I am really excited about this year’s gift guide. This year, I am so excited because I actually asked each company to give an item for a giveaway and they said yes! So in addition to telling you which items I liked and why, you have a chance at winning them yourself. I worked hard to find you some unusual and useful items, things that won’t just get tossed aside on the 26th and some of the best gift ideas for special needs families and kids.
Let’s get started!
Here, why not click play and listen to some holiday music while you’re reading this and entering the giveaway–
These are fantastic CDs–I think they are a must for any holiday music collection. This is some of the best Christmas music I’ve heard in a long time. Yeah, sure, I’m all for modern songs when it comes to holiday music, but nothing beats the vintage classics. His music also has light jazzy overtones, so while it feels vintage, it also feels modern and not like you’re listening to a tune from the 1960s or 70s. It feels classic without feeling old-fashioned or hokey.
Why I think this makes a great holiday gift item for special needs families: You can discern all the words that they are singing. Tunes are familiar and cheery. I hope that it will help with generalization and enunciation. I also like that my kids enjoy it because the music is familiar and modern, so it’s kid friendly–but not so kid friendly that you want to poke your eyes out. This will work well for adult holiday gatherings too.
We have two CDs to give away–Vintage Christmas and Vintage Christmas Wonderland. You can hear samples by clicking any of the links which will take you to his CDs on Amazon, including clips to hear it.
Love this concept! This company was founded by two art teachers. Since “specials” like art and music are being reduced in our schools all the time, it’s important that we encourage this at home. But if you’re like me, you have no idea where to begin. Yeah, I can say I want to do art projects with my child but the fact is I am not crafty. Eye Can Art sends you projects in a can with everything you need. Better yet, all the projects are open-ended to spark creativity, no color by number sets here. We tried the sketch-foam print making kit and my kids loved it.
Why I think this makes a great holiday gift item for special needs families: It’s a great item to have on hand for days you are stuck inside or if your child with special needs is in the hospital and needs a pick-me-up. Allows for expressive art experiences they may not get elsewhere. The cans are perfect for busy moms who maybe don’t have the time or creativity (ahem) to put together projects.
Their items are built in the USA too.
This is just the cutest book and part of a series. I love this book for many reasons. One is that there are many ways to read it. You can read just the basic kiddy text or story line for more basic readers. For older kids you can go into details about the different spots in Philadelphia-the content is more advanced. Locals will love it because we love our city and all that it has to offer. But consider getting it as a gift for out-of-towners too, so that they can get excited about visiting Philadelphia. There are other cities available in the series. I have read this book to them at least a dozen times and they still bring it to me often to read. They love dogs and it’s a great story with familiar landmarks.
Why I think this makes a great holiday gift item for special needs families: I am hoping that it will help with generalization–a child will possibly see the site and read about it in the book, to help make the connection.
A few years in a row we’ve gotten season passes for Sesame Place. These are a great gift idea because Sesame is open just about all year long. The park itself closes in the winter months but they still have dining events and character parties. Then, it opens in April and is open through the Christmas season. We are giving away 4 passes for your family to enjoy a Very Furry Christmas. The outdoor rides are still open weather permitting and we love seeing all the lights. This park has rides for all ages and you definitely want passes for next year when the new Monsterland section opens! A season pass usually pays for itself in two visits and make sure you get parking included on one of them. You’ll also get discounts in the stores and at the restaurants.
Why I think this makes a great holiday gift item for special needs families: I have blogged at least a dozen times as to why Sesame Place is AWESOME for our families. They are just so accommodating, I don’t even know where to begin. The bathrooms, there are quiet areas you can find, they have special/allergy dining areas, it’s all accessible.
Prize is 4 passes to the Christmas event only, not a season pass.
Lee Jeans and apparel
I have received 4 pairs of Lee jeans and pants from the folks at Lee in the past year or so. If you haven’t thought about Lee…you need to check them out. First of all, I LOVE that no matter what I try–I am a size 8M. This is such a confidence booster for ordering online–I won’t be bothered with returns. I recently tried the greer skinny jeans (shown) and they are so comfortable. They offered to send me something else and I said “surprise me” and I love what they chose for me. It’s a pair of black pants/jeans that are perfect for wearing to meetings. Again, they are so comfortable, wash well and look great. They also are much more reasonably priced than many other brands. A gift certificate to their website is a great hint to give to your husband–you’ll love their stuff. Merry Christmas to me!
Why I think this makes a great holiday gift item for special needs families:I think for teen/older girls who have sensory issues, these are great because their items are fashionable and comfortable. If tags and itchy fabrics bother your child, they can wear these items in comfort without looking therapeutic. For special needs moms…..this is an affordable indulgence! Treat yourself to some new stuff.
Now, here’s the cool part–if you win this prize, you can pick any item you want from their website!
Yes, we are still all about the Turtles here in this house, with my younger son. They both just love Sesame and the Turtles. TMNT has many more cool toys coming out this holiday season, including new figurines, play sets and more. There’s a new and updated Shellraiser vehicle too. We are giving away one pizza box playset called Anchovy Alley (shown) and two figurines.
Why I think this makes a great holiday gift item for special needs families: TMNT is becoming a classic, already having been around a few decades. I find that my son takes to it and enjoys it. It allows him to fit in with his peers too, as he gets older. While I want him to always be able to carry an Ernie or Count doll around forever….when he’s a teenage an Ernie doll isn’t going to be as cool as a TMNT.
The last item on our list is the Guess How I Feel Game from Fun and Function. I think it goes without saying why this is a great item for a special needs family. Our kids do not do well at social cues and social cognition, so you have to practice practice practice. And this game makes it easier and gives families a format to practice. Fun and interactive, this social skills board game features a magnetic mirror with facial expressions, prizes and more. Players take turns sharing and guessing each other’s reaction to 50 situations vividly pictured on cards, from dropping an ice cream cone to learning to ride a bike, seeing your parents happy or angry, coming home or saying goodbye. No reading skills are necessary.
Ok, now for the giveaway! You’ve seen all the great stuff, now it’s time to try to win. Last day to enter is Sunday, November 10 at 11:59 PM EST. I will pick winners on Monday and email the folks so that you have your prizes for the holidays. This is only open to ages 18+ and USA residents. If you have questions, check out Disclosure and Giveaway Policy at the top of the blog. Giveaway over, sorry!