Christmas Gift Guide | Gifts For Disabled Children
Ideas & Inspiration for Buying Christmas Gifts for Disabled Children
I have been scouring the internet to find ideal Christmas gifts for disabled children. They weren't always easy to find although I did come across some really useful websites and blog posts which I will also share with you. Representation and inclusivity in play is really important for a child's sense of self-worth. How they see themselves in the world as a child shapes the way they will feel about themselves in the future. There's still quite a way to go but there are some major toy companies as well as independent toy makers manufactures leading the way. This guide is a collection of the best products and toys I found specifically designed for, or of particular interest to, children who use wheelchairs or with special needs. I hope you find it useful.
I absolutely love what this woman does. Made to order, these bespoke dolls have the same limb differences as their little owners. You can browse the photos on facebook along with the comments from emotional parents, to see what a wonderful impact these adorable rag dolls have on the children they're made for.
To buy A Doll Like Me CLICK HERE
2. Lottie Doll Mia With Cochlear Ear Implant
Lottie Dolls arrived on the scene a few years ago now, the brain child of an English woman who was tired of the over sexualised and disproportionatly sized dolls on the market. The Lottie Doll is modelled on the body of an 8 year old with a slightly larger head though nothing like the usual oversizing in other dolls. Inclusive from the outset, Lottie Dolls come in various skin tones and hair colours and in male and female dolls. Each doll has an occupation ranging from scientist to festival goer, artist to astronaut and comes with appropriate accessories. The Mia Lottie Doll is a Wildlife Photographer who just happens to have a cochlear ear implant. We love her.
To buy Mia the Wildlife Photographer Lottie Doll CLICK HERE
We couldn't very well write a gift blog without including some of our own fabulous products now could we? We think you'll agree though, that this would make a wonderful gift for a child in a wheelchair. You can now personalise our beanbag lap trays with your own photos meaning you could take a picture of your child's favourite things; a favourite pet, toy or place etc. and have it printed onto a lap tray! Generously filled, the beanbag molds to the shape of the legs to provide a flat surface for eating, playing or putting things on. Great for when you're out and about. There are full instructions on the website but the basic process is simple. Choose from a variety of fabrics and select a light or dark frame. Send us a photo by email and we'll get your lap tray to you in 10 - 15 working days. If you want it for Christmas you need to order by Monday 4th December!
To buy a Personalised Lap Tray from Blue Badge Co CLICK HERE
This is an idea I had and went in search of with disappointing results. When it comes to bags and rucksacks designed for wheelchairs AND children there are precious few options out there. These simple and effective tote bags are made in the USA and come in a variety of lovely prints. Unfortunately the reasonable price is made less so when shipping costs are added. I've included them anyway because I think they're great! Also, to inspire any parents or carers who are handy with a sewing machine and in case anyone wants one badly enough to pay the postage!
To buy a Child's Tote Bag for Wheelchairs from Etsy, CLICK HERE
Our Mini Hot Water Bottles are the perfect size for children and come in a range of colourful prints. Because they're small they can be easily transported and can provide much needed warmth when out and about in a wheelchair on a cold, winters day. Padded and snuggly they make a cosy bed-fellow for any child and now you can make them extra special by adding their name! Just fill in the details when ordering online. You have up to 25 characters and can select from 5 different fonts.
We love the fact that this doll is in a wheelchair, that he's male, his skin is blue and he's a mermaid! Smashing through stereotypes, prejudices and norms left right and centre. Monster High dolls are well known for being different and diverse. They are all offbeat and unusual, allowing children to celebrate difference and making it just another kind of normal. We're glad they have included a wheelchair user in their number.
To buy Monster High Finnegan Wake Wheelchair Mermaid Doll from Bentzens Emporium, CLICK HERE
7. Mermaid Tail Blanket
These adorable mermaid blankets are a growing trend all over the internet. We love the combination of a cosy, snuggly blanket, combined with dressing up as a mermaid! An ideal gift for disabled children who love dressing up. Especially if they identify with Finnegan Wake! (see above) You can find dozens of expert crafters knitting, crocheting and sewing them in various styles. I've picked the one I liked the look of best.
To buy Crochet Mermaid Tail Blanket from BaconandCabbage on Etsy CLICK HERE
8. Lego City Featuring Wheelchair User and Accessible Bus
We all know lego is brilliant stuff. It has endless possibilities, it's educational, creative and so much fun. We particularly like this set because of its incidental inclusion of a wheelchair-using mini figure and an accessible bus. It's not all about the wheelchair user, they're just one of the various figures included in the set. As though it's totally normal. Hurray!
To buy the Lego Bus Station from Lego CLICK HERE
Another of our own products, the Blue Badge Wallet is one of the more practical but still thoughtful gifts for disabled children on this list. If you have something that looks attractive and appealing to put your parking permit into, it makes it more personal. Standard permit covers can be clinical and sterile looking, saying more about the disability than the owner. Ours express something about the person who owns the wallet. This style is particularly aimed at children, featuring Quentin Blake's illustrations of Roald Dahl's Charlie's Sweet Our exclusive Hologram Safe © design ensures that holograms on permits are never covered, protecting them from damage and complying with Department of Transport guidelines. Each wallet includes a free timer clock which is made with superior plastic cogs and can be dialed without removal. Children enjoy having something important which is theirs and our wallets can make them feel extra special.
To buy the Charlie's Sweets Blue Badge Wallet CLICK HERE
Acting out with toys what happens in their own life can help children process their experiences. They also benefit from seeing themselves reflected in the world around them, giving them a sense of belonging. These two Playmobil sets would make great gifts for disabled children who spend a lot of time in the children's hospital. There is an Extensive range of children's Hospital sets including the hospital itself but I think these two can stand alone as well. I couldn't decide which I liked best so have included them both here.
To buy the Playmobil Children's Hospital Room Set CLICK HERE
To buy the Playmobil Children's Medical Area set CLICK HERE
We hope you have found this gift guide helpful. For further reading, I found the following pages while doing my research: This is a gift guide posted by Huffington Post in 2011. Some of the links are now inactive but there are still some great ideas. www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/special-needs-child-gift-guide
The Toy Like Me website is a fabulous resource when hunting for toys representing differently abled people. "#ToyLikeMe was established in April 2015 after journalist and creative consultant Rebecca Atkinson noticed the lack of positive diff:ability representation in toys. “As someone who had grown up wearing hearing aids, I remembered firsthand how it felt to be a child who never saw themselves represented by the mainstream and what that can do to a child’s self-esteem. To exclude in the toy box teaches ALl children it’s OK to exclude in real life. I wanted to change this for generations to come by getting global brands like Lego, Mattel and Playmobil to include positive representations of disability in their products.” – Rebecca Atkinson" You can read their full story here: http://www.toylikeme.org/about-us/our-story/
And see their collection of the best #ToysLikeMe they have found here: http://www.toylikeme.org/toys/the-best/?maxPosts=36
Thankyou for reading and a very Merry Festive Season to you from all of us at www.bluebadgecompany.co.uk