Thursday, April 23, 2015

Differently-Abled Toddler Gift Guide - Three Year Old Style

As a little girl, I remember curling up in front of the fire with my brown-haired, pink-lipped Madame Alexander doll, Lucy, in one arm and the Sears Christmas catalog in the other. My hair was probably wound tightly in pink curlers and I was likely wearing some type of flannel pajamas. I’m sure I was draped with my tattered blanket and my blue pillow was tucked somewhere nearby. A parent or sibling was surely within earshot, as I often squealed in delight and shouted with glee with each turn of the silky printed page.

Christmastime was my favorite. I loved dog-earing the pages (don’t tell Mrs. Hudson, my elementary librarian) and circling (certainly don’t make her privy to that part) the items perfectly perfect for all of my people. I’ve always loved the hunt for the just right gift.

As Baker’s birthday draws near, and as he is one of my most very favorite people, I delight in scouring books and Internet sites, talking to his teachers and therapists, and determining the perfectly perfect gifts for him.

It’s hard to believe he’s almost three.

The more I research, and the more I learn; the more I observe, and the more I inquire, the more I realize he wants what every almost three year old wants. He desires what every almost three year old desires.
He desires play.
He desires unhindered, all out, hurt your belly laughing, get the hiccups for days, make you bust a move, pink cheeked fun.

Here are some things I know. Baker has Down Syndrome. He has different abilities. Baker is a boy. He is wild. He is a toddler. He loves life. Baker is silly. He loves to play and have fun. He is mine.

But that’s way out of order.

Here’s how it really goes.

Baker is mine.
He is a wild and silly almost three year old boy who happens to have Down Syndrome.
Some of his abilities are different, but that doesn’t change his love for life, for play, for fun.
In fact, I think it allows him to love them more.

When I shop for a gift, or look for the perfect toy for my boy, I go to Target.
Or Amazon.
Toys 'R Us is our jam.
And don’t even get me started on the lovefest I have with consignment sales.
We go to the museum and zoo together.
We order the same Starbucks delicacy and read the same books off of the shelves and then are distracted by the same train table at the same Barnes and Noble.
Baker is like any other child, he has just been blessed with a little something extra.
For that reason, sometimes, unbeknownst to him, our play is purposeful.
He doesn’t know we’re doing anything any differently.
And by simply watching, you probably wouldn’t either.

When I think about buying for Baker, I use a real scientific method. It’s fourfold.

I rate its fun factor. If it’s not fun, it doesn’t matter how practical or skill-building or purposeful it is. If it isn’t fun, it is not coming to our house.

I test its durability. Seriously. He’s almost three. And “childproof” has proven time and again not to be Bakerproof. I have already put a call in to a few key distributors, as he would be a phenomenal product tester. I kid you not. The kid can unscrew the unscrewable, break the unbreakable. If it cannot withstand the strength of mine, it can stay on the shelf.

I consider the price. Children are children. They break things. They lose things. They learn how to unroll the car windows and throw things out of a moving vehicle only to be squished to smithereens by another traveler on I-459. They become disinterested. They feed their toys to the Golden Retriever in the backyard whose stomach is the Bermuda Triangle.

I assess its ability to progress his mental, physical, or emotional growth. Some things we buy, don’t. But most toys, especially if you get creative, can be used to enhance a child’s development.

These are some of my favorites for my favorite almost three year old.

Click on picture for additional information or to purchase for your favorite almost three year old.
"Buster" Buckle Toy

CanDo Thera Putty

Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk

Fisher Price Doctor Kit

Melissa and Doug Farm Friends Puppets
and every puppet needs a stage

Melissa and Doug Tabletop Puppet Stage

Find Me Lap Pad

Fubbles Bubbles


KidKraft Vintage Kitchen

and if you give a three year old a kitchen,
he's gonna want some pizza to cook

Melissa and Doug Pizza Party


My Quiet Book

JC Newborn Baby

Trampoline and Enclosure

Radio Flyer Tricycle

Velcro Ball and Mitt Set

 Happy almost birthday to my favorite almost three year old.
I love you to the moon and back.

No comments:

Post a Comment