It is never too early to start your child with the gift of music.  Each instrument (set of 4) are brightly colored with a handle to grab onto.  Each instrument makes different sounds so you can build your own band at home.

This is a 13 piece set that includes the cutest cookie jar to use as storage.  The cookies are chocolate chip with the number of chips printed on the bottom of each.  This toy is great for gross motor skills, building the child’s counting skills along with number recognition.  The cookies are great for tactile stimulation as well.  Don’t we all wish we could have such a cute cookie jar?

What a great way for your child to work out that extra energy.  Plus it’s great for physical fitness!  It is very easy to assemble as the legs screw on and the handle gets attached.  Once that is done, your child is ready for a jumping workout.  It’s portable as well: just unscrew the handle and legs and you are good to go.  It can also be used inside and out and it can accommodate kids up to 150 pounds.

Having good oral health is important for everyone.  However, for a child with special needs brushing their teeth may present a challenge.  This toothbrush has soft bristles which can make brushing quicker and more efficient.  This comes in a 6 pack so you will have plenty ready to go when needed.  After all, who doesn’t love a sparkling smile?

Do you want to challenge your child?  Then this is the game for them.  It is great for boys or girls ages 8 and up.  Not only does this game build spatial reasoning but helps with developing critical thinking skills as well.  There are different levels from beginner to expert so your child will not feel overwhelmed.  This toy is great as well for the whole family to challenge each along with your child’s friends.  This toy is the winner of several awards as well.  So, challenge yourself and your child.  How good are your skills?  

This fantastic box has 250 puzzle pieces with 4 blank write on/wipe off pieces.  The 250 pieces are color coded with the parts of speech they represent so your child can build sentences.  Your child can not only learn and recognize words but understand what and where they belong in a sentence.  There are numerous games you can play while working on grammar, sight word recognition, fluency as well as punctuation.  This is great for the beginner as well as boys and girls.  It also helps with fine motor skills as well.  A 4-page booklet is included as well with some suggestions as how to use this toy.  This toy was also a winner of the Creative Childs Award.

This toy is great for kids of all ages as it works on a child’s fine motor skills in a fun way.  This set comes with 30 super colorful beads along with 2 laces.  Not only can you use it for fine motor skills but you can also use it for color recognition, shape recognition along with matching and counting.  Personally, I love any lacing activity as the benefits of it are visible across the board whether a child is special needs or not.  This toy also comes in a wooden box that you can store it in when it is not in use.

This is a MUST- holidays or not.  This is made of waterproof/weatherproof material that has bright colors which are very visible.  This sticker speaks for your child if they cannot.  Your hope is that it will never be needed but if it is, it makes it much easier for responders.


Need immediate insight into your child’s situation and how to address their current issues? Schedule your Open Opportunity Session for an expert analysis and strategic plan you can implement today.


I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties such as amazon.com and affiliates. If you purchase an item with a “BUY ON AMAZON ” button, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs 5th Graders

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs 5th Graders

This is my last post in my series of Best Therapeutic Toys per grade level.  I hope you have found the posts helpful in shedding some light as to what toys are great for children with special needs.  Through the years, I have been asked by families all over the country who I have worked with in the past as well as work with presently, “What can I purchase to help my child?”  After thousands of inquiries, I decided to feature this topic on my blog so as to share the information with as many families as possible.  In fact, I have many families still contact me from years ago to let me know how my recommendations impacted their child and family in addition to how well their child has also been doing and continues to progress at a speed they never thought possible.

I entered into the education field because I truly wanted to make a positive difference for children and their families.  I am always interested in finding ways to go above and beyond in order to help a child to be successful on their journey.  We all come into this world with a plan that has been designed for each of us.  For the child with special needs, that plan is different but I believe not impossible. 

Your child needs you to guide them, advocate for them, understand them and most importantly, love them.  With each step you take, the goal is never lost and therefore what your child can accomplish is beyond anyone’s expectations with some help.  As the saying goes: It takes a village.  My hope is that my blog posts are MY part of the village to help your child soar!

These are great for kids as you can do so much with them.  What can you do, you ask?  You can stretch it, roll it, bounce it and the list goes on and on.  This is a great sensory toy for kids as well as adults that have tactile issues.  And did I mention, it is great for relieving stress.  This toy is very portable and the set includes 12 balls so your child can share them with other kids in the family as well as friends.  Each silly putty ball has it’s own plastic storage ball to keep it clean.

This blue ball is great for kids that have coordination and balance issues.  It does have to be inflated by an adult once you receive it.  It is also made from heavy duty vinyl so you can wipe it down to clean it.  I love the blue color as it is happy and bright.  The shape is cool too as it is in the shape of a peanut.

This game is great for kids who need to increase their coping skills.  There are 90 questions and the game is meant for 2 to 6 players.  The cards are very colorful as the pictures are bright and inviting.  The writing on each card is very clear and easy to read as well.  The goal in playing this game is to teach children how to react and respond to anger but in a healthy approach and way.  This is a skill that should always be worked on as it is part of one’s life skills.

This card game is great because it provides a prompt that then the child needs to fill in.  The game is a great tool to gain insight as to feelings that the child has but has difficulty expressing.  There are 35 animated cards in the box and the pictures are so cute, non-intimidating and very inviting to illicit an appropriate response.  The goal is that the characters on each card help the child work through different issues.  Some issues can include anger, anxiety, fears, family loss, etc.  This toy was named winner of Dr. Toy Best Products and Dr. Toy 10 Best Socially Responsible Products.  

This game is so much fun- the goal is to catch the Worry-Less Monster.  For special needs children, worrying might be part of their everyday.  This game is meant to help with the negative feelings, anxiety, etc. as well as how to self monitor so the worry does not take over their day and therefore impinge upon their productivity.  From the box to the game board to the cards - they are all colorful, fun to look at and super inviting.  The characters are adorable and children will want to play this game again and again due to how it presents itself and all the while it will be help them beyond what they could ever imagine.


Need immediate insight into your child’s situation and how to address their current issues? Schedule your Open Opportunity Session for an expert analysis and strategic plan you can implement today.


I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties such as amazon.com and affiliates. If you purchase an item with a “BUY ON AMAZON ” button, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs 4th Graders

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs 4th Graders

My ongoing series of blog posts is nearing the end with only one more grade to be posted.  My hope is that these posts have helped you, as a parent, to purchase items that will work on numerous skills that your child is having difficulty with.  All of the items that I have highlighted are great ways for your child to work on and work through the hurdles that get in their way in order to accomplish their goals.  Remember, these items are part of your arsenal of “equipment” that will help your child in his/her journey.  

Feelings In a Jar has 365 pieces of paper that have different feelings printed on them. The child can pull out the piece of paper that corresponds to how he/she is feeling at that moment so they can be better understood.  This item is great for kids that either cannot communicate how they feel or their expressive language is very minimal or non-existent. The jar is made from recycled plastic and is very portable so it can be brought with you when you go to grandma’s house or on vacation.

This ball comes in 2 sizes depending upon the age of the child.  It has multiple uses from becoming extra seating to using it as part of a therapy routine to using it as a reward for a job well done. It is great for helping strengthen a child’s core as well as help them work on their balance.  Another great use for this ball is allowing your child to work out any extra energy that they may have but do it in a positive and productive way.

Kids love Halloween!  The costumes, the candy, the parties.  Why not get them a Halloween bingo game?  This game is colorful and has all the pictures on the cards that are associated with the holiday and that children recognize.  Even if your child has difficulty with their expressive language but their receptive language is more advanced, then you can use the cards as not only a matching game but a picture recognition game as well.

This target toss game is great for kids but for parents too.  It is super cute with the turtle theme.  After all, who doesn’t love a cute turtle?  The turtle has a numbered target and it comes with 4 bean bags that are self-sticking.  I love the fact that this can be used indoors but outdoors as well.  What a great game to play in the backyard on a nice sunny day!  This game promotes number recognition, gross motor skills and hand eye coordination to name a few.

Stress: Who doesn’t feel it?  We all do, at some level or another.  But for kids with special needs, it is that much more magnified.  Why not get them a great game or tool to help them develop the skills they need in order to deal with all types of stress?  Not only does it help them with stress but is also works on the skills necessary to cope with developmental and situational problems.


Need immediate insight into your child’s situation and how to address their current issues? Schedule your Open Opportunity Session for an expert analysis and strategic plan you can implement today.


I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties such as amazon.com and affiliates. If you purchase an item with a “BUY ON AMAZON ” button, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs 3rd Graders

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs 3rd Graders

3rd grade can be a pivotal one for many children especially children with special needs.  There is a substantial shift coming from 2nd grade level work and expectations, however the following toys are a great avenue to pursue in aiding that transition.

This post is part of a series. To read all the posts, go here.

You’re Perfect The Way You Are!:  I love this book!  It is appropriate for boys and girls.  For any child who is questioning about their looks or just feeling insecure as to who they are, this book helps in easing the anxiety a child might feel.  Each of us are different in many ways and that’s a good thing.  We ALL have positive attributes that we bring to this world and therefore should be celebrated.  This book is a mainstay in a children’s library of books.

Melissa and Doug USA Map Floor Puzzle:  I have used this map with kids too many times to count.  What a great way to learn the location, shape and and capitals of all 50 states.  The pieces  are so colorful and the pictures on each piece are super kid friendly.  A great plus: it has a wipe clean surface.  The pieces are made from extra thick cardboard so they are very durable.  This is a great learning tool for kids of all ages as well as parents.

I love these Learning Resources Math Link Cubes as not only are they colorful but they can be used in many different ways.  They are super for color recognition, grouping, making of patterns and counting.  They link together quite easily which helps a child with fine motor coordination. The size of the cubes are perfect as well.  They are small enough to manipulate but large enough to not become cumbersome.

The box that houses this game is so much fun and inviting.  I also love that the pieces are round with bright colorful numbers and graphics.  This toy builds addition and social skills as well as strengthening number sense.  The game is for 2 to 4 players and includes 90 number cards and 10 shark cards.  In order to win, you must make the most combinations that add up to 10.  The whole family can play because who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?

This toy is great for boys and girls ages toddler to 10 years.  This is a terrific set that has 172 pieces that provides hands on learning and creativity.  This toy also helps with fine motor skills for those children who need practice in this area.  This set comes with a booklet of 24 ideas but your child’s imagination is the driving force behind what can be created.  Also, the pieces are very easy to keep clean as you should wash them with mild soap and then leave them to air dry.  Let your child’s imagination soar.  You will be amazed as to what your child can do!


Need immediate insight into your child’s situation and how to address their current issues? Schedule your Open Opportunity Session for an expert analysis and strategic plan you can implement today.


I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties such as amazon.com and affiliates. If you purchase an item with a “BUY ON AMAZON ” button, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs 2nd Graders

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs 2nd Graders

As I continue to bring you a list of toys that are appropriate for special needs, please keep in mind that although I have highlighted them by grade level, they do overlap for additional grades.  As a parent, you know each and every child has different needs, different skill levels as well as different personalities.  With each of these toys, certain skills are the focus however there are instances where you can use these toys in additional ways to work on other skills that would foster independence and mastery.  As a parent, having different toys and “equipment” to help your child learn only helps with achieving the goals set forth. For example:  If you choose to purchase the brain flakes (below): they are meant for building while using your child’s imagination but can also be used to help fine motor coordination.  Additionally you can use them as a counting tool.

All of the items that I will be highlighting in my blog posts have either been items that I have used personally while working as an ABA Therapist or items that I have recommended to families that I have consulted or advocated for.  Over time, as a child’s needs and levels change, the items you purchase will change to adhere to the skills needed to be worked on.  However always go back to prior toys, books, etc. so your child does not regress.  

Everyone loves bingo!!  The Think Fun Zingo Sight Words Early Reading Game has the style of bingo while helping children recognize words.  This game is great for children who are pre-readers as well as readers.  Learning to read can be very challenging for many children, why not use a tool that makes it fun and enjoyable?  In 2013, it was a Toy of the Year Finalist.  I personally have used this toy with many children on different reading levels as well a non-readers and found it to be one of my favorites!

This game is awesome!  It teaches money skills such as counting and exchanging.  The game includes everything you need to play for 2 to 4 people.  I have used Money Bags personally until it was so worn out, I had to replace it.  Kids love the concept of money and all that comes along with it.  This game teaches a lifelong skill that everyone needs to have.  

This game is packaged in a bright, happy box that looks like a gumball machine.  What fun!  Children get to keep the gumballs when they answer correctly.  Not only does it help children learn their addition and subtraction facts but helps them with their fluency of those facts.  Who doesn’t love gumballs? 

This book is great if your child wants to learn about robots, sharks, food and more.  The pictures are colorful and the way the book is laid out makes it very easy for the child to read and understand.  If your child is unable to read it on their own, then this is a great thing to do together.  Children love to be read to so the parent can read while the child looks at the pictures.  The information also opens up an opportunity to discuss the topic after reading about it.  So not only is the child learning but they are being led to think about things that they might not know about.  As a parent, you may learn something new as well.

Each jar of Brain Flakes has more than 500 pieces and the discs are BPA, lead, heavy metal, and phthalate free.  This toy is great for boys and girls.  Don’t worry if your child can’t think of things to build because the toy comes with a booklet of ideas.  This toy is great not only to work on a child’s creativity but to help with their fine motor skills as well.  Children can build anything they want.  There is no right or wrong.  The sky is the limit!


Need immediate insight into your child’s situation and how to address their current issues? Schedule your Open Opportunity Session for an expert analysis and strategic plan you can implement today.


I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties such as amazon.com and affiliates. If you purchase an item with a “BUY ON AMAZON ” button, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs First Graders

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs First Graders

This week, I am highlighting some of the best therapeutic toys for first graders.  Please keep in mind that many of these toys that are and will be highlighted are not only for the grade level noted but can be carried over to many other grade levels as well.  As a parent, you always want to work on skills so the level of mastery is always present and therefore your child does not regress.  All skills can be integrated into the everyday, no matter what is being done in the moment.  By doing this, the child does not feel as though it is work but seamlessly transitions from one skill to another.

Filled with 9 different food quality herbs, this stuffed animal is FDA approved and does not contain pesticides. The temperature (whether warm or cold) can provide comfort in times of distress. It’s great at calming a child down or providing a sense of security.

Emotion flash cards are great for emotional and intelligence stimulation in addition to being a conversational and articulation tool. It’s not always possible for your child to express their feelings, but with the help of flash cards you’ll be able to better understand what they’re going through.

Made from 100% New Zealand Beeswax and food grade pigments, this set of crayons contains no paraffin wax and comes with a free PDF coloring book download. Buying safe crayons gives your child the freedom to play and yourself piece of mind knowing they aren’t smothering themselves in toxic chemicals.


Need immediate insight into your child’s situation and how to address their current issues? Schedule your Open Opportunity Session for an expert analysis and strategic plan you can implement today.


I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties such as amazon.com and affiliates. If you purchase an item with a “BUY ON AMAZON ” button, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Comment

Subscription Boxes for Hard Working Moms (In and Out of the Home)

Comment

Subscription Boxes for Hard Working Moms (In and Out of the Home)

As parents, you all work so hard…running a household, doing the chores, running the errands, being the Uber driver for the family, whether it’s doctor’s appointments, after school activities, taking care of a loved one or just being a “mommy” ALL of you need a break and deserve to do something for yourself.  Below is a list of great items that you can purchase or have someone purchase for you when you just need to pamper yourself.   As parents, you always do for your kids however it is just as important for you to do for you.  The following items are things that I curated for you to give you that “Ahhhh” moment that you so richly deserve.

This box features vitamins, supplements and healthy snacks. There are 10 healthy products in all. What a great way to try something new!

Who doesn’t love warm, comfy, fuzzy socks? With winter coming, prepare yourself for cold feet season with a fresh delivery of fuzzy socks every month. They look great with (and under) boots. Your kids might ask to “borrow” them- if they do, order them their own box because you’ll never get them back!

Are you a fashionista? Then you might worship at the feet of Rachel Zoe, original celebrity stylist extraordinaire. Her Box Of Style is just the gift you deserve- packed with a kimono, luxurious Kopari products and accessories it will give your wardrobe some oomph. This is just a single box and not an ongoing subscription, however she releases a new box every season. So if you love what’s included in this one, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for Fall 2018.

Need a caffeine fix every morning? Then start your day with the gourmet variety, courtesy of Bean Box. Featuring coffee from Seattle’s best small-batch roasters, seeing this box on your doorstep will put a pep in your step.

Each box contains at least 10 snacks of any flavor, variety or origin.  Each item inside the boxes are made outside the US so you are able to get an authentic flavor of where it is from. Perfect for the mom who wants to travel but doesn’t get farther than the kid’s park.

Don’t like to walk around your home in just socks or bare feet? Get 3 surprise slippers for up to 3 months with this warm and cozy subscription box. Match your new slippers to your loungewear.. or don’t. It’s Mommy Time!


Is beauty your savior? The Allure Beauty Box ships every month with free shipping, so there’s no excuse you can’t pamper yourself with a few choice products. And since they are picked by the beauty magazine itself, they are bound to be amazing.

If you want the best of the best (and let’s be honest- you deserve that and more)- there are 3 kinds of Amazon Luxury Beauty Boxes: Anti-Aging, Skin Care and Daily Beauty. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s money well spent because you receive a credit to put towards your purchase of the full-size products on Amazon.

This is a gift to yourself to make your life as a mom easier. Why run around scouring the top organic and non-toxic products when it can be shipped to your door ready to go? Being a new mom is frazzling enough, getting this box is the least you (or your spouse) can do to make your life simpler.

Additionally, please keep an eye out for my upcoming blog post featuring my Holiday List of the Best Toys for Special Needs Kids.


Need immediate insight into your child’s situation and how to address their current issues? Schedule your Open Opportunity Session for an expert analysis and strategic plan you can implement today.


I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties such as amazon.com and affiliates. If you purchase an item with a “BUY ON AMAZON ” button, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs Kindergarteners

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs Kindergarteners

In my ongoing series of blog posts, this week I am highlighting the kindergarten grade level.  Each of these items have their own positive rewards for the children who integrate them into their daily lives.  Please take a moment and check them out.  The benefits that come from these items are worth well beyond their cost.

These are non-toxic, BPA Free and washable (a parent’s dream!).  They are also discreet and will not bother others around.  Easily transportable so can be taken to school, doctor’s office, used while waiting in line along with traveling by car, train or plane.

This game helps children identify emotions through facial expressions as well as body language.  Through this card game, children build empathy along with self awareness.  It also models ways for children to express themselves in order to express their needs.

This book is about a small white dog who goes to the hospital to visit sick children and help them recover.  For some children, reading to them is a gift in and of itself.  Animal assisted therapy (AAT) is a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment.  The goal of AAT is to improve an individual’s social, emotional and cognitive functioning.  Animals such as dogs and horses are quite effective with a child’s motivational and academic levels.

 
amazon-book-box-kids.png
 

For children with special needs, reading can open up a world for them that they might not otherwise be able to participate in.  I love the Prime Book Box for Kids because it allows you to choose if you want a new shipment every 1, 2, or 3 months along with the choice of books that are curated for your child.  Shipping is free and you can skip a shipment anytime.  Each box contains either 2 hardcover books or 4 board books.  The age range starts at baby and goes up to 12.  

These cards are used for learning and recognizing numbers for the young child.  The font is large and easy to read. They also have bright contrasting colors.


Need immediate insight into your child’s situation and how to address their current issues? Schedule your Open Opportunity Session for an expert analysis and strategic plan you can implement today.


I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties such as amazon.com and affiliates. If you purchase an item with a “BUY ON AMAZON ” button, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs Preschoolers

Comment

Best Therapeutic Toys For Special Needs Preschoolers

In the past several months, I have had many parents reach out to me, including the families that I work with in regards to recommendations for “toys” that would be helpful and are available for purchase.  

Although the school may work with your child on certain skills, the key is to be repetitive with ongoing skills as well as the introduction of new skills.  The goal is always to have your child master skills as well as be challenged.   

There are a plethora of items out in the marketplace to choose from however families are at times confused and overwhelmed as to what item or items to choose.  You always want to choose items that will reinforce the skills that your child has a weakness in.  With that said, for the skills that your child has mastered also need to be worked on as well so they do not regress.  Skills that are strong do not have to be addressed as often or at the intensity as the weaker ones, but you should have at least a couple of items in the home to be visited at least once a week.  

When choosing items specific to your child’s needs, take into consideration if the item is age appropriate, addresses the skills needed  with being fun and challenging  (not frustrating). 

Ask yourself: Is it colorful? Can my child maneuver it with their hands, legs, etc?  Will this be something that will attract my child to “play” with so they come back to it again and again?

Realizing how overwhelming this process is, I have decided to have an ongoing series of blog posts that are solely dedicated to presenting you with varying choices along with varying price points.  This post will address therapeutic toys for toddlers.  The next one will address for kindergartners and so on.

Here are some great toys that are advantageous and fun as well:

Just put these in a jar of distilled water overnight for them to expand.  They can also be brought back to their original size.  These can be used to teach colors, counting as well as help fine motor skills.  They are very calming as well. 

The sand is kinetic which means it sticks to each other not to your child.  This set comes with 6 molds and a tray.  It is hypoallergenic as well.  Comes in purple as well.  Great for fine motor skills.

They are firm but squeezable and are great for sensory/tactile stimulation.

Lightweight, Easy Twist Locks, Durable, Portable.  Helps develop arm and leg muscles as well as gross motor skills.

Helps children develop coordination and balance as well as strengthen core muscles.

This is just a sampling of some of the great toys available for your toddler aged child.  

Remember:  when choosing an item for your child, you should go through an internal checklist in your mind to ensure that what you are purchasing checks off everything on your list.  


Need immediate insight into your child’s situation and how to address their current issues? Schedule your Open Opportunity Session for an expert analysis and strategic plan you can implement today.


I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties such as amazon.com and affiliates. If you purchase an item with a “BUY ON AMAZON ” button, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Comment

18 Must Have Therapeutic Toys for Children with Special Needs

1 Comment

18 Must Have Therapeutic Toys for Children with Special Needs

Whether your child has been diagnosed on the autistic spectrum or with any other disability that impairs their learning and life skills, it is important to teach children skills at an early age.  Early Intervention is the key to raising a child with special needs. 

Regardless of a child’s ability level, practicing life skills now can best prepare them to be successful currently as well as moving forward throughout their life. Basic self-help skills, such as dressing, socializing, eating, and grooming are an essential part of daily life along with fine motor and gross motor skills. These skills should be taught at a young age so that children can continue to develop them through the years as they grow.

Fine motor skills allow children to perform actions using small muscles in the hands (like writing, tying shoelaces, holding and manipulating eating utensils), while strengthening hand-eye coordination and isolated finger movements.  Fine and gross motor development involve using both small and large muscles.

The following is an abbreviated list of items that not only will help children address their difficulties but will strengthen their weaknesses in order to master a specific skill.

This musical instrument for kids is fantastic.  It is colorful and includes 5 musical instruments that can be heard.  It is made from plastic so it is easy to clean.  All kids love music.  What better way to get your child involved with making music then have this toy at the ready.

This modeling clay is non-toxic so you don’t have to worry about your child playing with it.  It is great for your child’s imagination as well as fine motor skills and tactile stimulation.  Your child’s imagination is the only limit when it comes to what you can make with it.  Additionally, there are more than 40 fruity scents included in this pack.

This vest is made for children ages 3-7 years old.  It also has elastic panels so there is some stretch to it.  If your child is having difficulty when it comes to dressing themselves then this vest is a great way to help them while reducing the frustration.  I love it too because it is colorful and fun.


This game builds confidence and language skills along with working on listening skills.  All of these skills are difficult but this game makes it easy to practice as well as gives the child topics that they can use when in school or in other social situations.

I love this game!  It truly challenges your child to critically think in order to come up with the solution.  The game comes with a 48 page book, 12 puzzle pieces and 200 puzzle challenges.  It is colorful and super portable.  There are many levels of difficulty to challenge your child as well as being a great toy to develop problem solving skills.

These snap together color-coded cubes are one of the greatest way to reinforce and teach decimals, fractions and percentages.  You can also use them for color reinforcement, pattern making as well as a study accessory.  There are 51 cubes in total that comes in a plastic case with a handle so they can brought with you when you leave home.

This toy is great for visual stimulation as the colors are extremely bright.  I love these rings not only for the colors but because some  have nodules on them so they are fantastic for tactile stimulation.  Who doesn’t love stacking rings?  Get your child started early with development as this toy checks all the boxes.

Who doesn’t love money?  This set makes it great for kids as each piece is magnetized.  They are so realistic looking.  This set helps with identifying money, making change and counting.  Everyone needs to learn money skills as this is one of the most important things anyone will learn.  It is truly a life skill and the sooner that it can be introduced to a child the better it is.  This skill should be worked on continually as it will “pay” for itself exponentially in the long run.  The set consists of 45 pieces including bills and coins.

Who doesn’t love pie?  This set is fantastic for learning many skills such as patterning, counting as well as problem solving.  The pieces are awesome as they are so realistic and super colorful.  It comes with jumbo tweezers to help reinforce fine motor skills.  I love this toy as it has so many uses.  This toy is a must no matter what your age.

This game comes with 86 write and wipe cards, storage box and activity guide.  It is fantastic because there are no right or wrong answers therefore your child can practice while they build their self esteem and confidence.  This game also builds critical thinking skills and who doesn’t need practice in that area.  This is a skill once learned, lasts for a lifetime.

This game is a must!!! Telling time is one of the skills that every child needs to learn.  The earlier that a child is introduced to telling time, the more beneficial it is moving forward.  This game includes 41 pieces including a clock, dice and cards.  The pieces are colorful and easy to handle.  This is a toy that the whole family can partake in as it is fun and engaging.

So your child needs help with phonics?  This game is one of the best ways to teach and reinforce these skills.  Not only is it a phonics game but it is interactive as well.  The pen is a separate purchase however everything else you need comes in the box.  It comes with 36 double sided cards that are colorful and engaging.  So if your child needs help with practicing initial sounds, letter sounds, final sounds and rhyming words then this game is for them.  If your child needs help with building confidence, then this is the game for them.  There are so many advantages to this game and what it can offer your child, I consider it a must on my list to help children.

This set of action verbs is a great way to teach your child what jumping, kicking, blowing, etc. is.  Each card has a real person actually doing the activity so it is made very easy for your child to see the connection.  Not only does this company produce these cards but they have a whole library that can be purchased as well.  Some of the other sets include actions, opposites, nouns and categories.  These cards are an easy way to teach your child as the cards are brightly colored and very relatable.

These Conversation Cubes have 6 soft foam cubes and each cube has a questions that encourage an answer.  There are 36 questions in total along with a guide.  This toy is super portable and builds speaking and listening skills.  I also love this toy because it can be used for anyone of any age.  This toy is a great item for kids that have a speech or language disorder.  There is no right or wrong.  The answer comes from the child themselves.  This toy also encourages conversations among others.

Learning the parts of speech can be very confusing and frustrating, that is why I love this toy.  It breaks down the parts of speech with a definition of each and shows the child how they go together.  It comes with 16 blank writing cards along with a resource guide.  This toy is a must for all children!

Whether your child likes to write or not, this toy is a must!  How many times is your child asked to pick a topic and write about it?  Unfortunately, they cannot think of something that they feel comfortable writing about.  Well, this toy is a writer’s dream.  It comes with 86 double sided prompt cards that are color coded by subject along with 14 blank write and wipe prompt cards that can be used to customize what the child would like.  Writer’s block be gone!

For the creative girl in your life, the Crayola Pink Art Studio is the best thing since sliced bread. This set comes with paper, crayons, markers and colored pencils.  Everything she needs to create the perfect masterpiece.  It all comes in a fantastic portable case.

 
amazon-book-box-kids.png
 

I love the Prime Book Box for Kids.  It is a curated group of books appropriate for your child.  You can choose to have it delivered every 1, 2 or 3 months and shipping is free.  You can cancel anytime as well.  If you choose to, you can skip a shipment any time but I think once you see the books and read them to and with your child, you will both look forward to that box coming.  The book box starts at age Baby and goes up to age 12 years.  Each box contains either 2 hardcover books or 4 board books.  What a great way to instill the love of reading with your child.  Reading helps one to use their imagination and bring you to places that maybe you have only dreamed about.


Need immediate insight into your child's situation and how to address their current issues? Schedule your Open Opportunity Session for an expert analysis and strategic plan you can implement today.


I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties such as amazon.com and affiliates. If you purchase an item with a “BUY ON AMAZON ” button, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

1 Comment