Special Needs Stop

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Christmas Gift, Toy and Game Guide

Special Needs Stop has formed affiliated partnerships with some of the best companies in an effort to offer you the perfect holiday gift. Everyone is always looking for the perfect gift. Shopping for and locating the perfect gift can be difficult. Don't worry we have created the following gift guide to get you started on your journey to making that special someone thrilled with their gift. Our gift guide includes gifts for individuals with special needs and abilities of all ages and abilities. Gifts include Multi-Sensory toys to help develop visual tracking, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Games made to help build gross motor skills and dexterity. Social Skill games great for building communication, nonverbal communication and social skills. Toys and games designed to develop cause and effect, matching, identification, vocabulary and patterns. Don't underestimate toys, they can help with social skills and language, help meet developmental milestones, learn cause and effect, express and identify emotions. Play is an easy way to have fun while learning. Make it a family fun night or spend some quality one on one time while laughing and learning. Many of the items for sale in our gift guide include extensive customer reviews for an easier shopping experience. 

Gifts for Under $10.00 -  These small toys and games can be used as rewards for good behavior, stocking stuffers or travel. These gifts have been selected based on customer feedback and product reviews from teachers.

Toys for Kids on the Spectrum - Social Engagement & Interaction, Emotional Development & Regulation, Creative Thinking & Imaginative Play, Sensory Motor Development, Communication & Interaction, Cognition & Problem Solving  6 Skill Categories & specifically chosen by specialists to help enhance the play and development of children on the autism spectrum.

  • Social Engagement & Interaction - Toys that develop social engagement and interaction skills include those that children can engage with both alone and with a partner, promote turn taking and cooperation, allow opportunities for imitation or provide a certain amount of predictability or familiarity.
  • Emotional Development & RegulationBooks and toys can help children on the autism spectrum develop strategies to recognize emotions and how to control them as well as recognize social cues and how to behave in a socially acceptable manner. Toys that allow children to develop skills in this area will help them build connections with others, learn to make positive self-management choices and express emotions appropriately. Look for books or games that demonstrate a range of emotional states, toys that encourage imitation and trying on different emotions, and activities that can lead to conversations about the why and how of different emotions or emotional reactions.
  • Creative Thinking & Imaginative PlayImagination is key to figuring out what someone else might feel, believe and desire. It contributes to the development of logic, memory and abstract thinking. Toys that encourage creative thinking actively engage children’s imaginations and allow creative self-expression to help them gain confidence and learn how to navigate their world. Toys that support this type of play include dolls and dollhouses, puppets, construction and building toys, stuffed animals, interactive stories, arts and crafts, musical instruments and dress up costumes.
  • Sensory Motor DevelopmentChildren need to have regular opportunities for enhanced sensory and motor experiences as well as for restful and calming experiences. Helping children develop their sensory and motor skills not only helps them organize themselves in relation to the world but supports all areas of development. Large motor play, like jumping and climbing, supports a need for body awareness, physical skill development and self-regulation. Manipulative toys, like puzzles and art materials, support hand-eye coordination, motor planning and attention. Hand fidgets, bath toys and blow toys support a need for enhanced touch and oral sensory input. Creating a hideaway with a play tent, stuffed animals and quiet toys or books can be great to regroup after a busy day.
  • Communication & InteractionTeaching communication through the imaginative and give-and-take nature of play can help children with autism learn to communicate in other situations. Being able to effectively convey their message and express their needs or feelings will often reduce frustration and promote positive interactions with others. Playful, low-stress opportunities for communication can be created through turn taking while playing games, requesting and talking about pieces of puzzles or other assembly toys, engaging in dress-up activities, and singing along with a music video or CD.
  • Cognition & Problem SolvingHelping children on the autism spectrum put together parts of a whole and respond to visual cues or abstract ideas can lead to a sense of achievement and boost self esteem and confidence. Mastering new skills and concepts are essential building blocks for independent living and social integration. Word games, puzzles, science kits, building sets and games all aid in helping kids to stretch their minds to solve problems and tackle complex and abstract ideas.
  • FavoritesEach toy builds multiple skills while enhancing the play and development of children on the autism spectrum.

Preschool ToysSturdy, durable, and recommended by therapists and educators, these Developmental toys encourages social, emotional, cognitive, fine motor and gross motor development. 

Toddler Toys - This section is all about good toys for very young children that are safe and engaging while allowing for successful exploration and the development of essential skills.

Gifts for Grade School Age - Toys and games that provide lots fun for elementary aged kids withAutism, Asperger Syndrome, or PDD-NOS

Gifts for Teens with Autism or Aspergers - This section includes toys, games, specialty items, and activities with a track record of working well with teens and adults on the spectrum and are socially appropriate. While shopping this section please keep in mind the developmental age of the teen or adult, many of thitems in this section are designed for adults and are not appropriate for children. 

Social Skills Games  - These Social Skills Games were designed by professionals to teach strategies to deal with social problems, recognize emotions, ask questions, understand body language in a relaxed, fun and nonthreatening environment. 

Social Engagement & Interaction - Children can engage both alone and taking turns with a partner promoting cooperation. These games provide a certain amount of predictability or familiarity.

Communication & InteractionThe games and toys in this section will help individuals begin to effectively convey their message and express their needs or feelings, reducing frustration and promoting positive interactions with others. 

Cause and Effect Toys -  Parents have reported these make great gifts for kids who have limited social contact. By taking turns with the toy, family members are able to enter into an enjoyable shared experience making these a valuable developmental tool for social development while offering the opportunity for hand eye coordination, simple repetitive actions, play between parent and child, and sensory exploration. 

Cognition & Problem Solving - Put together parts of a whole and respond to visual cues or abstract ideas and feel a sense of achievement and boost confidence. Word games, puzzles, science kits, building sets and games.  

Sensory Toys  and Activities - Stimulating products that will encourage sensory exploration, developmental skills, and work well for sensory integration therapy. Products that focus on the sense of touch, hearing, sight as well as gross motor toys that are durable enough for occupational therapy. Each sensory Toy and Activity is not only therapeutic but fun and works well on a daily basis. 

Sensory Motor Development - Large motor play, like jumping and climbing, supports a need for body awareness, physical skill development and self-regulation. Manipulative toys, like puzzles and art materials, support hand-eye coordination, motor planning and attention. Hand fidgets, bath toys and blow toys support a need for enhanced touch and oral sensory input. 

Hand-Eye Coordination Toys - The toys in this section will help individuals develop essential skills needed for daily living like getting dressed, eating, and even opening or closing a door properly. These toys can provide a foundation that will lower frustration and increase independence while having fun and developing hand eye coordination.

Fidget Toys and Stress Balls for Autism & ADHD -  Fidget Toys and Stress Balls help people of all ages especially individuals with autism or ADHD focus and manage anger, anxiety and daily stress. These increasingly popular choices for teachers and therapists have been proven to help students focus, absorb more information, self-regulate, and provide a calming influence. Simple, reasonably priced and very effective.

Gross Motor Equipment & Balance Toys - High quality gross motor toys, activities and products that will encourage gross motor development, active play, increase coordination and have fun! You will appreciate the durable construction of each item in this section designed for years of use.

Fine Motor Toys and GamesDeveloping fine motor muscles is an essential first step towards holding a pencil, learning to dress, and so much more. These toys will help kids develop their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. They can be fun, lasting gifts that your child can enjoy for years to come.

Emotional Development & Regulation - Build connections with others, learn to make positive self-management choices and express emotions appropriately.  These toys lead to conversations about the why and how of different emotions or emotional reactions.
Cooperative Games - Cooperative games are designed for players to work as a team against a common obstacle rather than playing against each other eliminating stress and the focus to win. These games are not highly competitive but fun and often include visual cues. The highly visual nature of many of these cooperative games often give kids with autism or visual strengths, an advantage as they play with their peers.
Positive Reinforcement Toys -  These toys work best when you combine them with verbal praise and it’s always best to have a variety on hand to prevent boredom or routine. These toys are the reinforcers you need to keep individuals motivated. 

Oral Motor Toys and Whistles - Want more than just blowing bubbles? If so this is the section for you. There are lots of options to keep kids engaged and therapy exciting including interesting whistles, build your own sound horns, bubble toys, chewable vibration toys and multi-textured chew toys. Explore lots of options to keep kids engaged and therapy exciting by shopping now. 

Puzzles - One of the most tried and true gift for everyone is puzzles. Puzzles are fun visual gifts that teach basic concepts, work on fine motor skills, eye - hand coordination, and more! 

Creative Thinking & Imaginative PlayImagination contributes to the development of logic, memory and abstract thinking. Toys that encourage creative thinking help individuals gain confidence and learn how to navigate their world. The toys in this section include dolls and dollhouses, puppets, construction and building toys, stuffed animals, interactive stories, arts and crafts, musical instruments and dress up costumes.
Imaginative Play Toys -  Imaginative play is an important part of developing language, social, and emotional skills. The items in this section allow you to set up scenarios to explore a variety of themes and interests like trains, play kitchens and more.