SPECIAL NEEDS TOYS FOR OUR KIDS
When Natan Shai started growing and I needed to start looking into special needs toys I really didn’t know where to start. So the Facebook group I belong to which is a group for other mothers like me helped me a lot and I got lots of great ideas on where to start looking. I’d like to help you by sharing a few of these ideas here.
Hydranencephaly kids just like any other children enjoy playing with toys. However, because of their many disabilities our special kids often need toys that can be switch adapted to operate them. This helps them to play independently and enjoy the benefits of learning through play.
There is a large selection of special needs toys and switch adapted toys available which can be attached to a Big Switch like the one below. If you are particularly electronically minded you can basically adapt any battery operated toy to a switch like this one. Personally, I prefer to buy them ready adapted like the ones below. However, I will try to make a blog explaining how to adapt toys for the more adventurous among you 😉
Below are a few examples of toys that are already switch adapted. For more information just click on the picture. It’s good to take note that most toys that have been adapted are sold separately from the switch itself. You can usually use the same switch for the different toys.
Natan Shai loves the switch toys because it gives him such a feeling of independence. Plus he has the added benefit of learning the outcome of cause and effect which is so educational for our kids. From this, they can go on to learning from a computer screen and iPad. I recently bought an iPad
I recently bought an iPad for Natan Shai and it is totally amazing. So many different applications to choose from. They are pricey but there are loads of free apps available for him to play with. I also show him his movies from the iPad and it’s great because it’s so portable. So if you’re looking for digital entertainment the iPad is definitely the way to go. Still, our kids just like any other kids benefit from ‘real’ toys like the ones above. Sometimes in this virtual world, we can get a little carried away with technology as great as it is.
Lights are also a big hit with Natan Shai and he loves making them work and seeing the different colors and shapes that the lights produce, especially in a darkened room. It’s quite fascinating to watch his reaction. My other kids also like to join in and watch the light shows, it’s quite the family entertainment and keeps everybody occupied for a while too 🙂
There are many other toys which are suitable for our children and not all of them have to be switch operated. Many of them make sounds and have different lights and can be operated by an adult or older child and still your special needs kid will have a quality play time and enjoy him/herself. I personally like the switch operated toys because I try to push Natan Shai to be as independent as possible and also to give him free choice, which as we all know is such a big virtue.
The main thing is to try a variety of different toys, whether virtual or real and see what your child enjoys the most. I personally feel that variety is the key. I try to give Natan Shai a different kind of play experience every day.
If you have any questions please comment below or send me a PM.
With much love,
Hannah (Natan Shai’s Mom)