1) Tying Shoes
Melissa and Doug are known for their wooden toys. This lacing shoe is perfect for ages 3-6 year olds who are beginning to learn to tie their shoes.
Special Needs Benefit: Help with tying shoes and eye-hand coordination
You definitely can’t go wrong with a set of blocks. Whether it’s a mega blok table, legos let them use their imagination to build. For younger children you want to keep in mind the size, it can be very frustrating to little hands if they can’t pick up the blocks.
Special Needs Benefit: stacking blocks, problem-solving, mathematical skills, taking turns
Special Needs Benefits: creative play, turn taking, life skills
4) Kinetic Sand
Just like playdough, kinetic sand is wonderful to help develop fine motor skills and hours of creative/imaginative play.
Special Needs Benefits: finger strengthening, dexterity, in hand manipulation
You definitely can’t go wrong with anything Melissa and Doug. I brought these Cutting Food for my son and he loved it. The knife was easy for him to hold and cutting the food was easy as it was Velcro.
Special Needs Benefits: imaginative play, life skills, problem-solving
This is a great toy for the older children, and again I brought this for my son as well. He loved it. All kids love to push buttons and he loved pushing the buttons to hear the noises or the register counting.
Special Needs Benefits: eye-hand coordination, creative play, number sense
Puzzles are a must. I purchased so many different ones for my son. Ones where he put the shape or the number in the slot. There are so many to choose from. I loved this one again from Melissa and Doug latch puzzle. There were so many different ways for my son to get the door open. I will be honest some were a lot more difficult than others, but he also just enjoyed closing the doors.
Special Needs Benefits: eye/hand coordination, problem-solving
Another game I purchased for my son is the Hungry Monkey Game. This game was good and challenging for him all at the same time. He did have a hard time at first squeezing the tweezers together to pick up the monkey to feed it, but it’s exactly what we needed to help him strengthen his finger grasp.
Special Needs Benefits: strengthen finger grasp, mathematical skills, creative play
10) Peg Boards
Another must in our house was a peg board game. My son loved these because they fit his hands perfectly. He was able to build and count, identify colors. So much to do with peg boards.
Special Needs Benefits: strengthening grasp, building, problem-solving, mathematical skills, color recognition
No matter what gift you decide on, the best thing to keep in mind is will it be fun and functional!