A place to show my love for my granddaughter who lives with Cerebral Palsy and my passion for painting. In an effort of raising awareness for C.P. every painting brush stroke I make on raw canvas is a stroke of love, as I discretely paint a green C.P. awareness ribbon in every piece. Can you find them?
Do you know someone who would like to have a painting done? email www.harrold.janet@gmail.com

Monday, November 28, 2011

"I know a great store that has countless toys for kids with special needs"

It's that time of year when i'm asked on a regular basis "what are you getting Hailey for Christmas", or "what can I get Hailey for Christmas" "can she play with regular toys" "How about puzzles, does she play games" "does she still like books" ????????? It's because of the many questions I've decided to write a general guide to help others who may have someone in their lives with motor issues know where to buy and understand what they may like and be able to use. First of all no toys please, just money for her well needed and very expensive hippotherapy lessons, just kidding! First off I would just like to say that Hailey likes alot of the same things that other 4 year old girls like. She loves to play with her dolls, just the other night, I was playing with her in her bedroom, she lined up all her doll babies, stuffed winnie the pooh, elmo, mickey mouse and dora. (Hailey doesn't walk so she spends alot of her time on the floor) With my help,she covered each of the dolls with little blankets (well really anything textile that she found on her bedroom floor, things such as, nightgowns, sweaters, coats, towels and the like). After her babies were all tucked in, she dragged her basket of goodies over and carefully but with much effort, gave each baby a piece of pretend fruit. This took over an hour but it was then I learned that Hailey was a nurturer, she made sure that each baby had their nourishment. There were bananas, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, and oranges strewn about on the floor next to each of them. In this respect, I'd say Hailey is like other 4 year old girls. As far as other games and puzzles that Hailey likes, they really have to be well built, made of hard plastic or wood,otherwise, because her fine and gross motor issues, she will destroy them. An example of what not to get her would be...anything paper, books, cards, crayons, etc. Or anything that requires you to hold on to in a controlled fashion or with small pieces, these types of things will be destroyed in minutes she doesn't have the control or motor skills to turn the pages of a book without tearing them, or she would crumple a card when she makes an attempt to pick them up. Small pieces are difficult to grasp etc. These are all things that we work on but are extremely difficult for Hailey to achieve. Natalie and Tom believe the best place to buy Hailey's toys from is Lakeshore Learning, they have store locations from coast to coast as well as a full service web site. Here are a few examples of toys that Hailey or someone with motor issues would enjoy.
Though I believe Hailey is getting too old for these now, she enjoyed them last year and this is the type of durability I am talking about.
Giant Knob First Puzzle Set Little hands have no problem piecing together these adorable puzzles! Each simple puzzle has 4 wooden pieces with giant, easy-grip knobs—so they’re a cinch for kids to grab and fit into place. And, with matching illustrations right on the puzzle boards, they couldn’t be better for beginners! Four 9" x 9" puzzles come in a handy wire rack. EE439 • $39.95
Hailey had something similar to this last year, the large plastic cookies are a bit easier to grasp, as we helped her put her cookie in a slot the jar counted for her, she loved it! Count-A-Cookie Number Jars Tots fill up cookie jars with tasty-looking treats…and build counting skills—piece by piece! 5 wipe-clean vinyl jars are labeled with numbers 1-5 and come in graduated sizes to build number sense and reinforce one-to-one correspondence. Kids match the cookies to their color-coded jars, counting each one as they drop it in! Largest jar is 5"; with 15 cookies.$32.99 It is difficult for Hailey to hold a ball, she doesn't own these, but I believe these are something that she could grasp.
Easy-Catch Playballs - Set of 4 Put a fun new spin on active play games with our easy-to-catch playballs! The playground-tough neoprene balls have a flexible woven design that gives children endless ways to grab and throw them—ensuring frustration-free play for players of all sizes. 4 balls, each 7 1/2". CE255 • $39.95 I think Hailey really responds to music, these are a good example for someone a bit younger than Hailey, I think it would be a great way to keep them moving their arms.
Easy-Grip Jingle Bells - Set of 8 With our easy-to-play bells, little ones always enjoy no-fail music-making! Each one has an extra-chunky plastic handle to give children a sure grip, plus three securely attached metal bells that jingle with every shake. They even come in cute animal shapes that kids are sure to love! Set of 8 easy-grip bells; fish is 4 1/2" long. DB952 •$24.99 Hailey loves to be read too, I wonder if she would like these
Differing Abilities Book Set Kids learn why some children wear leg braces, how deaf children communicate, what it’s like to live with autism and more. 5 books, each 24 pages. AB358 • $29.50 She doesn't have these, she doesn't play with figures yet, I guess I posted them because I love them and think that it is a great idea to have figurines of people of different abilities.
Lakeshore Block Play People with Differing Abilities Increase the diversity of your block play community by introducing our figures with differing abilities! Made of extra-tough vinyl, the dolls represent a variety of ages, ethnicities and genders…all with super-realistic details and adaptive equipment—from leg braces to a hearing aid. Tallest is 5 1/2". Set of 6 figures shown. RR759 • $19.95
I like this because Hailey can reach it, but since it is so expensive, I just might buy the magnetic shapes and she can play with them on my refrigerator, she "W" sits lot ( I know, I know, we try to correct her, easier said than done) ans she can reach the lower part of the fridge.
Stand-Up Magnetic Design Center Our magnetic design center is so big, children can stand side by side while they create colorful magnetic patterns! Double-sided center features two giant magnetic write & wipe surfaces, plus a sturdy base to store magnetic shapes. Wooden center is 21" x 32" tall. Easy assembly. LA583 • $79.95 Jumbo Magnetic Design Shapes 40 giant wooden shapes include circles, squares, rectangles, triangles and more. Large squares are 4". LA585 • $29.95 Hailey loves her pretend fruit, this wooden set is very durable
Fruit & Vegetable Cut-Ups Our fun fruits and veggies let kids cut, slice and dice like real gourmet chefs! 18 plastic play foods stick together with hook & loop fastener, so kids can safely “slice” into each one…then press them together and start again! With 2 safe “knives” and cutting board—all in a 10 3/4" basket. FV526 • $29.95 Last year Hailey received this gigantic peg board game from her Uncle, she needs lot of assistance when she plays with this, but she enjoys "trying" to stick the peg in the board!
My First Pegboard Set As tots fit chunky, baby-safe pegs into our fun-shaped pegboards, they explore color matching, develop eye/hand coordination & build muscle control! The big, 9" x 9" pegboards are made of soft, flexible foam…and the jumbo pegs are 2" wide, so they’re a cinch for small hands to grip. Includes 4 boards & 40 pegs. DD645 • $29.95 These are just a few of the many awesome toys that Lakeshore Learning has to offer. Whether or not you have a child with special needs, This store has toys that are strong and safe. It is definitely worth checking out!


  1. I love the block play toys it's a great way to teach kids that it's okay to be different

  2. The Block Play People of Differing Abilities are my favorites, too, but you have lots of wonderful ideas here.

  3. That wipe board would be easy to make if you know how, which my several men folk in my family do, thanks for the ideas.