I had planned on keeping quiet today about online deals (Amazon and otherwise), because frankly I think we are all “sales”-ed out right now. But then I logged onto Zulily this morning and saw they are having a “Special Needs Toys and Activities” sale. I mean, obviously I have to share this on the blog!
A quick word before proceeding – the term “special needs” is becoming more and more outdated and frankly offensive to the disabled/neurodiverse community. I’ve been working hard to remove the phrase from my vocabulary, and encourage others – including businesses like Zulily – to do the same.
Unfortunate name aside, this sale features so many incredible products we use in JB’s therapy sessions. Here are four of our favorites:
For speech therapy:
Learning Resources Basic Vocabulary Photo Cards: These are big flashcards with a photo of an object on one side, and that same photo on the other side with the word for that object printed below. We use them to help JB practice identifications or make decisions by selecting which one in a field of 2 or 3. Sometimes simple is better, as these cards show. There are no distracting cartoon characters or cutesy illustrations like other flashcards I’ve seen, so JB can focus on the image and understand what each represents and means.
For occupational therapy:
Learning Resources Fine Motor Tools: These were an impromptu stocking stuffer purchase a few years ago, and they have been a hit ever since! JB likes using these outside with water beads, dirt, grass, rocks and more.
For physical therapy:
Constructive Playthings Soft Foam Play Set: We purchased a similar set when JB was starting PT. A mom in my parenting group recommended these water-resistant giant foam shapes, saying they were her daughter’s favorite toy. (Thanks, Jodi, for the tip!) These were especially helpful during the pandemic, as all of JB’s therapy was remote, and we had to do the different exercises and stretches and positioning ourselves, using what we had at home. (Pro tip: They also come in handy as DIY photo shoot props; makeshift furniture when you are moving and everything else is packed; impressive toy car ramps; and killer pillow-fort supplies.)
For really any therapy activity:
GuideCraft Rainbow Blocks (also available with colored sand) We have so many of these sturdy wooden blocks, and for good reason: JB can’t get enough! We use them for music making, tower building, car crashing, and more. Some sets even have different colors or items inside the clear plastic panels, making them especially eye-catching for kids with CVI.
Please note: I am not a licensed therapist or educator, and these recommendations come from me as a parent, not as a professional. Affiliate links are used in this post. If you purchase from these links, I may be compensated at no cost to you.