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I have six children and we have gone through our share of toys in my parenting years. As I began to think about our Christmas gift list, I researched toys that would include all the children regardless of cognitive abilities or fine/gross motor abilities. Having my children play together is by far the best part of parenting for me. I wanted to share some of the things that work in our family and also list some things that will be on my shopping list this year.
These toys are durable magnetic shapes that can be attached together to form many different things. They are great for all kids as they are large enough to hold and easy to build with. My children use their imagination as they play together and create shapes, buildings, vehicles and whatever they come up with that day. We have a box full of magformers and they are taken out for play often.
There are many great ways to make art accessible to all. Art projects can also be beneficial for sensory needs and there is no right or wrong way to do art. Aqua sand is one great option for everyone to work together. We also bring out simple toys like play dough or kinetic sand and it always surprises me how much all of them love it. The older boys may never admit it, but they have been known to play with play dough even after the little ones have left the table.
Eve has an adaptive bike, but she does still require help with it. I am glad to find other ways for everyone to play together. This bowling set is great for all abilities and can be rolled from wheelchair height. It’s great for taking turns and cheering each other on. I am also on the look out for a plasma car for Josie. I’ve heard they are great for kids who are unable move their legs but have good sitting balance. Any toy that gives a child independent mobility is a winner in my book. If you see them on sale, let me know!
This is an area that I could do better at and if you are a teacher, these toys would be a great for classrooms as well. One great way to make all children feel welcomed and included, is to have dolls and books that show people from different walks of life. I like to purchase books that have people of all ethnicities and also people that might use a wheelchair for mobility. I have many book lists on my Pinterest board if you would like to check them out!