It’s officially the holiday season, and there’s one thing on every child’s mind: toys. Finding the perfect gifts for kids is already challenging, but when the child you’re shopping for has a developmental disability, the toys you choose must be both fun and functional.

We’ve rounded up a few of our therapists’ recommended toys that children will be delighted to find under the tree, but also encourage fine and gross motor skill development, emotional awareness, socialization, and more.

Sensory Gifts
  • Depending on your child’s needs, LED illuminators can provide a sense of calm or stimulation. Program them to cycle through all the colors of the rainbow and you can adjust to specific light settings!
  • The ABC Look and Feel Bag is colorful, slightly weighted, and educational. Kids will have fun looking for the letters they’re learning and tossing the beanbag around.
  • Pull, stretch, and find the pieces hidden in Discovery Putty. Each tin has a different theme, from sweets to safaris, and gives a fresh twist to sensory integration, visual motor and, fine motor delights.
  • Chewy bracelets are safe for biting and are a colorful delight for sensory explorers.
  • An indoor therapy swing has a swaddling design that helps children with sensory issues and other special needs feel soothed. It also allows them to work on their fine motor skills with balance while also building muscles.
  • Fidget toys can be an excellent source of relaxation for children with sensory processing disorders, and this Fidget Toys Bundle Sensory Set has a range of toys to keep kids engaged.
Creative Play Gifts
  • Puppet theaters and other play-acting toys can give kids a creative outlet for self-expression. They also encourage speech and socialization!
  • The Basic Skills Busy Board is an excellent tool for parents of children with special needs. Keep fidgety little hands focused, all while helping your kiddo develop necessary skills like shoe tying, belt buckling, zipping, and more.
  • A classic arts’ n crafts kit offers endless potential for entertainment and creative expression.
  • The child who’s always outside will love this outdoor explorers kit! They’ll learn about the natural environment and will take pride in discovering leaves, stones, and other treasures for their collection.
Communication Gifts
  • Help your little one develop communication and cognitive skills with Meet the Letters Flashcards. Each letter is boldly displayed on one side of each card, making it easy for your child to see and memorize. On the opposite side is an object formed from that letter, helping her commit the letter’s sight and sound to memory.
  • The Vtech Tote & Go Laptop is a cause and effect toy (touch a button, get a response) that promotes interaction and verbal reply. This toy teaches letters and words through fun games and friendly characters.
  • Identifying different feelings, emotions, and appropriate responses can be difficult for some children. Help them develop emotional intelligence and communicate their feelings with the Feelings in a Flash: Emotional Intelligence Flashcard Game.
Physical Activity Gifts
  • The Wobble Cushion allows kids to wiggle around in their seats while staying (mostly) in one place.
  • The holes in the Oball make it the perfect toy for little fingers to grasp, throw, and catch while developing gross and fine motor skills. The different textures and colors of this hollow ball can also help children with sensory and visual impairments.
  • Have a blast catching butterflies as they spout over four feet into the air with this physically stimulating Elefun Game. As your child captures and sorts butterflies, they’ll also be improving their gross and fine motor skills, along with visual perception and scanning.
  • Jump for joy! A home ball pit delivers all the fun of the beloved childhood activity without exposing your child to loud noises, jarring movements, or unfamiliar people. It encourages physical activity as well as fine motor skill development.
  • The scooter board is a favorite of occupational therapists because it allows kids to push themselves around the house.
  • The mini trampoline can be an invaluable tool. It gives tons of sensory input, allows kids to work out their energy, and doesn’t take up much space.

If you purchase any of these items through Amazon, don’t forget to shop through AmazonSmile as a way to give to LifeROOTS at no additional cost to you. Go to www.smile.amazon.com, log in with your Amazon account information, and choose LifeROOTS as the charity you would like to donate. We appreciate your support!

We believe that learning should always be fun. That’s why our expert therapists use play therapy techniques to help each child receive the maximum benefit from their Early Intervention, occupational, and speech therapy sessions. Call us at 505-255-5501 or click here to learn more about our children’s services or schedule a free consultation.

LifeROOTS Careers

Our Mission

We provide developmental services that promote independence to underserved and extra needs populations through the cycle of their lives.

Our Vision

LifeROOTS enriches the entire community by nurturing individuals to grow, strengthen, and flourish.