And if you are American, today is the official start to the holiday gift buying season. Here’s a post I wrote for BabyCenter for the occasion. Please click through for an amazing holiday gift guide (inspired by many Mama Lewis readers’ ideas – so thank you!)
It’s a gamble all parents take. Every holiday, we pin our hopes on a toy, praying our child will love it. My daughter May is disabled and we have the same gamble, but the probability that it will be a costly, unused toy – not to mention, the heartbreak that comes with that – is strong. May might love the gift, but if she can’t access it, what’s the point?
Here are 3 simple steps to choosing the perfect gift:
1. Choose a present the child can access, not one that challenges them to make progress in an area of weakness. This is for fun, not therapy. If it is too difficult to use, it will probably just be ignored.
2. Try to find a toy that enables the child to create something, like a sound or light show. It’s a simple, delightful sensory pleasure.
3. Actually press the buttons or move the joystick yourself. Does it move easily, without you having to exert much force? For a child with physical disabilities, you may find that non-electronic toys – like a clinking toy piano – are easier to use.
And finally, check out my gift guide for great ideas!