Toys for Children with Special Needs



What to consider when choosing a toy

When considering buying an educational toy for a child with special needs it is important to identify the playing capability and child’s needs. My suggestions would be to consider the skills that a toy can help a child improve or develop.

Is there something specific you would like a toy to help a child with? Such as helping with biting, coordination, fine motor, mood attention, sensory or speech.

Biting when it comes to biting necklace for boys and girls can help reduce Biting and Fidgeting

Coordination If its coordination that you would like a child to improve, based on my research a lot of children find Sit and Spin and Spin Disk helpful when it comes to improving balance, coordination, spatial awareness, and sensory stimulation.

Fine motor When it comes to improving fine motor skills few of my favorites are Bead Sequencing set and Peg Boards which are great for children to improve their fine motor skills. While playing with Bead Sequencing children are encouraged to work on their fine motor skills along with learning about colors, patterns, and sorting by shape and color.

Mood and Attention toys such as Tangle Relax is a great sensory toy for relaxation, focus, and fine motor development.   

Sensory Indoor Therapy Snuggle Swing is great Sensory Integration. Snap and Click Fidget Toys are also great sensory toys.

B06XKW16B3B0050QJTBASpeech and Language toys such as blocks, pegs, and stacking cups are great speech & language toys because they encourage turn taking, social interaction, and collaboration.
Mr. Potato Head can be fun, entertaining, and educational. It provides kids with opportunities to learn body parts, emotions, pronouns. Also, Little People Caring for Animals Farm Playset is perfect for pretend play and language development.

Some children need toys that provide a calming, soothing experience, while others might need to avoid harsh noises and sensory output. some of the Developmental and Sensory Toys are:

Edushape Easy Grip Soft Foam Sensory Puzzle Blocks, 18 PieceB07H42492VB0178J7KY4

  • Pettit College, Feelings Book can help teach a child a range of emotions from sad to shy.
  • Edushape blocks can help children be creative with these soft foam blocks that are easy to grip. The texture, softness, and shape of Edushape blocks are great for children with special sensory needs. Playing with blocks will help with gross motor skills as well as improves a child’s spatial, logical, and reasoning skills.
  • Squigz is great for kids that need help focusing on fine motor skills. Squigz is also great to encourage interaction, creativity, and provide relaxation and sensory stimulation.
  • The Chubuddy Necklaces are great for kids that need oral stimulation. These necklaces are made from lead and latex free high-quality materials.
  • Sensory Rollers are great to help child relieve stress and tension as well as boost concentration. The Simpl Dimpl is the perfect quiet but stimulating fidget that provides perioperceptive input without being overwhelming
  • Skoolzy Lacing Beads can help develop fine motor skills which can also be used to teach colors, shapes, and counting.

Above are just some of the toys that I thought would be helpful to consider when trying to find a perfect toy.


Easter Baskets Ideas for Kids

Easter is approaching

You might be thinking what to get for kids? Should it be a basket filled with candy? Should it include toys and candy? Luckily we have Pinterest to get some ideas which are great, but one can get overwhelmed with all the ideas and possibilities. Believe me, I would know. So I decided to put a list together of some ideas that I am thinking of doing this year for my kids. I know kids love their candy so I will include some candy as well as some items from the list below.


Easter Basket stuffers to consider besides candy  

People are being very creative nowadays. They are using all sort of things to place gifts its not just traditional baskets. As I mentioned earlier I love my Pinterest and here are some ideas that I thought were unique.

Rain Boot Basket – filled with toys and candy

Beach bucket or bag – filled with a towel, sand toys, swimsuit, and sunglasses.

Dump Truck-filed with candy

Sports Bag – Filled with want ever sport child might be in to. It could be a soccer ball, water bottle.

Hat Baskets-filled with whatever the child likes. For girls, it could be hair bows, brush, nail polish. For boys, it could be a baseball cap, card games, flashlight, tickets to such as baseball game, K’Nex, etc.

Football or Baseball Helmet – fill with shirt, cup, socks.

Pop Corn Container – fill with a gift card, candy, popcorn. Perfect for older kids.

Be Creative and enjoy making those fun Easter baskets or not baskets. Remember it is supposed to be fun, not stressful on you or your wallet.

Benefits of Playing Outside

Growing up I remember playing outside regardless of the weather. We definitely spend more time outside in the summer since it was nicer and summer break. Growing up with my two younger sisters and a bunch of kids from the neighborhood we were never bored or inside of the house. We loved playing with dirt, and pretending we were cooking/baking. In the winter we enjoyed playing in the snow, whether it was snowball fight, sledding, building a snowman or a snow fort.

Being a mother of three I encourage my children to play outside as much as possible. I must admit in the winter they don’t spend much time. Girls love going outside and making their snowman and when they get cold they are in the house. Hopefully, when they get a bit older they will be interested in sledding, snowball fights and will enjoy spending more time outside in the winter as well. When they are in school they go outside for rises which is not enough.

This is a picture of them with their snowman

Raising children in today’s technology-driven world, we often see more children attacked to electronics. Meaning they are not getting all the benefits from being outdoors. Starting with my children if I let them, they would be either watching TV or using the iPad all day long. I try limiting screen time as much as possible. I think it is important for all of us to be reminded of some crucial benefits of playing outside.

Benefits of playing outside:

  1. Healthy Physical Development when kids spend time outside, they benefit from outdoor light which is beneficial for our immune system. Playing outside keeps kids active, increasing their physical stamina and fitness, strengthening their muscles and bones, and promotes overall better health.
  2. Happier according to research when we spend time in nature our mood improves. Children that spent time in nature are more likely to appreciate nature when they grow up.
  3. Increases Attention Spans. Playing outdoor games can improve their attention span, concentration, focus, reasoning skills. According to the study of children diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) that spent significant time outdoors exhibited fewer symptoms.
  4. Improve Sensory Skills. Science studies showed that kids who play outdoors regularly have better vision compared to children who are spending most of the time indoors. Younger children learn through their senses.
  5. Improves Social and Communication Skills. Kids that are outdoors with other kids learn how to interact effectively with others. This can be especially important for kids that are usually not around kids their age, being with other kids such as park playground are will encourage them to get out of their shall make new friends, take turns, share toys.

Ideas to encourage kids to enjoy outdoors:

  • Make it fun. Have kids play treasure hunt. For example, in a fall when we go to the park, I will tell them to collect different shapes/colors of leaves. Sometimes we do some arts and crafts with leaves they collect. I have some ideas on my Pinterest account if you would like to check them out. Leave Arts and crafts Ideas
  • Tell them it’s okay to get wet, dirty, and messy.
  • Organize an outdoor play. We often invite cousins/friends to join us when we go to the park.
  • If I know there is sand in the park, we are visiting I bring their toy’s for sand.
  • Go for a walk, or bike rides in natural.
  • Have a picnic at a playground or park. My children love having a picnic in the park.
  • Explore new parks in your area.
  • Bring balls, sidewalk chalk, bubbles to blow, kite to fly.

Ways to Have Fun Outdoors as a Family

           Try something from the list this weekend!

  • Family walk or ride on your bike, skateboard or scooters
  • Throw a frisbee
  • Visit your local National Park
  • Explore with Magnifying glasses.
  • Play in the sand and water table
  • Making mud pies and playing restaurant
  • Go fishing
  • Scramble up the hill and roll back down.
  • Jump on the trampoline
  • Throw or kick a ball around
  • Collect sticks, rocks and build something with them
  • Run through the sprinkler
  • Birdwatch
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk
  • Read stories outside under the trees
  • Blow bubbles
  • Horse riding
  • Camping
  • Swimming
  • Visit your local petting zoo

      Outdoor Winter Activities

  • Make snow angels
  • Snowmen
    • it does not have to be just a snowman, you can make a cat, dog, a cake, etc.
  • Build snow forts and their variations such as mazes
  • Snowball-throwing
  • Make ice art
  • Sledding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Feed the Birds
    • have kids make string cranberries, popcorn, and cereal onto the fishing line for a garland to attract and nourish your feathered friends.
  • Wintertime scavenger hunt
  • Snowball-throwing contest
  • Create a maze
  • Paint the snow
    • with a spray bottle, water, and food dye


“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.” by Maria Montessori

What is your favorite outdoor activity and why?

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Pretend Play

What comes to your mind when you hear words Pretend Play or Imaginary play?

Image by JillWellington from Pixabay

When I hear the words “pretend play” I think of my daughters pretending they are princesses in a castle, having a tea party.

You might be thinking should we encourage pretend play or discourage it?

According to my research on this topic, most research says that pretend play is recommended and is considered important for children’s development. By pretend playing children develop their skills such as social, emotional, language, and thinking.

Social and Emotional Development
is developed by children intersecting with others where they learn to engage in cooperative play by taking turns, sharing toys, teamwork.
Language Development
When children play with others they improve their communication skills as well as learning how to listen to others.
Thinking Skills
When children are pretending to play they are trying new ideas where they are encouraged to problem-solving. Starting out with who will play which role. In those kinds of situations, children use important thinking skills that will be used throughout their lives.

What do you need to encourage imagination?

You don’t need to go out and buy accessories for your kids to encourage imagination, you can just use things that you already have in your house such as :

Empty boxes different sizes children love creating a home out of them, cars, etc..My girls love painting boxes making them into houses for their smaller dolls. They often add windows, Cooking utensils, dishes, plastic food containers.
Stuffed animals and dolls of all sizes
Different fabric pieces, pillows, blankets doors, art on the wall, etc.  it is amazing all the things they come up with.
Accessories, clothes, shoes, hats, purses, (kids love dressing up and pretending they are a grown up)                                                                                                                          Magazines, books

Happy Imagination!

Do your children enjoy pretend play?

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Flexible Straws Review – Educational Toy

Flexible Straws Review – Educational Toy

Flexible Straws Large 800 Piece Straws Builders Construction Building Toy with Wheels


Cheapest Place to Buy:

My Rating: 9 out of 10 Highly recommend!

This was a gift for my 5 and 7-year-old and they absolutely love it so do I. They love making different structures such as one on the left side. They can spend hours being creative.




This  particular package is great it includes a total of 800 pieces 

  • Straws are 7.8 inches long and 0.27 inches wide (20 cm in length 7 mm wide) 
  • Connectors 
  • Storage Container is a plus sturdy storage box with easy-clip lid and carries handle for handy storage. Cons straws and connectors have to be taken apart in order to fit in the container. I wish the container was a little bit bigger.
  • Wheels 8 large & 8 medium wheels
  • Ideas are included which is nice to get kids started.

Some other similar sets do not include wheels, connectors or storage box. So my suggestion is to read what is included before making a purchase.

I would definitely recommend this product for ages 3 and up. It is a wonderful way for kids to use their imagination, work on their problem-solving skills, collaboration and fine motor skills. Having wheels is a plus it allows kids to make things that can be moved around such as cars.  The straws are sturdy, yet flexible which makes it easy for kids to build with.

Not recommended for kids under 3 years. Connectors for straws are small and could be choking hazard for small children that tend to put everything in their mouth.

Hope you enjoyed this review on Flexible Straws and if you have any questions about it or want to leave your own personal review, leave a comment below.

My children just made this internet shape the other night with straws.

About Vesna

Hi everyone and welcome to my website. My name is Vesna and my goal on this page is to give people ideas of how to find appropriate educational toys that will help children learn different skills, year after year. If I had to choose only one toy as my favorite for all ages it would be wooden blocks. Wooden blocks are great for any age starting out with babies learning how to grasp and hold things through school children making intricate designs such as castles.

Wood Building Blocks
I will start out with telling you a little bit about myself. I am a mother of 3 (7 years old, 5 years old and 1 year old). With three kids we have toys throughout the house. It does not matter how we organizing them it does not last more than 10 minutes. This has been a struggle for years. My husband and don’t really buy many toys for our kids.  You might think, but then how did you end up with all of the toys? The short answer is gifting. There are birthdays, holidays visits from relatives and of course toys are a must for ever event. 7 years later with three kids its amazing how many toys they have.
This year I started to declutter toys, only keep toys that they truly play with. I started out by asked my 5 and 7-year-old to help me with this by giving me toys that they don’t play with so I can donate them to kids that need them. Let’s just say we did not make any progress with decluttering. They were having a hard time getting read of anything. Every toy I tried putting in a bag for the donation they said not I play with that toy. When I know in fact this particular toy has been in the basement for the past few months if not for a year. So I decided to start decluttering on my own without their help. Let’s just say as many toys as they have not noticed anything missing. This just tells me that they have too many toys. I think many of you can relate to this. This is just begging I have plenty more to go.
My goal from now on when it comes to buying (receiving) toys is to get toys that my children will enjoy playing with, but also be able to use their imagination and creativity year after year. Nowadays our children are overloaded with all sorts of different toys. Unfortunately, a lot of toys don’t hold their interest for more than a few minutes or a few days at most.  Looking around toys that my kids have/had most of the toys are only great for one set of skills such as a toy that will teach child alphabet. You might think well that is great I want my child to learn their letters and get ready for school. I think all of us can agree with that. What I am trying to say is find toys that can teach child letters and other things so they can use specific toy year after year.
If you ever need a hand or have questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,
Vesna Pikelja
Founder of Toys to Inspire Imagination