Author’s note: This is the first in a three-part Holiday Gift Guide Series.
Are you looking to add more disabled characters to your child’s toy box? Does a loved one have a disability, and you want to better explain it to a child in your own life? Do you know a disabled child who would benefit from seeing themselves reflected in their playthings?
I am excited to share with you my first-ever gift guide for toys featuring disabled characters! I’ve tried to cover a wide range of disabilities, ethnicities, manufacturers, retailers and price points.
Please note: I use affiliate links below. When you shop through my links, you are supporting my writing and work, at no additional cost to you. Thank you again for your business.
Build a Bear Happy Hugs Teddy Medical Port Gift Set
It seems like there are Build a Bear accessories for everything, so imagine how happy I was to learn there’s a gift set that includes a snuggly bear in a cute outfit with a toy-sized pump bag and extension, port, and syringe. These three pretend medical items can be used to teach children about IV infusions, feeding tubes, and other procedures or treatments. You can also buy just the accessory set and use it with any existing stuffed animal.
Everyone’s Family Wooden People
I adore this set of wooden blocks, each with a photo of someone you may meet in your neighborhood. It features a wide range of ethnicities, skin tones, ages and abilities. It also highlights many mobility aids your child may use (or encounter) including gait trainers, wheelchairs, service dogs, white canes, prosthetic limbs and crutches.
Jack and the Giant Storybook Kit
This 3D puzzle and book kit features a modern retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, in which Jack and the Giant build a grocery store! The set includes a customer who uses a wheelchair, and a tree swing/elevator to lift the customer and her chair up the beanstalk.
LEGO Friends Friendship Treehouse
I’m a huge fan of the LEGO Friends line, specifically for including a variety of characters with physical disabilities. This particular kit, like the beanstalk set above, also features someone who uses a wheelchair, and an accessible treehouse for them to explore.
Voices of Inspirational Women Sound Book
Children can learn about Senator Tammy Duckworth, Dr. Temple Grandin, and more in this picture book, which features stories, sounds and images of famous women bringing about social change over the past century.
Help your child learn their ABCs and American Sign Language with these wooden blocks. Blocks include easy-to-follow signing instructions for each corresponding letter.
Barbie Para Alpine Skier Doll
There are more inclusive Barbie dolls now than ever before, so it was hard to choose. I love this particular doll because it also includes Barbie’s adaptive equipment that allows her to participate in competitive sports.
Bitsy Atwold Magnet Sets
Bitsy Atwold makes magnetic paper doll-like playsets to help explain big health concepts to small children in a clear, fun way. Madison, the company’s founder, is one of the most genuine and committed people I know, putting tons of research and care into each item. Current and upcoming sets include: feeding tubes, mobility, cancer, diabetes, trach and respiration, and clefts. (Note: This isn’t an affiliate link, I just love this company and their mission!)
Miniland Dolls with Down Syndrome
Miniland’s baby dolls with Down Syndrome come in a variety of skin, hair and eye tones, This particular gift set includes two dolls, a girl and a boy, each with a full holiday outfit and accessories.
Hot Wheels RC Wheelz Stuntin’ Wheelchair
Modeled after Wheelchair Motocross World Champion Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, this remote-controlled wheelchair features Aaron riding, performing all the stunts and spins and tricks and jumps your child can imagine!