Sensory & Skill Focused Holiday Gift Guide

Finding an amazing Christmas gift for a child with special needs can be a challenge.  We were provided a resource from the special needs school district and we thought it may be helpful to share.  Hopefully this will help to remove any frustration and confusion from the gift search.  We are hoping this guide will make it easier for you and your family to choose a sensory or skill focused toy.

There are a few different areas where you can focus to help promote key skills for the children:

  • Fine Motor Coordination
  • Imagination
  • Sensory
  • Eye-Hand Coordination
  • Motor Planning 
  • Visual Perception
  • Handwriting 
  • Strategy 
  • Drawing

There are toy, craft and game options for very child.  If you’re not sure which area(s) you should focus on most, be sure to touch base with their teachers, aids or parents.  Once you’ve identified the key skills, you can then select the type of item you want to choose.


If you know me, you know I LOVE a good game. Choose something you can enjoy with the child and will create fun and growth. Below you can see a list of classic and new games that you can play that focus on the different skills.

Fine Motor Coordination: Lite-Brite, Ants in the Pants, Yeti in my Spaghetti, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Heap-o-sheep

Eye-Hand Coordination: Jenga, Pop the Pig, Shark Bite

Drawing: Pictionary, Sketch It 

Strategy: Candyland, Chutes & Ladders, Guess Who, Memory, Checkers, Battleship, Connect 4

Handwriting & Literacy: Boggle, Scrabble, Wordle (Board Game), Scattergories

Motor Planning: Twister, Sloth in a Hurry, Don’t Break the Ice

Visual Perception: Scrabble, Battleship, Kanoodle, Battling tops

Sensory Focus

“Sensory” has become a buzzword in our world today because children of all ages and needs can benefit from these items. Our team can happily guide you through whatever sensory item may make sense for your child but here is some inspiration based on what area you’d like to focus.

Smell/Olfactory: Scented Markers, Scented dough, scented stickers

Tough/Tactile: Sensory bin, koosh ball, finger paint, foaming bath bombs, clay, feel books, slime, playfoam

Oral Motor: Bubbles, chewy tubes

Sound/Auditory: musical instruments, pop tubes, rain makers, Tonies

Movement/Vestibular: Swing, Stepper, balance beam

Proprioceptive/Input to Muscles & Joints: Hippity Hop Ball, Weighted Toys, Slackers Skyboard

Motor Planning/Gross Motor/Balance: Scooter, Twister, Pogo stick, trike, jump rope, stepper, balance beam

Games and sensory options are a great place to focus for any special needs child this holiday season.  In addition to this gift list, we will explore fine motor coordination, imagination and hand/eye coordination gift ideas for early childhood as well as kindergarten & older.