Have you tried GummyLump toys yet? Have you heard of it? I was only recently introduced to it, but it has the best selection of Melissa and Doug toys, which are some of our favorites. I love the big clunky pieces, the rich saturated colors and so many other features they have which are great for our kids. If it’s good for your family, hands down they have the best selection of “fake food” and cooking and pretend items like that. That does not work well in our house, and my son does not make the connection that a fake, wooden pizza is to represent his favorite food item! His thinking isn’t that sophisticated yet–he doesn’t make the connections. But, for so many other reasons, we love Melissa and Doug toys from GummyLump. They even have several categories for just Special Needs Toys.
My son has multiple needs–sensory, cortical visual impairment, fine motor and so on. We try to make play all about learning as often as we can.
For Tech and Toy Tuesday this week, I thought I’d highlight ten of my favorite toys for under $10. At the end of February, the novelty has worn off of many of the toys they got for the holidays, yet I don’t want to invest a ton of money in new things. Just a few new pieces to keep him interested in playing and learning, and here is my list.
1. Chalk and chalk book-I like it because the chalk is a texture/sensory thing he’s not entirely comfortable with and needs to work on. And, with this book, we can do it indoors, doesn’t matter what the weather is! Currently on sale for $3.99
2. Dinosaur match by number mosaic-I like this because it encourages matching, you have to match the numbers to the tiles. It also helps practice fine motor, and the tiles are glassy/glossy which he enjoys looking at. Currently on sale for $7.99.
3. Finger paints-rich saturated colors which he loves. And this is great practice for kids who hate to get messy! If you child is having trouble with handwriting and gripping a pencil, have them practice letters with finger paints. On sale right now for $5.59.
4. This hands puzzle is a great buy at $9.59. My little guy’s hands fit into the puzzle board when the pieces aren’t there, which helps. You can begin to teach counting on fingers with this, right and left and so much more.
5. Gloves-I find these gloves easier to put on than regular winter knit gloves, but a step harder than mittens. Putting on gloves is a great fine motor and self care skill to practice, plus they can be used to avoid touching items they have sensory issues with. Currently $3.99.
6. Questions game-this one is mostly Christmas questions, but it can be used any time of the year or adapt the questions to suit your needs. These are great for practicing two-way conversations, asking related questions, engaging socially and so on. They are a perfect size for travel in the car or waiting rooms.
7. Scissors-fine motor! Practice, practice, practice! And these are safe and a steal at $2.39.
8. oversized stamp pads-We got the little set of 6 stamps with stamp pads, but you have to have pretty decent fine motor skills to actually fit the stamp into the stamp pads that come with it. Fine for a typical kid, not for those who need fine motor practice. So we got these as an add on and it’s fantastic. Love the cause and effect of stamping and then a picture showing up in a bright color.
9. Smock-because all of this stuff can get messy! This one ties in the back which may help for kids who hate having things go over their heads. Currently $7.99.
10. Abacus-ok, this one is slightly over $10, but such a great buy and so useful. It’s one thing to be able to get a kid to count to 5 or 10 or 50. But they have to be able to visualize what 5 of something looks like, what 20 of something looks like. An abacus can help with that, plus these are also rich saturated colors that our kids find desirable, particularly children with cortical visual impairment.
So make sure you visit GummyLump because they definitely have one of the best selections of toys for kids with special needs, sensory needs, fine motor needs, visually impaired and so much more.