Shopping for ideal toys for kids is difficult because you can easily make a mistake. Toys are vital for children’s development, making the little ones get to know the world around them with ease and fun. However, when it comes to children with special needs, the search can be even more challenging. Their developmental age won’t be the same as their chronological age, so you’ll need to shop accordingly. To be confident you’re buying the appropriate toys for a child with special needs, check out the tips we’ve listed below.
Think about the child’s developmental age
While the child you’re planning to buy a toy for is four years old, their developmental age is likely younger than that. So, make sure you know all about the toys they’re able to play with at the moment, by doing your research well. The last thing you need is a child getting hurt because you were reckless and didn’t think the decision through, but you bought them a toy with which they’re too young to play.
Consider the kid’s motor skills
Another aspect to consider when shopping for special needs toys is the child’s motor skills. Have they developed the majority of them already? Or are they yet to develop a few? Children with special needs feel inadequate and frustrated when they cannot play with toys that are too complicated for their age, so shop accordingly. Aside from toys matching their capabilities, they should also be entertaining for the child. While some children will be delighted to get plush animals, others will frown upon them and prefer blocks.
High-tech toys don’t have to be the only option
When shopping for toys for children, we usually think that the state-of-the-art ones will draw everyone’s attention. When it comes to children with special needs, that isn’t always the case. Namely, puzzles, wooden blocks, flashcards and chewing toys are often a much better choice than some other gadget you’d want to give them. It’s closely connected to what we mentioned before, their chronological and developmental age not being the same. So, there’s no need to overthink being innovative. Simply think about the toys they usually play with and start from there.
Ask the parents
One of the wisest decisions to make when shopping for toys for kids with disabilities is to ask their parents what the best toy would be. They know exactly what stage their kids are at, allowing them to give you the best examples for appropriate toys. Don’t try to play clever and shop for something more advanced if the parent’s suggestion sounds too simple. They’re suggesting certain toys for a reason, so listen to the recommendation and shop accordingly.
No matter what toy store you visit, the staff will be able to offer help in choosing a suitable toy. However, stores are often crowded with kids running around, feeling overjoyed in their little heaven, which can often irritate adults. Not to mention that the staff will have to pay attention to them, which can take a while before you can ask them for help. Shopping online is a more convenient option as you can filter out the toys you need and easily find the suitable ones for the child you’re shopping for.
Every child will benefit from having a myriad of toys around them, to aid in their development. However, not all kids are the same, and not all kids are capable of playing with the same type of toys. So, if you’re trying to find an ideal toy for a child with special needs, you’ll need assistance in getting it. Fortunately, there are so many ways in which you can look for the perfect toy for the little one. From asking the parents to knowing the child and asking for help from the toy store, you should research and make sure the child you’re shopping for only gets the toy they can safely play with.