Calling All Gift Ideas

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How is it already December…again?!? Yep, it is the holiday season, which means many of us are purchasing presents for our children with visual impairments. I have searched high and low for the perfect gifts for my unique child, and have instead come up with some options that will work, but may not be absolutely perfect.

I have stocked up on some new clothes, a few braille books, and sensory-stimulating devices. I have gone to my stand-by resources for children who are blind like the National Braille Press, Seedlings, and Future Aids. I even found some good buys on Black Friday. (Yes, I was a crazy person wondering the mall at 2:30 in the morning.) Sadly, I have yet to hear of a fantastic option for my blind, autistic son that he probably just couldn’t live without.

So, as a plea for assistance, and for the assistance of others also searching for the perfect holiday gifts…Help! Please, tell me (us) what you found to give your adorable child this season. Did you find a great buy? (Since I didn't win the Powerball jackpot, I could use a deal.) Did you find a unique gift that you can’t wait for them to open?

Please share your ideas, so the rest of us can use them to make our holidays remarkable for our children with visual impairments. There is pressure to not only pick a gift from ourselves, but the grandparents need ideas, too! By sharing, we can certainly expand our options.

As a final note…I feel I must make this comment every year. Don’t forget to take your toys out of the packages before wrapping them. For our children who are blind, working that hard to remove paper to end up with plastic and cardboard just isn’t fair. Give them the gift of not having to then tackle packaging. As we all know, it can take hours to free those toys from their plastic prisons.

Thank you in advance for your fantastic gift ideas. Happy shopping!

There are currently 7 comments

Re: Calling All Gift Ideas

One of the best sources for toys that I ever found was "Discovery Toys". Their focus is educational toys, and their catalog has many diverse and well made toys for ages up to about 14. I found something for each of my children (one sighted and one blind) from Discovery Toys nearly every year for many years.

Re: Calling All Gift Ideas

Thanks for the tip! I haven't checked out Discovery Toys in I really need to!

Re: Calling All Gift Ideas

I can suggest a few things that may be of interest to Eddie. Magic Moves Microphone from Educational Insights has 26 tunes and 90 movement suggestions, such as "Zoom like a jet" or "Stomp like a dinosaur". The sound quality is excellent. The "Musical Touch" game by Neurosmith is played with up to 3 other people. It is a pod with a speaker in the middle, and the music comes out of the speaker when the other players are tapped lightly on the hand. It also has really funny animal sounds, and percussion noises. Could be a really nice social interaction toy with siblings/peers. I also really like the XaXa ball which is two balls in one. You take off the rubbery outer ball and there is a hard plastic ball inside which opens up. It comes with a metal noisy ball inside, but you can change up the noise with coins, rice or beans. It would be a fun ball to use in a sound sorting game, especially with a few of them. I also did see in Walmart by Vtech a funny looking ball which appeared to have a great voice and seemed to say a lot of funny things. It may be better for younger child though. I did not really get a chance to see what it can actually do, but it did get my attention as a possible good find. I hope your shopping goes well! Holly

Re: Calling All Gift Ideas

Thank you for reminding me about "undoing" presents ahead of time. I used your advice last year to make sure everything was "undone" in our daughter's presents before she opened them. I put them back in the box so she could "open" them herself but it did save the hassle and frustration of having to wait to undo all those silly plastic straps. We even did it for our 3 year (sighted) so she wouldn't get upset.

Re: Calling All Gift Ideas

Great tips from everyone! We'll have to share after Christmas, too, to see what was a "hit" and what was a "bomb". If you have any other ideas...keep them coming!

Re: Calling All Gift Ideas

You may want to consider Magneatos, which is a building toy with magnets that makes for easy connections. You can use a cookie sheet for a tray and base for construction. Also there is a new toy out I have not seen yet but it may be fun for in the tub. It is called "bubbles" and it is unpoppable suction cup bubbles which you can use in the tub to stick everywhere including on yourself. It may be a fun toy for helping develop a pincher grasp. I also really like the plui water ball for a simple water toy, when you take your thumb off the top the water rains out the bottom. There is a plastic toy phone out called "talking tubes" which is a spin on an old fashioned tin can string phone. The nice thing about it is that it can be used socially, and it really amplifies speech sounds from the other person. For a fun balance toy consider the Bilibo, fun to sit in and an appropriate place to spin. Finally, the "fun ride deluxe" seems like a great way to have a zip line experience in the home, and great for gaining upper body strength. You will need to look into if you have trees to mount it from, and read the reviews from other parents who have had problems and needed to buy extra mounting hardware. Also not sure what your climate zone is, may be a more appropriate toy for spring/summer. Maybe Santa will bring Eddie lots of gum for his stocking! Best wishes for a great Christmas for you and your family. Holly

Re: Calling All Gift Ideas

I know this is an older post, but I have always wanted to have a connection with families on what cool stuff is out there for the kiddos. One place I like to look is the Speak to me Catalog
I will double-check those items at other places like amazon because a lot of times they are cheaper, but they do have some really neat ideas sometimes. Something really cool that is out this year is the Wubble Bubble. We got ours at target, and the girls love it. *lol* We love it. It's like a really big, neat feeling balloon and you can sit on it, roll around on it, throw it around, all kinds of stuff.

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