With Christmas less than a week away, holiday gift giving is in full swing. There are certainly those for which this post is too late. Unfortunately, for this year, Hanukkah has already passed. And, of course, there are those Christmas shoppers who have already had their gifts purchased and wrapped for months. But, luckily, articles like this can live on the internet eternally and these ideas will be ready for next year or for other gift giving occasions, such as birthdays.
For those of you who are last minute shoppers or still searching for some more gifts, here are some ideas to consider as you shop for your child or loved one with hearing loss.
1) Of course, you need to check your child’s wish lists, and buy those items that he/she wants. Kids are always asking for gifts which have very little listening and spoken language value, and that is OK. Hopefully there are other qualities to these items that make them worth the purchase. For instance, bikes can have great value for developing motor and balance skills, even though they are definitely not the best gift for developing language and communication skills.
2) There are so many toys/games out there that you can buy that are great for developing listening and language skills.
- For the youngest children, don’t forget toys that you can use to work on the learning to listen sounds, toys that make noise, baby dolls, blocks, Mr. Potato Head, play kitchens, train sets, play tool sets, doll houses, play doctor sets, books, Play Doh, and games like Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Zingo, Hi Ho Cherry-O, and Diggity Dog.
- For the elementary aged child, there are also games such as Hed Banz, Guess Who?, Guess Where?, and Apples to Apples Kids.
- For middle school and young adults, look at Apples to Apples Jr. (and adult version), Taboo, Scattegories, and Mad Gab.
3) Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to give the gift of experience. There are so many activities that you can gift to your child that will provide language exposure. Give tickets to a sporting event, a show (Broadway, magician, circus, etc…), a class (e.g., art, cooking, photography, etc…), or a destination/family trip. Experiences such as these provide so much opportunity for exposure to new language and add to your child’s background knowledge for future communicative interactions.