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10 Toys Great for Kids with Special Needs

  • bean bag toss

    Camo Chameleon Bean Bag Toss

    Kids with Down syndrome can have difficulty with fine motor skills, so games and puzzles with just a few large pieces to work with are often a hit. Especially good are games like this bag toss — its level of difficulty can be adjusted to custom-fit the child and her developmental stage. Try starting out close, then slowly moving farther back! This game helps develop hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills. ($25; melissaanddoug.com)

  • vtech kids laptop

    Vtech Tote & Go Laptop

    For kids with autism, focus on cause-and-effect toys (push a button, get a response), especially those that promote interaction by encouraging a verbal reply. Vtech's Tote & Go Laptop Plus does just that, teaching letters, words and more through fun games and friendly characters. ($34; amazon.com)

  • elefun

    Elefun

    Juvenile arthritis can limit movement in certain parts of the body, so choose a toy that gently works the area that's compromised. Because slow and easy gestures are used to catch the cascading butterflies, Elefun is ideal for kids who have trouble with their upper joints. ($45; amazon.com)

  • lego box of fun

    LEGO DUPLO All-in-One-Box-of-Fun

    Children with cerebral palsy often have involuntary, spastic movements, so toys with big parts are better. At twice the brand’s normal size, LEGO's chunky DUPLO bricks fit the bill when it comes to awesome toys for kids with cerebral palsy. ($30; lego.com)

  • play tent and tunnel

    Hide Me Tent & Tunnel

    There are two sides to sensory integration impairment: It makes some kids feel overstimulated by the world and causes others to seek out more interaction. For those who like to escape, a tent-and-tunnel combo is ideal. ($90; kohls.com)

  • infinite play hoop

    Weplay Infinite Loop

    If you’re looking for cerebral palsy toys, muscular dystrophy toys or toys for any condition that affects the motor systems, try items that work with the child’s limited movements. A good choice if he uses a wheelchair: the Infinite Loop. It increases upper-body dexterity and concentration as he opens and closes the tracks to keep the ball on its path. Two balls of different weights, for two difficulty levels, are included. ($35; amazon.com)

  • pet rock kit

    Rock Pets Turtle

    Think open-ended crafts for kids with ADHD because focusing on directions can be hard. Instead of paint-by-numbers, get a kit that gives plenty of creative license, like paint-a-rock-pet. ($6; walmart.com)

  • weighted stuffed toy

    Weighted Lizard

    Weighted stuffed animals are great toys for kids with autism. This lizard weighs almost 5 pounds and offers a sensory stimulation for children that is both physically and mentally soothing. The Manimo Weighted Lizard was designed to help keep children calm and focused during daily activities, and it’s a great companion for nighttime. ($50; amazon.com)

  • rush hour puzzle

    Rush Hour

    Consider games that adapt to fit the developmental stage of a child with Down syndrome. The object of Rush Hour is to move vehicles out of your car's way to escape the gridlock. Players progress at their own pace, tackling four levels of difficulty. ($20; amazon.com)

  • bilibo seat

    Bilibo

    The Bilibo child seat is great for kids with Down syndrome, autism or sensory processing disorders. It’s big enough for children of varying ages to sit comfortably, and helps stimulate senses, teach body awareness and encourage creative play. The rocking and spinning motions can also be especially soothing for children with special needs. ($29; target.com)

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