Toys for children with disabilities must be really engaging, in order to overcome boredom. Here, I share with you why we care about their boredom and what toys can help with that! To learn more about children with disabilities, start with my beginning guide here!
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The Best Toys for Children with Disabilities
- Here's the deal, all kids experience boredom. However, children with disabilities often have greater need for more creative toys or need more input from you for what to do. So what are the best toys for children with disabilities?
- Recently, during a harsh cold spell, we had to stay indoors for roughly 72 hours. At least 48 of those hours, we could not leave the house *at all*. Folks, this is extremely tough when you have a hyperactive kid who craves stimulation. I had to get creative and find things to do for my little one.
What does boredom look like in children with Disabilities?
- So my kid is bored? So what? Can't they just play by themselves?
- Yes and no. Yes, some of the time, your child should be encouraged to play by him/herself. However, with many disabled children, after awhile they need some input on activities or they will start to act up. This can mean making a mess, which is aggravating enough, to becoming aggressive, which would pose a real problem situation.
- To overcome boredom, we need the best toys for children with disabilities!
Why does boredom happen with children with disabilities?
- Many children with disabilities have very short attention spans, crave different sensory input and have poor impulse control.
- For children who have disabilities and are also are gifted, they may want to learn many new things and it may be hard keeping up with them.
- If we have a day with not much planned, it can quickly go south if I don't do something about it. She will end up getting aggressive with me or our pets, possibly for something to do. I have yelled, screamed and cried during these times. I get it, I have been as overwhelmed as you.
- But it's ok, we can work on this! Coming up, I've got the best toys for children with disabilities!
Best Toys for Children with Disabilities to Overcome Boredom
Melissa & Doug Tape Activity Book
- This amazing book has pictures with many lines empty, so that your child can use the different colored tape to fill in the lines.
- This book is fantastic because your child can use it many ways. This toy for children with disabilities will help overcome boredom!
- They do not have to follow the tape “outlines”. In fact, my daughter didn't follow them on any of the pages and still had a blast!
- The best part is that the tape is easy to tear and most kids can do it themselves. At first, you may have to show them how to do it.
Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Felt Friends Craft Activity Set
- This engaging activity set involves pre-cut shapes in colorful felt, pre-drawn eyes, ears and noses. You use them to make animals. So these toys for children with disabilities will really help them use their fine motor skills while having fun!
- First, your child can decide what kind of creature they want to make and then find the shape/color that corresponds with that. They can choose whatever eyes, ears, noses, etc. that they want.
- Alternatively, they can choose their favorite color or a shape that they really like and then can decide what animal it looks like.
- Also, this activity comes with a small book of backgrounds that are not filled in, such as a farm that is all white. Your child can color it in and then get inspiration on the page for what animals would live in that environment. Then, they can create the animal using the ideas of shapes or use their own ideas.
- FYI, my child needs a lot of help with this activity but really likes it so that's why I've included it in my list. Also, the felt is not that sticky so it either makes it easy to switch things or can possibly be upsetting to children who wanted a permanent critter. You might want to let your child know before starting to avoid a meltdown. Or, you can use glue to make it more permanent.
- This is a short game that can be played with two or more people. The players try to put the marbles on the caterpillars hands. But careful, he wobbles in time to the music!
- This is a silly game that is simple enough to be fun! It's a toy that's so fun and will help your disabled child overcome boredom!
- Keep in mind, it comes with tongs to use. However, these are very difficult for my daughter and, I suspect, most children to use. Feel free to allow your child to use their fingers, as that will be challenging enough. As they grow older, they may be able to try using the tongs.
Squishies: AILIMY Squishies Slow Rising Ice Cream Cat Jumbo
- How cute is this guy?! Makes me want to squeeze him…
- Squishies are anything that can be squished. These type are the slow rising that slowly go back to their original shape. These ones also have a chocolate-y smell, which makes them even better!
- Is there anyone, adult or child, who doesn't love a squishy?
- These are great for kids with sensory issues or anyone who likes to squeeze out their anger or frustration. So toys for children with disabilities can combat boredom but also help with difficult emotions.
Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Pizza Party
- This kit comes with many different colors of playdoh, tools to make pizza, crust, noodles, cheese, veggies and other toppings.
- This is a lot of fun to pretend. There is even a small pizza box!
- Notes: kids will probably need help getting the playdoh out or making the pressing things, using the tools.
B. Mat-A-Matics Musical Mat
- This is a mat that you put on the floor and step on it! Sounds come out, some of them music notes, sometimes whole songs and sometimes surprise sounds (hint: think potty sounds).
- There is also a game with this mat that lets you follow a song and anticipate the next note, with light up notes on the mat. This part is fun but a little too complex for some kids. So if they start to get frustrated, just go back to the other modes or use those surprise sounds!
- Kids like that they are encouraged to stomp around with this toy. So these toys for children with disabilities can get out big energy!
Gloria Dollhouse Furniture Utensil Food and Vegetable Set
- This food is miniature canned goods, utensils, , fruit, veggies, etc. that are about what size Barbie would eat.
- I don't know what it is but virtually all kids, and many adults, love mini food!
- The possibilities are endless with this, you can have a picnic for Barbie, you can pretend fairies brought food to your house, you can give them to Lego or Playmobil characters, you really can't go wrong!
- Not suitable for those under 3 or those curious about eating fake food! Choking hazard!
Playmobil anything (toy pictured below is the Housewarming Party Building Set)
- This is similar to the concept of mini food above. Playmobil are like mini versions of life! They have just about every concept and situation you can think of: there is the typical dollhouse type stuff but also fantasy stuff like castles, fairies, pirates or job related stuff like police, construction, etc.
- The party set pictured above has miniature working party lights! Who doesn't love that?! Your kids can even use these in a fort or under blankets, since there are lights with them.
- They have kits with mini food, mini accessories, mini tools, mini clothes…you get the idea! Everything is mini!
- So these types of toys for children with disabilities will help work on fine motor skills!
- We use several Ziploc bags to store our miniature treasures. Kids will probably need help setting up and putting away things, as items are so small. But it's a great way to use those fine motor skills! Also, a reminder, not suitable for those under 3! Choking hazard!
FAQ About Boredom in Children with Disabilities
- How can I prepare for my kid's boredom?
- Make a list with your child of things that they like to do. It can include items on my toy list above, or other things that you know they really like. Post this list on the fridge or a common place in the house, or store it in your phone. Then, you can either pick something at random from the list, or scroll through them with your finger and offer suggestions to your child.
- Make sure a babysitter or caregiver knows about the list too!
- Why is my child constantly bored?
- As a reminder, I am not a doctor or psychologist. But from what I have read and experienced, it may be because they have different neurological makeup, such as a learning disability, ADHD, etc. Try to talk to their doctor to find out more about what is going on. Remember, your child is not lazy or bad!
- Why is my gifted child bored?
- Gifted children are often bored because they need to be challenged! Seek out similar toys to the ones above but encourage them to use them on their own, without your help. We can also cover this more in a future post. Lastly, you may want to consider introducing them to older children, since gifted children usually don't see eye to eye with their peers.
- You can also talk with a children's librarian at your local library for more advanced books and activities. Librarians always want to help! Nowadays, libraries have a variety of activities, including STEM, board games, tablets, etc.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Boredom in Children with Disabilities
- children with disabilities need more input than other children into what activities they can do
- Make sure there are items available like the above: Tape Activity Book, Felt Friends, Giggle Wiggle, Squishies, Playdoh, Musical Mat, Dollhouse Food, Playmobil and more
- What toys do you offer when your child is bored? Tell me in the comments!