Tip: Holiday Gift Resources for Special Kids

Provided by Laura Simmons-Martinez, Technology Project Director

Team of Advocates for Special Kids, task@taskca.org



This easy to understand toy rating system for children of all abilities from the National Lekotek Center focuses on the developmental areas of physical, sensory, communicative, cognitive, and social/emotional abilities of a child. AblePlay evaluations provide research, ratings and reviews on each of these key areas of development.


Enabling Devices: Toys for Special Children

Enabling Devices is a company dedicated to developing affordable learning and assistive devices to help people of all ages with disabling conditions. Originally known as Toys for Special Children, the company has been creating innovative communicators, toys and switches for the physically challenged for more than 35 years.  Through their expertise in designing electro-mechanical assistive and adaptive devices for people of all ages, they believe their products enable people with physical challenges to communicate, learn, work, play, and function more easily, effectively, and enjoyably in the world.


eSpecial Needs Toys

Special needs toys need to be safe, fun and build children’s intellectual, physical and emotional skills. Their toys, games and puzzles will keep them entertained for hours, while improving logic, problem solving, hand-eye coordination and memory skills. They sell a vast selection of unique special needs toys, including blocks, cognitive play, educational, magnetic activities, fine and gross motor, and pretend. Foster your child’s imagination and developmental skills with one of these great items.


Melissa and Doug Special Needs Toy Guide: A Resource for Therapists and Families

This helpful guide has toys broken into fine motor, gross motor, cognitive skills, speech and language, social and emotional, life skills, sensory awareness and more!


Special Needs Gifts

Hand-picked, reasonably-priced gifts that help kids with Down syndrome, autism, ADD, SPD, cerebral palsy, developmental delays and other special needs. Each of the gifts encourages fine-motor and gross-motor skills, speech, communication, imagination, cognition and social skills.


Toys and Play for Young Children with Visual Impairments

Play, games and recreation are important parts of learning for children who are blind or visually impaired, with or without other disabilities. These resources can help educators and family members find the right toys to support and stimulate the cognitive, physical, psychological, and social development of children with blindness or visual impairment.


Toys R Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids

This complimentary, one-of-a-kind resource speaks to a child’s individual needs and offers qualified toy recommendations based on research from the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization that evaluates all of the toys featured in the Guide.




Appy Christmas

Appy Christmas, everyone! This app features a talking Santa, countdown timer to the big day, original music, plus an advent calendar giving you paid apps for free every day! Talk to Santa and listen to him talk back in a silly voice. Count down the days, hours and minutes until Christmas and watch Santa magically transform into a reindeer, and when his voices changes, so will yours.


Christmas!! Countdown to Santa

Once the 1st of December arrives, you can open your first window and start unlocking the secrets in this Christmas application.  Also included is a gift list so you can keep track of all your present ideas. You can store the name of the person, and the gift idea, and then tick it off the list when you’ve bought it. This app works every Christmas year after year, so what great value compared to calendars in the shops!


Christmas Music: 10,000 FREE Christmas Songs

Do you love a Christmas tune or two? You can listen to thousands of free holiday songs with the Christmas Music app. All of the app’s music is vetted to be from Creative Commons or independent musicians, which means they are all completely legal so you can download classic and new holiday music songs. Apple says it has been rated 5 stars by over 700 reviewers and is consistently ranked as a Top 100 Music App in over 50 countries. This app is free and available for Apple iPhones and tablets.


Christmas Pics Quiz Game

Christmas is here! Here is the ultimate quiz to get you in the Christmas mood! Hundreds of guessing games for the entire family to play!


Elf Yourself

This hilarious app will bring the family together. Upload each family member’s face from your phone and put them onto one of the elves’ bodies. You can then watch your family come to life as they dance and sing to a Christmas-theme in a video. The video can then be shared via e-mail or Facebook. This app is free and available for both Apple and Android.


Holly – A Christmas Tale HD

If your kid is a little too old for Elmo or a basic virtual book, download Holly – A Christmas Tale HD. This is a hidden object game made for slightly older children who want to play something a little more challenging.


NORAD Tracks Santa

The NORAD Tracks Santa app will let you watch the countdown to Santa’s flight from the North Pole on December 24th and follow his whereabouts on Christmas Eve as he travels around the world to deliver presents. There are videos for each destination that he visits. You’ll also be able to play Thin Ice to help Santa’s elves deliver presents, and learn all about NORAD and its mission. This app is free and is available for both Apple and Android.


Dr. Erica Holding’s Guide for Happy Holidays
Gift Ideas for Teens and Adults
Visit stores, Santa or holiday displays at times when they are not crowded.
Introduce special foods months or weeks before the holiday
“Priceless” Gift Suggestions for the Holidays and for all Occasions