Top Summer Toys for Kids with Special Needs

Some of the biggest challenges of summertime for parents are keeping children entertained and developmentally stimulated. You probably want to add fun activities, exciting adventures and a couple of new toys to the mix to keep things interesting. Below are a few hot toy ideas that are fun and focused on your child with special needs–and just may give you an edge on the summertime blues!

Fidget Spinners, Puzzles & Tangles

If you’ve witnessed the latest toy craze, fidget spinners, then you know these tactile-type products are a hot item for kids of all ages and stages; however, they can be quite beneficial for children with sensory issues. They provide a pleasing, hands-on sensory experience that requires concentration from your child, making them a perfect stress-, anxiety- and boredom-buster for those restless moments on summer days!

Fat Brain Toys Squigz

Another hands-on toy – the visually unique and sense-stimulating Squigz by Fat Brain Toys – is described as “fun little suckers” according to the packaging. By the use of suction, they can connect to each other and any solid, nonporous surface, encouraging creativity, fine motor skills and playful experimentation – a fun addition to any toy collection!

Hedstrom Sensory Products

Hedstrom offers exceptional, quality products for kids, most notably their Sensory Stepperz that kids can balance, hop and step on. Features include different patterns and textures that help develop balance, coordination and gross motor skills. These can go outside or inside of your home, making them a great summer toy option!

Sand and Water Discovery Tables

Let’s not forget the classics! Sand and water tables – like this one – have been around for many years, but there’s a reason for that! A favorite for many, they not only provide hours of entertainment, but give your child a multisensory experience. And instead of using just sand and water, consider adding dry beans, shaving cream and other items of different textures, stimulating different sensory input.

SkyCurve Platform Swing

And finally, when you think of summer, long afternoons of swinging in the sunshine always cross the mind. Parent’s Choice and Creative Child Award winner, the SkyCurve Platform Swing by Hearthsong is a longer swing that allows your child to comfortably lay down if necessary, or it can hold multiple children sitting up. Nothing beats the great outdoors for stimulating all of the senses, and relaxing on a swing can be icing on the cake after a full day of play!

Summer certainly doesn’t have to be a bore! With a few new items in the repertoire, you’re sure to keep your child entertained, while giving them developmental tools to grow and have fun all at the same time!

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Guidelines for Choosing a Gift for a Child with Special Needs

By Diane M. McCullom

Walk into a gift store this holiday season, and chances are, you’ll be overcome with more items than you could possibly imagine—the hottest toy trends of the season and all things merry and bright. This same overwhelming sensation can be quite stressful for parents and those shopping for children with special needs. So what are some guidelines for finding that perfect, yet appropriate, gift for the child with special needs in your life? Here are a few questions to ask yourself when shopping:

Is the gift multisensory? If it’s a toy, does it respond with lights, sounds or movement to engage the child? Does it have scent, texture and contrasting colors? Sometimes these things can be overwhelming to children with sensory disorders, so depending on the specific needs of the child, these may or may not be positive things.

Does it provide open-ended play? This means the gift has no definite right or wrong way to use it. Will the toy provide a challenge without frustration? Is it adaptable to the child’s individual style, ability and pace?

Does it meet the child’s individualistic needs and abilities? Does the gift allow for personal creativity and making choices? Is it developmentally appropriate?

Is it practical in terms of safety, durability and adjustability? Does it fit the child’s size and strength? Does it have adjustable sound, height, speed and level of difficulty? Is it easy to keep clean and store? Could it fit on a wheelchair tray?

For specific gift ideas, check out Toys”R”Us’ toy guide for “differently-abled” kids that categorizes items by different skill sets. For more than 20 years, they have offered this one-of-a-kind resource that provides parents and caregivers with gift recommendations that aid in the development of children with disabilities. With thousands of pins popping up under the search phrase “gifts for kids with special needs,” Pinterest is also a fantastic resource for finding gifts specific to the needs of each child.

Get creative with your gift buying and don’t forget to have fun with the process! With a little research and preparation, you can find the perfect gift and make Christmas special for these uniquely special kids.

Diane M. McCullom is the senior vice president of clinical operations at Dallas-based Epic Health Services, a leading provider of pediatric skilled nursing, therapy, developmental, enteral and respiratory services, as well as adult home health services, with operations in 21 states.

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Tag and Sell your Kiddos Clothes

 

By: Etta V. Rivera Mom Squad Member

By: Etta V. Rivera
Mom Squad Member

The first day of Spring…. Started off like any other day. Waking up late to the alarm, getting the kids to school. Making my way back home with my youngest son to a list of chores to do today.  When I was a kid, the first day of Spring meant I was that much closer to getting to color , hunt and brake open that Easter Basket! Now as a Mother to 3 very active children, The first day of Spring means; planning to buy their Easter baskets soon…before they sell out of them at the stores and start SPRING CLEANING. We Mothers all do it, putting if off till the very last minute, not wanting to get rid of their baby clothes just yet. Also wanting to get the best price for their clothes. I have recently found out about “Just Between Friends” an event that will be taking place in April. Just Between Friends is a two day event where you can sell your gently used children or maternity clothes or products. They except top name brand items and there is a $12 fee for selling (which is worth it if you have a lot of good clothes or toys). I have signed up to sell and shop at this event. You can get into this event for free with a guest pass. I have just started getting all the clothes together that I be selling at Just Between Friends. My next step is to tag all the clothes and products I have. I really can’t wait for this event and I will be keeping ya’ll updated on how the tagging and proper drop off goes. I can’t wait for this event to happen…not only to make some extra cash but to see what i can find for my kids. Cause we all know they grow so fast! So just a reminder ladies and men don’t wait the last minute to clean out those closets.

https://www.jbfsale.com/home.jsp

just between friends feb 2014 (2)

By:

Etta V. Rivera

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Frozen DVD Contest!!

Enter to win a Frozen Blue Ray- DVD Combo..

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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ABC Kids Expo

ABCKidsExpoabc_2013_expo_300x150

RGV Tots-Tweens was honored to have representatives attending the annual ABC Kids Expo ( www.abcshow.com) that took place in Las Vegas. The ABC Kids Expo had nearly 1,000,000 sq. ft of expo space showcasing the latest and greatest products for children including toys, gear, strollers, bath time accessories, clothing, and more.  Manufacturers  and reps from all over the globe attended with over 1,000 exhibitors from 66 countries.  There were over 3,600 booths filled with exciting new products for your family!

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We are thrilled to bring RGV parents the details and scoop and our favorite finds.  We’ve already started with some awesome “Enter-to-Wins” !

Here are some the neat products we have given AWAY!

“I’ m the Daddy” t-shirts from www.DaddyScrubs.com

Daddy Scrubs

Tooth Fairy Kits from www.BabyToothAlbum.com

Tooth Fairy

Innovative  juice box drink holder “My Drinky” from www.inchbug.com

My Drinky

Baby Monitor “Always in View” by Infanttech! www.infanttech.com

Infanttech

Awesome Stylish Diaper Bag from Ju-Ju Bee ( www.ju-ju-be.com)

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Sippy Grab Koalalabels- ( www.kiddaroocrew.com)

Koalalabels

Baby’s 1st TOOTHBRUSH! ( www.babybuddy.com)

Baby's First Tooth Brush

  Stay tuned to our RGV Tots-Tweens Face Book Page  and blog over the next several weeks for more items that will help you entertain and care for the kiddos.  We love being able to gather these products and resources for you in order to make life easier. We thank our colleagues at IFamily KC ( www.ifamilykc.com)  for attending with us!  As members of Kids & Family Media (www.KidsandFamilyMedia.com) we make it priority to be on the look out, in our markets and across the world, for the newest items to help you navigate parenting.  Please be sure to visit the web sites and face book pages for each product to learn more.  AND, be sure to stay connected with RGV Tots-Tweens ( www.tots-tweens.com) so you don’t miss out on more upcoming Enter-to-Win contests for some awesome new products!

 

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