Finding the right Christmas presents for your child when they have special needs can be tricky, particularly if they can’t tell you what they want. However, Christmas sensory gifts for kids are often a big hit, can be lots of fun as well as therapeutic. If you are looking for Christmas sensory gifts but have no idea where to start, look no further. In this blog, SpecialKids Company will let you know all about the best sensory Christmas gifts for children.
1. Play Doh
Play Doh is great. It’s cheap to buy, colourful and can help to improve fine motor skills because of it’s malleable properties. Whether your child likes to create things out of Play Doh or simply squish and manipulate it with their hands, it’s something you should definitely consider putting in your childs stocking.
2. Foil Blanket
You can buy a foil emergency blanket online for as little as 75p. Commonly packed away as part of a survival kit for explorer types, foil blankets also create an excellent sensory experience. Touching the blanket creates a ‘crinkle’ type noise. Turn on some funky lights and you can create a fun, relaxing and tactile sensory experience.
3. Light Projectors
There are lots of light projectors available on the market that range in price. If your child is prone to breaking things, a cheaper projector might be your best bet and there are plenty available, such as this one by Moredig. You will also find a range of light projectors in discount stores such as B&M, Home Bargains and The Range.
Light projectors can provide a calm and comforting sensory experience for children.
4. Dark Den
If your child seeks comforting in quiet, dark spaces then a dark den might be just the right gift for them. A good dark den will have black out walls to keep out external light making it the perfect dark space. You can fill your dark den with toys that light up and create a perfect multi-sensory experience. Here is an example of a dark den on the market from Cheap Disability Aids.
5. Water Beads
Water Beads are non-toxic gel beads that grow when placed in water. The simplest way to use them is to put them in a big bowl or on a big tray and let your child explore them with their hands or feet. Water Beads are colourful and are soothing to touch. You can feel them, squish them, sort them or pour them in to shaving cream and create a big sensory-tastic mess. They are easily available online from places likes Amazon.
6. Kinectic Sand
Kinectic Sand looks a bit like regular sand but it’s different in texture. It can be moulded into different shapes with your hands yet when you let it go it almost melts. It’s great for children who have sensory issues and whilst it’s fun to play with it is also good and helping to develop fine motor skills.
7. Squishy Tactile Toys
A simple Google search of ‘squishy tactile toys’ will bring up a number of toys that are great for sensory seekers such as squishy balls and stretchy toy caterpillars. These types of toys are fantastic stocking fillers for children with sensory needs.
8. Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets are great for sensory seekers and can help to relief stress and anxiety. They provide a calming sensory input and can be used for chilling out in the house or in your dark den.
9. IKEA Egg Chair
The IKEA Egg Chair is a fond favourite of sensory seeking children throughout the UK. It provides a multi-sensory experience as it spins and also has a pull down cover so that your child can hide inside it.
Both indoor and outdoor swings are fantastic for children who have sensory processing issues. The rocking forwards and backwards can be really relaxing and help when a child is seeking sensory output.
There are special hammock style swings that ‘snuggle’ children which are great for indoor use. However, it’s an outdoor swing that you’re looking for we really recommend this one by TFH which is available in child, teen and adult size.
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Swimming is a fantastic inclusive activity to do with children with special needs. It’s a great sensory experience that is good fun and has positive benefits for both physical and mental health. It is also an activity that can be done all year round and doesn’t have to be weather dependent (depending on where you choose to swim!).