Top 10 Developmental Toys for Children with Special Needs

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by: Lindsay Hutton
When your child has special needs, you want to do everything you can to help him learn and grow. The good news is, learning time can be play time, too. Whether your child is physically or learning disabled, or you would just like to work on his development, these toys can help build a solid foundation to help improve his limitations and build on his strengths. Plus, they're a blast to play with!
Worry Eaters Schnulli
Worry Eaters "Schnulli"
From Haywire Group. Work on your child's writing skills and emotional development with Schnulli! Have your child write down her worries, fears, and anything else that's on her mind, and Schnulli will gobble them up. This toy is the perfect way to get your child to talk about her feelings and work through anything that might be making her sad, angry, or scared.

Ages 3 years & up
Price: $15.99
Buy on Amazon

Dr Seuss Cat in the Hat Card Game
Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat Card Game
From Wonder Forge. This activity-filled card game will help your child discover all the amazing things he can do. Flip over three cards to create a new challenge. Can you crab walk to the bedroom with the fish under your chin? Can you dance around a chair with the fish between your knees? Each turn creates any combination of hilarious possibilities.

Ages 3 years & up
Price: $9.99
Buy on Amazon

FirstSnaps,toy
First Snaps & First Pops
From ALEX. These bright and bold developmental toys are fun to grab and grip, and your little one will love gazing at the vivid colors. The snapping and pulling apart of each piece is excellent for developing gross motor and sensory motor skills, while the vibrant colors are perfect for visual stimulation.

Ages 6 months & up
Price: $17.99
Buy on Amazon

Oball3'n1,RhinoToys
Oball
From Rhino Toys. The holes on this lightweight ball make it the perfect toy for little fingers to grasp, throw, and catch while developing gross and fine motor skills. The different textures and colors of this hollow ball can also help children with sensory and visual impairments.

Ages: 12 months & up
Price: $8.99
Buy on Amazon

WikkiStixAlphabet,game,toy
Wikki Stix Alphabet Cards
From Wikki Stix. The colorful wax coating on each of the sticks is non-toxic, and perfect for aiding in imagination and creative play. Your child will love bending and twisting each piece into letters and shapes, all the while improving her sensory and cognitive development. Play together and you'll also be helping her communication and social skills.

Ages: 3 years & up
Price: $14.95
Buy on Amazon

Elefungame
Elefun Game
From Hasbro. Have a blast catching butterflies as they spout over four feet into the air with this physically stimulating game. As your child catches and sorts butterflies, he'll also be improving his gross and fine motor skills, along with visual perception and scanning. Make it a party, and help develop his social skills too, by inviting friends to join in on the fun.

Ages: 3 - 6 years
Price: $22.99
Buy on Amazon

BlockBuddies,toy
Block Buddies
From MindWare. With 21 colorful blocks and 76 different design cards, the possibilities are endless when creating a new block buddy. Not only do the bright colors stimulate visual motor skills, but the four levels of difficulty are perfect for cognitive development and creative play.

Ages: 3 - 6 years
Price: $24.99
Buy on Amazon

PuppetTheater,MelissaandDoug
Puppet Theater
From Melissa & Doug. Puppets stimulate speech and learning and help children learn about grown-up life. You can buy puppets representing all kinds of animals and people, or you can make your own puppets, like Santa, Rudolph, and a penguin.

Ages: 3 years and older
Price: $64.00

Buy on Amazon

WheeleeBall,toy
Wheelee Ball
From Diggin. The inflatable and lightweight design of this ball make it ideal for developing and improving gross and fine motor skills as your child grips the easy-to-hold handles. A fun game of catch will also help with visual motor skills, such as perception, scanning, and tracking.

Ages: 4 - 8 years
Price: $10.99
Buy on Amazon

MeettheLetters,flashcards,game
Meet the Letters Flashcards
From Preschool Prep Company. Help your little one develop communication and cognitive skills with these alphabet-inspired flashcards. Each letter is boldly displayed on one side of each card, making it easy for your child to see and memorize. On the opposite side is an object formed from that letter, helping her to commit the sight and sound of the letter to memory.

Ages: n/a
Price: $12.95