Toys. Every child loves them, and they are usually engaging. But choosing special needs toys isn’t easy.
You’d have to consider the child’s abilities and other developmental factors when choosing special needs toys. Here’s some advice on how to select one.
Why it’s essential to choose the right Special Needs Toys.
Picking out a toy for a child isn’t difficult if the child doesn’t have special needs. One who does faces many limitations. A toy that seems straightforward may cause him frustration.
Remember that the child must enjoy the toy. An autistic child may find toys with flashing lights and loud sounds disturbing. A child who has a developmental delay may enjoy a toy meant for children of a lower age range.
Therefore, considering the child’s individual needs is paramount. For example, children who lack motor skills or coordination experience difficulty doing things with their hands. They may need special needs toys with large buttons that they can press quickly. Find out if it’s possible to secure the toy to the table. If there isn’t a way to do so, use a non-slip drawer or mat.
When it comes to choosing special needs toys, there are many people whose opinions you can seek. You could consult other parents, who are often willing to share their experiences. Therapists and teachers can help too.
Furthermore, children with special needs may go through struggles that others may not. They may have trouble with different senses. Others may spook at sudden noises. Some may have limited coordination and will do well with toys that have big buttons. Those with small pieces may not be suitable because it’s easy to swallow them.
Some children may have such limited coordination that they can’t play with regular toys. Some companies adapt toys for kids with unique needs. You can even make these changes yourself.
How To Choose The Right Special Needs Toys
Indeed, there is much to consider when choosing toys or children with special needs. These are among the things you should bear in mind.
First of all is the toy’s usability. Does your child access its functions quickly, or does it frustrate him because it’s too complicated?
2. Difficulty Level
Also, the toy should have an adjustable difficulty level. Special needs toys should allow you to change their speed, volume, height, and complexity. Open-ended toys, such as art blocks, fit this description as they will enable you to match a child’s abilities and style.
3. Safe and Durable
Find out how safe the toy is. It should be safe enough for your child to use on a daily basis. Since toddlers throw their toys around, avoid cheap ones that break easily.
Furthermore, your child should be able to interact with the toy. Special needs toys should allow social engagement and active participation. Family members and your child’s playmates should be able to use it.
5. Individual ability
The toy should cater to his abilities as well. It should align with his developmental goals and offer activities that reflect his chronological age.
6. Various ways to play
Also, your child should be able to play with the toy in many ways. If your child is a budding musician, look for a toy guitar that he can use as a toy piano as well.
The toy should stimulate the senses. Pick one that offers tactile, auditory, visual, and kinesthetic stimulation.
8. Types of Special Needs Toys
Many different types of toys align with a wide range of physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities. They include a spectrum of functions that address mild to severe ones. What all this means is that there is a toy that suits your child’s needs.
Children gravitate to appealing sights and sounds. Therefore, toys that appeal to all the senses are always well-received. Toys that provide visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic information are lots of fun and help them to cope with the routines of daily living. They are excellent for children with Autism and hearing impairment.
Then, there are toys which improve a child’s motor skills. They enable the manipulation of objects. These will help with writing and simple activities such as tying shoelaces. These suit children with cognitive disorders or Autism.
There are also toys that improve linguistic abilities. These help children to string coherent sentences and improve cognition. Kids with language delays, autism, stuttering or developmental disorders will benefit from these.
Does your child have social anxiety? He will gain from a toy that engages him with common social themes. It will allow him to build his confidence.
In all, whether you purchase your toy online or at a toy store, pick special needs toys that encourages fun and creativity. It should also reflect the chronological and developmental age of your child.