Presents and Toys for Young Children
Finding gifts for children who are blind or have low vision might seem hard. But there are many accessible and enjoyable options out there, whether it’s for your child, grandchild, cousin, niece, or nephew.
Choosing a Toy
Look for multi-sensory toys for children with eye conditions. Choose ones that are bright, noisy, and have varied textures. This engages their senses beyond sight. Children, including those with blindness or low vision, have unique tastes. There’s a wide range of toys for all kids, including those designed for visual impairments. Many classic toys are adapted for children with disabilities. Examples include tactile chess sets, braille Go Fish cards, and beeping soccer balls.
Presents and Toys for the Early Years
Light Stax is an innovative, award-winning toy. These beautifully illuminated construction blocks use LED technology but are still compatible with traditional building blocks. Each block magically glows as it is connected to a power base or any lit block. Just stack them, and they light up! An excellent choice for children with cortical visual impairment.
The Bop It! is a favorite. The Bop It! calls out commands that come faster and faster as the game progresses. When you hear a command, you need to “bop it, pull it, or twist it to stay in the game.”
The Go Fish! matching card game, for 2-4 players ages 4 and up, utilizes large, easy-to-handle flash cards – jumbo size 4.75 x 3.25 inches. The set includes 32 playing cards, instruction cards, and a cardboard storage tray. The Braille Superstore also carries a variety of other games, making family game night accessible for all.
Sensory Memory Matching Game: Enjoy this sensory toy alone or have friends join in on the fun! Turn the cards upside down to begin the game. Each player gets a turn to flip two cards over to try and get a match. The player with the most matches at the end of the game wins! Touch enables children to get an understanding for what objects are and what they feel like by experiencing various shapes and textures. Let your hands inspect the different feel of each sensory card. Follow along in the activity guide for ideas of how to get the most use out of this product. Creative play has never been this easy or mess-free!
Teeter Popper: Love the pop of bubble wrap? Try the Teeter Popper! It’s a curved board with suction cups underneath. Kids can rock on it to hear fun popping sounds. This toy is great for kids who are blind or have low vision. They enjoy the sound feedback while moving the board. It’s also fun under a black light for kids with light perception. Perfect for physical therapy and sensory play, it’s a great addition to any child’s playroom
Kinetic Sand: Kinetic sand is a great sensory play material that just begs to be touched and manipulated. It’s not your regular beach sand either! This sand can be molded, pulled, and squeezed. The best part is that it sticks to itself and not to your hands making it more appealing to kids with messy play aversions.
Toy Orchestra: Lead your own orchestra! Choose from 13 toy instruments and hear them play. Create different symphonies by switching instruments. This set includes drums, piano, guitar, and more. There are 15 melodies, from classics to nursery rhymes. It’s not just fun, it’s educational. Kids learn shapes and colors, matching each instrument to its spot. All instruments store inside the orchestra set. Comes with a song booklet, composer details, and batteries.
Toniebox: This audio player starter kit features content, stories, and songs from an ever-growing collection of modern favorites and timeless classics. Swapping stories is as simple as changing the Tonie on your Toniebox. With partners like Disney, DreamWorks, GoNoodle, and Sesame Workshop, it’s a collection filled with variety. Tonies offers a library filled with stories, songs, and more. It focuses on educational lessons, mindfulness exercises, and aids for naptime and routines. You can also create your own content with Creative-Tonies.
Rocktopus: 15 musical instruments, 5 musical styles, 3 ways to play—1 rocking toy! It has three play modes: math, music, and game. Rocktopus responds to every musical instrument as kids insert or tap them, helping guide them through gameplay. Kids are in control of their musical creations! Add or subtract instruments, control the tempo, and add sound effects.
Baby Ball Sensory Tactile Sleep Aid: This baby soother toy comes with six colorful softballs, cultivating color recognition and sensory tactile engagement. Placing a softball into the designated hole triggers light and sound, which will develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. When matching balls to different holes, the songs changed, which easily attracts the baby’s attention. The toy lights up from bright to dim, and the light is gentle, which will protect baby’s eyes. The toy is a great baby sleep aid and/or a tummy time toy.
Musical Crawling Turtle: Press the little tortoise button and it will move, nod its head, and play songs and music with LED light! It will attract your baby to chase and crawl. This is perfect for babies to develop gross motor skills and learn how to control large muscles which enable walking and body balance when playing. On both sides of the turtle, the toy is specially designed with rotating beads to practice finger dexterity. Delightful songs and soft light can help the baby fall to asleep.
LeapFrog Letter-Go-Round: First, spin around the wheel to build motor skills while lights flash and music plays. Each spin will land on a letter of the alphabet, introduce the letter sound, and name an animal that starts with that letter. Tap on the top to drum for more learning fun.
Bounce and Spin Puppy: Featuring a sturdy base, easy-grip handles, interactive buttons, and multicolor lights, this stationary ride-on dog plays songs, sounds, and educational phrases as your baby bounces up and down or spins all around! As your baby bounces or presses the buttons, playful songs, and phrases, the toy introduces the alphabet, numbers, colors, and more! Climbing up on the puppy and bouncing up and down helps strengthen your baby’s balance and coordination skills.
Sensory Bin Gifts
As a holiday gift, consider creating one or more sensory bins. It is important to engage the child’s senses. Playing and exploring through the other senses can be a little less inviting or even a little scary for a child who is blind or has low vision. Children with blindness or low vision sometimes need a little extra encouragement to engage other senses to learn those foundational skills for activity engagement. Sensory bins offer a great way to encourage multi-sensory play with many possibilities for many learning opportunities!
*However, children put things in their mouths; this will need close supervision, especially with some of the non-food items mentioned below.*
- Plastic dish pan
- Rice Krispies
- Spray bottle with water
- Small plastic animals, bugs and/or windup toys
- Plastic shovel (optional)
Fill dish pan about 1/2 full with Rice Krispies. Hide small plastic animals, bugs or windup toys in the cereal. Allow children to spray Rice Krispie treats to hear the ‘snap, crackle and pop’, and then dig (using the shovel) for the hidden toys!
- Also, coffee beans can be instead of cereal to dig for treasure and to play ‘coffee shop’. This would add the sensory experience of smell to the activity (spray bottle not needed).
- Fill the dish pan with beans, rice, pom poms, rocks, sand or any variety of textures to gain different sensory experiences.
- Use brightly colored fruit loops for kids with low vision.
- Use different utensils for ‘digging’ including tongs, kitchen utensils, and brushes.