Searching for Presents...Again

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Well, here we are again. Those of us with children who have visual impairments are desperately searching for the best holiday present ever. The only problem is that we have no idea where to start. I look at my son’s room full of musical instruments, funny sounding stuffed animals, CD’s, and braille books galore and do not know what direction to take next. It seems I’ve already covered most categories.

It isn’t simply his blindness that makes him hard to shop for, but also his developmental age. He doesn’t grow by leaps and bounds annually, so he still likes the same types of things that he did last year. It isn’t like my 8-year-old who wanted Barbie toys last year, and this year has moved onto teenage stars of Disney. Her new preferences give me new present ideas, but I can’t use that strategy with Eddie. He loves all the same things now that he did when he was three, and I’ve purchased about everything I want to in that age category.

Yes, I try to push him with toys that will expand his horizons and expect more of him, but I also want to get things he’ll really love. None of us wanted a stocking full of math books when we were kids, and constantly buying toys for educational purposes simply sounds wrong. Of course, I’ll sneak a couple in, but there should also be some things that are “just for fun”.

If he could communicate his wants better, I’d simply ask him what he wants this holiday season, but this is yet another struggle with my darling Eddie. He is learning how to ask for basic needs like food and water, so I think asking for a Drum-set may be beyond his capabilities at this time. I must say, after listening to his sisters constantly asking Santa for everything they see on T.V., I’m sort of grateful I don’t have to hear that from Eddie, too.

Even though shopping for Eddie is hard, it is also a joy when I find the right thing. Here are a few things that I have gathered so far this shopping season: lap harp from Toys R Us, shapes and sounds puzzle from Exceptional Teaching, t-shirt with a Drum-set that works when you beat on it from Old Navy, a talking clock from Perkins, a Mickey mouse sing-a-ma-jig from Wal-mart, and some books from National Braille Press.

Now that I’ve thrown my list out there, I’m begging you to do the same. If you find a great holiday gift, or simply have an idea that worked for you and your child in the past, then PLEASE SHARE! I will be so grateful for any new ideas, and I’m sure other parents will feel the same. Hopefully, there will be many comments on this posting to help make the holidays unforgettable for our children with visual impairments.

There are currently 10 comments

Re: Searching for Presents...Again

There is a new toy called "message ball" where the user can record a short message and roll or throw the ball to another child who can then tape a response. I could not post a link but I have seen it on line in various toy sites. It reminded me of a toy called yak bak which did a similar thing, and I found that some children who are blind really enjoyed recording and sending messages. Also Wal-mart has little boxes for gift cards which play Christmas tune when you take off the lid, these may be fun filled with treats. Also silly putty and a whoopie cushion may be fun for the stocking. One child I knew loved his whoopie cushion so much and had a lot of fun "hiding" it for the family to sit on over the holidays. Just maybe don't let him bring it to school!

Re: Searching for Presents...Again

I found a very cute Rocking Horse at Sam's. It claims it can hold around 100lbs. It has sound effects and rocks pretty good. It also sits low to the ground, so my 2 year old granddaughter can get on and off of it by herself. Anxious for her to open it Christmas morning!

Re: Searching for Presents...Again

I just ordered this toy for my son Sam. I am excited to have found something new. I also ordered the Message Ball from this site as well.

The Ultimate Cosmic Sound Machine!

Create some amazing sounds with the incredible Zube Tube! You can pluck it and hear a twang like no other on Earth. Shake it and groove to some cosmic vibrations. Or shout into it for some wild audio feedback. You'll be amazed by the wide range of out-of-this-world cosmic sounds the Zube Tube can make!

Re: Searching for Presents...Again

A swing from Toys R Us? Our 4 yr old daughter LOVES to be swung, and the therapists at school say it is great for their vestibular? and brain development.

Water balloons - great for summer fun,

Easy bake Oven - yeah, like everything else it takes supervision, but then the little one's can really 'cook' in THEIR own kitchen!

Ipod and "Travel Sound" i80 speaker from Creative Labs Inc. Audrey LOVES this because we put barney, Christmas songs, etc on this, and she listens to it when we have the TV on, in Resturants, shopping, etc. Best thing we ever bought for her.

Thanks for YOUR list. What a thoughtful post!

Re: Searching for Presents...Again

LOVE all the replies! Keep it coming... I am already seeking some of your suggestions. Thanks!

Re: Searching for Presents...Again

I found a game called Ned's Head that we're going to try. Basically, you draw cards, then have to find the item on the card by reaching in Ned's Head and finding it by touch. There are blank cards to add items from home. I figure we can adapt it for Peanut's needs pretty easily, and it's a game he'll be able to kick our butts at. I found it at for $20.

Re: Searching for Presents...Again

I just received the newsletter from DCMP (descriptive caption and Media program) and they have listed suggestions for toys by age group. I haven't read all of the suggestions by the web page that they reccommend is the site list toys for older kids too!!!

Re: Searching for Presents...Again

Emily, for the LOVE OF SANTA, give our little Eddie a hammer, a nail or a bag of nails, and some 2x4's 2x6's plywood, any scap material and let him build...he will do as well as any boy his age! Hug him for me please!

Re: Searching for Presents...Again

My grandson Jonah is completely blind and with SOD. Being a working Grandma, I have bought many toys over the years. In fact, I think I'm aware of every sound toy on the planet. (I even buy used on ebay.) I understand completely about the developmental issue -- there are things that are so difficult or so nonsensical to Jonah that he has absolutely no interest in them. "Toys" and "learning toys" are all about timing. So if I knew more about Eddie, I might be able to suggest things. My Grandson just turned 8 in September. His "toys" have always been several developmental years behind his physical age. I can tell you though that an easy to use digital recorder is his greatest treasure. There is one at Radio Shack with very big buttons and therefore very easy for the blind to learn to use by feel. Jonah became captivated years ago with the idea that he could record peoples' voices and he now carries it everywhere and records everything. In fact, they had to bar him from bringing it to school because it disrupts his special needs classroom (because he'll play it back). The most effective discipline in his life is to take away his recorder for an hour (let alone an afternoon or evening). Emotionally I feel like it is "his eyes". He first became enamored with recording when he accidently discovered that his playpen monitor could record his parents' voices. Anyway, my email is and I have lots of experience with toys and developmental aids, at least for Jonah's unique capabilities and limitations at each age.

Re: Searching for Presents...Again

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