5 Holiday gift ideas for tween girls with autismDec 07, 2023
The post below was written by guest blogger Jennifer Bullock, homeschooling mom to a 10-year-old nonspeaking daughter. Jennifer also runs Autism Oasis’ state educational choice programs, getting us approved with state departments of education and live online with ClassWallet. Enjoy this list of holiday gift ideas for tween girls from Jennifer Bullock!
Are you looking for some holiday gift-giving inspiration? I have a 10-year-old daughter and would like to share a mix of things she enjoys (plus one she will get this holiday season.) These five items cover pretend/imagination play, letters and learning, arts and crafts, and physical outdoor play.
A while back, I noticed my daughter really enjoying a scene during her favorite cartoon where characters were having a tea party. Being non-speaking and with limited communication at the time, she couldn’t really “tell” me about her interest, so I interpreted it myself. I got her a beautiful tea set and it’s been a prized possession ever since.
The set I originally got for my daughter was from World Market; however a search for “tin tea set” on Amazon will result in a plethora of adorable sets to choose from. Of the choices I had in front of me at the store, I chose a unicorn-themed set (ample amount of rainbows in the design - a favorite of my daughter’s.)
She doesn’t have the typical tea party with stuffed animals and only on rare occasions are Mom and Dad allowed to attend. Most of the time she likes to have tea parties at the bathroom sink and mirror and while she has her favorite program playing on her iPad. She recently brought her visiting cousin into the tea parties and it’s been great to see her expand her social interactions with a toy she loves.
The beautiful woodland creature set shown above is the same style as the unicorn one my daughter enjoys.
Prices vary depending on the set; but one with cups, a kettle, plates and a tray in a matching suitcase start around $20.
Thankfully this learning toy/set has outlived its initial purpose and continues to be a favorite. My daughter knows her letters and the objects they correlate to on the locks; however, beyond just general play or incorporating a lock into a specifically chosen row of toys, she has also used these to fuel her newfound enthusiasm for learning to spell familiar words on her AAC device.
(Amazon has other styles, prices start around $42)
My daughter really enjoys arts and crafts so I’m always on the lookout for easy to use, sensory-friendly materials that get the job done. These tempera paint sticks are fantastic. They operate just like a glue stick and the paint is dry within 90 seconds, so you can handle the artwork in a quick manner if needed.
We have used these sticks on everything from paper (construction, printer, art quality) to popsicle sticks, rocks, and more. I’m listing the brand Kwik Stix here but know that there are many other brands, including the house brand at Michael’s, which we own a set of as well. You might be able to find them at different prices (Michael’s always has a coupon you can use!)
Visiting playgrounds can be a fun thing to do, but I wanted to have a playset at home but unfortunately we have a small backyard. I was determined to find something that she could play on that would not only be a fun outdoor activity but lend itself to proprioceptive play and bilateral coordination skills. There are many models out there, but I chose this one and sprung for the removable hammock add-on so if my kiddo wanted to lie down (or wiggle) and look up at the sky for a while, she would have that option.
This is on my list for my daughter’s Christmas gifts this year. Like I mentioned, she likes arts and crafts and we just finished using a giant activity pad by Melissa & Doug called “Make - a - Face”. So expanding on that interest, I found this magnetic set where she can mix and match and make all sorts of faces. We can talk about the details, laugh at silly faces, and more. I think she will like it! This brand makes other themes too, like boy’s face and animal mix and match.
And that’s my rundown for some great items you can consider getting your kiddo. Sometimes it can be hard for us parents to pick out items for our kids if they seem to like very unorthodox playtime activities. Expand on their interests and you’ll be able to find wonderful gifts to get them!
- Jennifer Bullock
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