It is inevitable that, as a holiday or celebration approaches, someone asks me to share gift ideas for our daughters.
Of course it is a sweet question. The trouble is I am often at a loss myself! And once I come up with the best present it’s a big dilemma to share my idea…or not! But if I don’t? Well, we have a stack of fleece blankets and a drawer of nail polish to show for it. However, I have finally gotten where I can make some good suggestions to keep everyone happy!
But just like my oldest daughters’ gift lists would not look the same… or my spouse and I…each person with special needs would have different things that make a great gift FOR THEM.
That doesn’t mean we are left with wrapping (another) soft blanket and tying on some polish. Instead, there are some good paths we can take to arrive at a great gift that’s meaningful for our friend or family who has a disability.
You can first begin with the obvious…ask them.
Maybe they do have a wish list that they are just hoping to have fulfilled. It is possible they are collecting something and would like to have the next one added. Perhaps they are working through a series and would love the next DVD or book title. Easy peasy? Lucky you!
What if they say they have no idea…or mom has no idea?(or isn’t sharing her idea…ahem) Time to think outside the box!
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For many people, tickets to an event out of the house can be a wonderful gift!
If you want to take the gift up a level be the chauffeur and companion for the outing. This could be something as simple as movie tickets or bowling. You could also spring for a local event or show.
Typically, I like to begin with a search of the recipient’s local area on Groupon, Living Social, or sites likes Local Flavor. These provide GREAT insight into area attractions that you might not even know are available! For instance, as I search my current Groupon site I find tickets for escape rooms, indoor arcades, bowling, art studios, the Harlem Globetrotters, a light show at the local zoo, and Disney on Ice…just to name a few! As an added bonus, Groupon is offering an additional savings with a promo code...always search for a promo code!
If your event gift is not time sensitive it is a nice touch to offer a few options of days that you could accompany the recipient. Putting the date on the calendar gets you extra bonus points!
Your friend may not enjoy or be able to leave the house for an evening. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give an activity gift!
Activity certificates can still be given…ones that you make up yourself! How about a bowl or box with ingredients that you will bake or cook up together? If you go this direction please include and plan for the actual day you will could also come back and work at the project together. A day marked on the calendar is often helpful with the anticipation!
Some other enjoyable at home activities may be working together to create a project on Shutterfly, like an ornament, calendar, or photo album from their year! These are often deals you can find on Groupon, too! The one time a blanket is a good idea: make a photo blanket together!
Maybe you want the fun to continue long past the gift is opened. Gifting a membership, season passes, or subscription related to an area of interest is a fantastic idea!
This could be as easy as giving a magazine subscription on their favorite topic. *TIP: but the first installment at the newsstand so they can open it and get started right away! If pages and print are a difficulty, how about a year membership to audible?!
There are memberships to local zoos, gyms, cable channels, and even monthly project subscription boxes:
If you are still committed to finding the perfect item wrapped in a box and tied with a bow, there are shops and sites that go out of their way to help you.
FatBrainToys also offer suggestions and guidance to special needs toys, stating:
At Fat Brain Toys, when it comes to Special Needs toys, our number one goal is to provide you with quality recommendations you can trust. However, we also recognize that we are not Special Needs professionals. That’s why we’ve given the reigns to you, our customers. All of our Special Needs collections are based entirely on customer feedback. Meanwhile, each listing is accompanied by detailed reviews written by real parents, teachers, and therapists. That way you can get a much clearer idea of how these toys can actually help children with special needs develop their skills and enjoy pure, authentic play.
And although they do not provide as much direction, Oriental Trading also has a page for special needs shopping.
While it does not necessarily mention special needs, I have found the unique and educational toys and games on Zulily to be a wealth of great gifts over the years! Some of our favorite games I mentioned in this post HERE came from the great finds on Zulily.
Have you decided on the perfect gift? Here at our house a request has been made…for tickets to travel. No one is shocked. ha.
I’d love to read about your favorites choices…and even what things have flopped…in the comments. Happy gifting!