Future Reflections Summer 1992, Vol. 11 No. 3


Reprinted from the VIP Newsletter. Original title, "Christmas Gift Ideas."

[PICTURE] Push toys, balls, and dolls are favorites of most children- sighted or blind.

     What can I get my child for Christmas? This list of gift suggestions was put together by the staff of the Center for Blind and Visually Impaired Children, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Most of these toys can be found at your local toy store.

Tactile Toys for the Early Learners
1. Koosh balls
2. Caterpillar squeak toy or wrist toy
3. Spiney hedgehog squeak toy
4. Clutch ball with knobs (good to hold and put in mouth)
5. Plastic slinky in bright orange color

Light Toys
1. Disney Lighted Mobile
2. Disney Carousel and Music Box

Cause/Effect Toys for Early Learners
(These toys will give a response to a child's action.)
1. Teddy Beddy Bear Jack-in-the-box by Fisher Price. Roll the box to get the bear to pop-up.
2. Push 'n Dance Bear by Tomy. Push down on a globe, the globe squeaks and the bear moves.
3. Push 'n Go Merry-Go-Round by Tomy. Push down on handle and a dinging bell rings for fifteen seconds.
4. Playskool Band. Makes six different instrument sounds. Child sits under the toy as if holding a table on lap.
5. Popping Car by Fisher Price. Roll it back and forth to produce a popping sound made by balls hitting a trap door and then popping up into a globe.
6. Little Tykes piano or zylophone. Uses an up-and-down hand motion to produce a sound. The sound is not continuous and requires a hand motion for each sound.
7. Two-foot-long mini-organ. Plays like a piano or organ or in auto-play will produce an entire melody with one key stroke.
8. Vibrator pillow. Small, plush pillow that vibrates when pushed in the middle. (Found with back rest pillows in personal products department.)
9. Personal massager (egg shaped). Push down action on a small ball. One name brand in Patata by Homedics.
10. Sound animals. Small, plush, hand-held animals that make a sound when you tip them over.

Visual Motor Toys
1. Stacking rings
2. Pegboards. Get one with pegs that are stackable.
3. Pounding toys. There are several wooden or plastic versions. One has four balls which child hits with a mallet. Balls are pounded into a hole, roll down a ramp, and then appear out of a hole in the bottom.
4. Formboard puzzles that use geometric shapes rather than cutouts of food or toys. These shapes are more easily recognized by our children.

Preschool Ideas for the 4's and 5's
1. Popoids
2. Duplo blocks
3. Fisher Price Alphabet Desk
4. Memory match cards and lotto board matching games
5. Nesting cups (circles are the easiest to fit together)
6. Magnetic blocks
7. Magnetic mosaic or parquetry blocks to make designs
8. Write Start (wipe-off cards to practice pre-writing skills)
9. Visual discrimination worksheet activity books (practice concepts like same and different, mazes, matching letters and numbers.
10. Fun With Food items by Fisher Price
11. Little Tykes tea set (larger pieces for easy handling)
12. Light Brite (Practice fine motor control by putting pegs into holes on a vertical plane. Promote creative play and reinforce color recognition.)

Cause/Effect Toys for Toddlers
1. Busy boxes such as the Touch 'n Talk Train
2. Pop-ups. Push a button and a toy pops up.
3. Pop-up Pals. Disney or Sesame Street themes. Each of five buttons causes different character to appear.
4. Discovery Cottage by Fisher Price.
5. Music boxes to reinforce twisting and winding wrist motion.
6. Sounds-go-round. Uses a pull-down handle to produce a sound.
7. Spinning Bee. Push down on the handle to make the toy spin while the bee flies inside the clear globe.
8. Color Spin. A set of eight colorful balls rotate in a clear globe as the child slides his hand on a roller ball.
9. Playskool flashlight. Light can rotate between red, green, and white.
10. Playdough is always a winner.
11. Sparkle Doll. When doll is pushed her earrings and heart light up.
12. Jack-in-the-box with a large handle
13. Brite Bear by Colorforms