Holidays are approaching. Toys for children with special needs?

Piggy Bank

This link is How to Pick a Toy: Checklist for Toy Shopping

This free resource is provided by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and it is an awesome way to decide if toys are developmentally appropriate/helpful to the growth of a child. It doesn’t mean not fun, it just means having an eye for what will be beneficial. This is especially true for children with special needs.

Those of you working in clinics, consider printing this out and either posting it on a bulletin board or giving it to parents. Often toy shopping, already stressful, is more so due to there being more limited toy options, depending on the need of the child. is the Toys R Us guide for Differently Abled kids. Apparently this is their 20th year of putting out this list. I am impressed.

Melissa and Doug at also have an entire huge section that divides toys up by what kind of skill they work on – fine motor, auditory, imagination, emotional, etc. Also a great resource.

Most major toy stores should have a toy guide or resources for buying toys for special needs – consider searching their site or writing/calling their Customer Service to ask. And consider shopping locally, the merchants need your business and are often well educated on developmental needs. 🙂

The toy above is from

It’s one of the all-time favorites of most of my kids and one of the few toys I actually use. It’s seriously addicting, don’t ask me why. I use it for all sorts of silly games. I for sure recommend it.

Nov 09, 2014 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none