Toys are an essential and extremely important part of childhood. Their purpose is much more than for pure entertainment, and this is especially relevant when we talk about toys for children with special needs. For them, toys can immensely help with the development of social, cognitive, emotional, and other skills. The key is to investigate what kind of toys will address the particular needs of the little one. Then he or she will be able to enjoy playing and at the same time learning and developing. To help you choose, we bring you a list of some types of toys and how they influence the particular skills of the child.
This kind of toy is an amazing choice for any child with special needs, as it can be customized to their own taste. So, for example, if they love animals, you can opt for a puzzle that requires placing the animals over the appropriate picture, all situated in their natural habitat, like a forest or lake. Puzzles help improve fine motor and cognitive skills in the form of problem-solving skills, as well as teaching the little one to be patient and focused on the goal, which in this case is to place the right piece of the puzzle in the right place. Additionally, depending on the theme of the toy, they help learn about a certain subject area, like that the bears and wolves live in the forest and dolphins in the ocean.
Sensory, distraction toys
For children who need to feel outside sensation in order to calm and focus, these kinds of toys are ideal. For instance, high-quality special needs toys like sensory cotton sand and sensory fidget tubes help kids focus, at the same time having a calming effect on them. The sand is also a great aid in developing fine motor skills and is an exciting experience that lets the child form and molds all sorts of shapes, at the same time reducing stress. Colorful toys such as sensory fidget tubes can be a great distraction when the child feels overwhelmed, as they have an almost hypnotic effect, making the little one feel completely focused on the toy itself. They are great visual and tactile aids that represent a new, unique experience each time the child uses them, which makes them even more fun.
These are a great tool for improving many skills, from emotional and social ones to language and communication. They can be used by the whole family and are a fun aid that helps in speech therapy. For example, flashcards with facial expressions for happiness, sadness, silliness, etc. help the little one connect different feelings to different expressions and vice versa. On the other hand, cards that represent different verbs help connect certain actions or movements with a particular word, enhancing the child’s language and communication skills. All of this has a beneficial effect on social skills, especially if the flashcards are used with a group of kids.
From chewable pendants to all sorts of chewable figures, these colorful little toys are quite practical when it comes to helping the child calm down. Not only do they lower stress, but are also great for developing oral motor skills. Especially chewable necklaces and bracelets represent an attractive accessory that kids love and can wear and use on different occasions. These toys can instantly help in case the little one feels overwhelmed in a situation when they are outside the house, as they can use them and feel safe and calm. They are naturally much better for the child’s health than chewing on clothes, pencils, or jewelry. Moreover, most chewable toys have specially designed surfaces that help the child develop oral motor skills such as biting, chewing, or even help practice these motor skills after a jaw surgery or after experiencing trauma. Others are specially designed so that they help babies who experience pain when teething.
To conclude, there are numerous types of toys that are entertaining and helpful for children with special needs. The choice only depends on the child’s unique preferences and their individual needs and abilities. Some of them, such as flashcards, are exceptionally brilliant as they can be fun for the whole family.
The best special school education curriculums actively use flashcards for their children. This is a great way to improve learning as these cards are able to attract and retain the attention of children with special needs.