Holiday Gift Guide
The 2023 holiday season is upon us, which means you might find yourself wondering what makes a great gift suitable for children who are blind and visually impaired. Remember, no two children are alike. Tap into their interests while exposing them to new toys and fun! Here’s some great suggestions broken down into age categories. Click on the links for more information on each product. Future In Sight does not endorse or receive funds for any purchase from any suggested link. The links simply serve as landing pads to read more about each suggested product.
Birth-2 years old:
For when your little one has trouble filtering out all of the noise around them and needs a bit of help to relax and sleep. This machine features 5 soft ambient sounds, 5 calming melodies, and a soft glow night light.
This crawling crab tummy time toy looks and moves just like a real crab. It provides lights for those with low vision and music and touch. It will entertain and add to babies development.
This set of 9 rings will engage wee ones in exploring size, color, and texture. Stack the rings in any order and enjoy fun and learning.
Introduce or expand upon your young one’s culinary experiences. Learn about the touch, feel and colors of fruits, as well as sharpening fine motor skills to pretend to cut the fruits. Pair this with their own toy shopping cart or toy kitchen set; or let this fun fruit cutting set stand on its own.
Real world learning through hands on is what it’s all about; especially for youth who are blind and visually impaired to understand the world around them. This item includes over 50 pieces for an incredible play construction experience.
This is a fun filled game in which youth learn to touch the ice gently and then use fine motor skills to knock out a single block of ice at a time. Just don’t break the ice or it will all come crashing down! Youth will want to play this again and again.
Youth Ages 6 and up:
1. Legos are always imaginative and fun! Have you heard about Braille Legos?
Braille Legos have letters and numbers as part of the tops of the bricks. Spell, learn, and build with Braille Lego bricks!
2. Now card games such as Uno have print and braille on them for everyone to play
Enjoy the classic card game with family and friends. This game is inclusive for those with vision and those using braille and can provide hours of enjoyment.
The “ham” or singer in everyone will come out when connecting this Bluetooth microphone to a smart phone. Everyone will want a turn!
1. Polymer clay
Put together a polymer clay kit geared toward your youth. Select colors and themes geared toward their interests, such as animal figurines, or sports teams colors. Add in some cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes, mini rolling pins, or a tool to etch designs! The kit could also include their own baking sheet and a roll of parchment paper. Youth will enjoy working with the clay with their hands, softening and molding it to whatever they wish to create free style or with guides such as cookie cutters. Examples include figurines, paper weights, ornaments, game pieces, decorative accents, coasters, and gifts.
Gather your items for this fun kit at any craft store or online.
This kit has everything to make tapioca balls, loose leaf teas, and recipes. They’ll be serving family and friends as well as themselves!
So many items can be personalized on Etsy; why not give a special touch with Braille jewelry/keychains. Pick a pre-designed message or order something of your own.
This gift speaks for itself. Teens will be so thankful for a new up to date smart phone. Smart phones are great communication devices, but they also provide accessibility benefits to bring your teen up to date with mobility apps such as OKO and VoiceVista, recognition apps such as Lookout, Seeing AI and Be My Eyes with Be My AI, and built in magnification and screen readers such as Voiceover and Talkback.
This is the current most popular drinking tumbler for teens. They will love it, you’ll be glad they stay hydrated all day, and it’s a great gift that doesn’t break the bank. It comes in different sizes and in numerous colors.
Enjoy great sound for music, audio books, and podcasts with this durable, and portable speaker. Whether hanging in your room, hiking, or traveling, this is a great speaker.
Don’t forget ideas for the whole family:
Spending time together is a priceless gift that lasts a lifetime. Here are some gifts that keep the whole family in the fun:
2. Ice skates
4. Your own bowling ball and bag
5. Skiing getaways (most ski resorts have adaptive ski programs that are excellent)
6. Trips to children’s museums
Websites to find products especially geared for those who are blind and visually impaired:
Future In Sight does not endorse or receive funds based on any of the links below. This is a partial list of suggested sites to check out on your own.
1. Maxi Aids
In conclusion, know your child, your own budget, and check out options and reviews for the best informed decision in selecting holiday gifts. Have fun with it and simply think about what might make your child smile, engage and enjoy! Keep in mind that ages and readiness for toys and games are not rigid, but basic guidelines. Your child might not be ready for something at one of the above ages, and that’s OK. Should you have questions regarding specific readiness for a given toy or game, please reach out to their TVI, pediatrician, or other professional. There’s a world of discovery and celebration ahead for you and your youth. Happy shopping, and happy holidays from Future In Sight!
We provide training, tools and resources to individuals of all ages who are blind and visually impaired and even offer a full calendar of activities. If you or someone you love is experiencing vision loss and could benefit from our services, please contact Future In Sight at [email protected] or 603-224-4039 today!
About the Author: Stephanie Hurd is the Assistive Technology & Activities Specialist at Future In Sight.