Holiday Gift Giving Ideas by the Ism

Holiday Gift Giving Ideas by the Ism

Shopping for gifts during the holidays can be overwhelming. But if you have a child with special needs, this task can be even more difficult. Your child may have a narrow range of interests, or there may be skill deficits to keep in consideration. In addition, most of us are spending money on various therapies, tutors, and medications, so the holiday season can push us over financially.

To make your purchasing a bit easier, we have selected some items and categorized them by Isms/challenges. You can find fun and appealing toys that can help your child work on various skills. Some of these toys will help build social skills, while others will help kids learn turn taking. Games are always useful in teaching kids how to be a good sport, win or lose.

Fine Motor Skills

The colors for the play dough are made from plant, fruit and vegetable extracts, making it all-natural.

Honey Bee Tree
You must have a steady hand to remove the plastic leaves. Pulling the wrong leaf will wake the bees!

Lego Banana Balance
A game of balance that involves picking the best bananas as the tree grows new leaves.

This game demands a steady hand as you operate the surgical tool to remove the item from your patient.

Speed is needed as children match pieces by shape and orientation to their location on the board.

Topple is a three-dimensional board game that lets kids work on fine motor, motor planning and graded control.  Careful, controlled movement is required in placing discs on the platform.

Twist N’ Write Pencils, 4-Pack
These ergonomically designed Y-shaped pencils help kids who struggle with writing by promoting comfort and extra control. These are great for stocking stuffers.

Gross Motor Skills

Glide Bikes
These bikes do not have pedals, a chain, or training wheels and are small enough so children can have their feet touch the ground while sitting. Glide bikes allow children to learn to balance and steer, before they move onto a fully equiped bike.

Monster Bowling
These six textured monster pins, along with a beastly ball, provide for team building skills and turn taking.

Blast Pad Advanced Missile Launch System
Kids jump and stomp on the launch pad, resulting in foam missiles being launched into the air!

Sensory Skills

Danceland: Songames and Activities to Improve Sensory Skills
This CD was designed by two physical therapists and an occupational therapist. They suggest movements to help with sensory skills.

28 Instant Songames: Fun Filled Activities for Kids 3-8
Kids get up and move to the songames participating in fun musical activities that address sensory issues.

Weighted Blanket and Weighted Vest
Weighted blankets and vests can calm, soothe, and reduce stress for some children.


Build a Robot Game
Large, colorful playing pieces are used to build a robot, while helping a child with number recognition. Children spin, choose a part, and build their robot.

ThinkFun Rush Hour
This game teaches sequential movement and problem solving. Kids set-up the board according to provided pictures and then slide vehicles around to create a path so that their red car can exit.

Visual Spacial

Dado Cubes – Original
These cubes are made of heavy plastic and come in varying sizes and colors. They interlock to create three-dimensional structures.

Pattern Blocks and Boards
This set contains over 100 blocks in 6 different shapes and colors. The blocks can be used to fit ten designed pattern boards developing shape recognition and spatial relationship skills.

Other Options

Dinosaur Train – InterAction Buddy
These fabulous dinosaurs are based on the PBS Kids show Dinosaur Train, but they’re perfect for any dinosaur lover. Featuring Smart Talk Technology, the dinosaurs talk and interact with one another.

EZ SOX® Kid Socks: 2 Pair Pack: Animal Socks with easy pull up loops!
These socks have built-in handles that make them easy to pull-up.

iPad or iPhone
The iPad and iPhone make great gifts, offering many educational applications.

 What is on your shopping list? Please tell us what special items you have found.