Monday, November 30

Holiday Gifts for the CI Child

As the Momma of a CI child, I am often asked about gift ideas for children with hearing loss. As we all know, much of our life with a CI child is spent playing games at home that also serve as the necessary therapy needed for communication. So, what are some of our most favorite gifts we have received for Drew that have also helped with therapy?
  1. 100 Hoops - Basketball Counting Game: Drew loves this game! It is perfect for a little boy, and allows for work on counting, and vocabulary like in, out, over, under, made it, missed it, dunk it, brick, etc. It counts in Spanish, two's, ten's, backward. This was Drew's favorite Christmas Gift of 2008, and nearly 365 days later, he plays with it daily.
  2. Giant Road Carpet and Melissa & Doug Wooden Vehicles & Traffic Signs: Drew loves to play with his transportation vehicles, and I love that he has no idea he is actually doing therapy! We work on things like, "Drew, you need to take the children to school! Which vehicle goes to school?" You can put up the stop signs and talk about stop vs. go. You can have the child make the vehicle go fast vs. slow. "Oh, Drew! The police car needs to go to the store - fast! Let's go!" So much fun...for everyone!
  3. Melissa & Doug Band in a Box: Perfect for these little CI kiddos! Work on the different sounds of musical instruments. You can work on making a beat. "Shake the maracas fast!"
  4. Plush "My Barnyard Friends Carrier" With Sound: When Drew was younger we loved this barnyard. They animals are soft and cuddly, and they each make noise! Plus the barn was nice because you could say, "Drew put the cow in the barn." This helped with working on in, out concepts. And, this plus barnyard works great for the small concept, you can get a larger animal sounds barn to talk about big vs. small, etc.
  5. Little People 'Busy Day Home": A perfect sized house to work on many daily activities! It can start of very basic. "Drew, Put Daddy in Bed." Then you can get really advanced, "Drew, Mommy is tired. Where should she go?" And then I would wait for Drew to find the Mommy and lay her in the bed. This shows that Drew understands what "tired" means and that he understands you need to go to sleep when you are tired and that you sleep in your bed. Really, really difficult concepts, yet somehow we all learn this stuff!
  6. Mr. Potato Head: Super fun to play with, reminding me of my childhood, yet excellent to help with learning body parts! At first, you can design Mr. Potato Head, and then ask your child, "Where is the nose?" Then you can have your child design Mr. Potato Head himself, talking about where each item goes. And, what we're doing now, you can play sabotage! One of my favorite things to do with Drew! I'll build Mr. Potato Head totally wrong...then Drew has to fix him. "No, Mommy, that isn't where the ear goes. The ear goes here! That's where the mouth goes!" Oh, how I love to play sabotage!
We actually have been given every toy I talked about above! And people say we have too many toys...ha! If you are reading this blog as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend...I can not tell you how much we appreciate these types of gifts. We work so hard with our kids daily on activities that seem so trivial, but in the grand scheme of things, these gifts help our children develop their listening, language and communication skills daily. The thoughtfulness of thinking about how a gift will help with the child's therapy is helpful beyond words.
So, what will Drew be getting for Christmas this year? We have so many of the "staples" when it comes to therapy, and in many ways, we are past the learning to listen phase of this journey. We're working on phonics, pre-reading, pre-math and fine motor skills. So, we've decided to get Drew a Leapster Learning Game System and Leapfrog Tag Reading System. He'll also be getting some of his favorite friends:

1) A Toy Story Talking Sheriff Woody
2) A Toy Story Talking Buzz Lightyear, and
3) ARex the Roaring Dinosaur from Toy Story!

He'll be so excited! Drew has worked so, so hard, so now we'll let him play.

What are some of your favorite therapy toys? Let's keep the list going!

These are some of Drew's favorites!


susannah said...

this is a GREAT post! monrovia is only 19 months, so this is for a younger set, but we've found that colored stacking cups have been a great therapy toy- we work on sorting by color & size, and language for colors, size, prepositions (in, on, under, on top of, etc) also, she loves dolls, which are great for so many language opportunities: body parts, clothing, modeling daily activities like diapering/getting dressed, eating, etc etc.

leah said...

We have the giant road carpet, potato head, and the band in a box. Absolutely wonderful toys! We also LOVE our unit blocks (Melissa and Doug- free super saver shipping from The boys play with those in so many different ways. Duplos are also a big hit in our house! Matt is getting the Tag Reading System this year- I'm excited to see him play with it!

leah said...

Also, the boys love dot markers "do-a-dot art." They're like giant bingo markers and come with coloring books. Those have been a BIG hit around here!

Kel said...

We're starting at the very beginning this year with Danny and using Christmas to help build us a listening box. A lot of small toys with lots of uses - little animals, vehicles, play food, all the basics to work on those first words. Plus, what 20 month old wouldn't love a box full of play animals and trucks and airplanes just their size, that they don't have to share (much) with big brother??

Lucas'Mommy said...

LOVE this post! Thanks so much! Love Mr. Potato Head and the busy day home! We also love our play kitchen for some great vocab building! Merry Christmas!

Jenny- Sienna's mom said...

Thanks for the great ideas!