Are you thinking about buying a gift for a child or young person with sight loss this Christmas but aren’t sure what makes a suitable present? Blind Children UK has created handy guide with lots of ideas to help get you started:
Babies and Toddlers
Babies with an eye condition may need encouragement to reach, to explore and to understand the world around them. You may want to think about:
- Moving parts that are fun to wiggle, switch, pull or press.
- Sound – bells on socks, crackly fabric, rattles, musical tunes.
- Texture – different fabrics, dimpled or squeezy toys.
- Bright contrasting colours or black and white contrast.
- Tactile books and audio books.
- Toys with lights, (depending on the eye condition and child’s needs)
- Ways of organising toys i.e. a soft ‘toy bin’ or ‘treasure basket to help toddlers find things
Pre-school and Primary school
Children know their own minds and develop their interests and hobbies as they grow. Depending on what they enjoy, you could consider:
- Accessible ways of reading for example CustomEyes large print books or aCustomEyes gift certificate.
- Toys to play with other children for example accessible board games.
- Introducing accessible technology.
- Sports or outdoor equipment for example foam balls or balls with bells inside.
- Accessible equipment for hobbies like baking or crafts; for example talking devices, bright colours, colour contrasts, possibly large print ‘how to’ books.
- You could make standard toys and games more accessible by adding tactile elements or large print.
Teenagers generally have very specific likes and dislikes. But why not try:
- Favourite foods i.e. a big box of chocolates.
- Some scented body spray and shower gel.
- Encouraging physical activity with fashionable workout gear or membership to a suitable sports club.
- Technology gifts for example nice headphones, a charger, music or audio book download gift cards.
- A gift card for a clothing store they like, and maybe offer to go with them on the shopping trip.
- Encouraging independence for example cooking equipment and support to use it safely, a bus or train pass after they’ve learnt travel skills.
- Experiences together – a day out doing something new.
Lisa Petrie from Blind Children UK works with children who have sight loss as well as those with additional complex needs.
She said: “I get asked about this all year round and my main advice to someone buying a present for a child with sight loss, is keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive, it could be something like a treasure basket filled with household items.
“Natural fibres are good, as opposed to having everything in plastic, and it’s good to go for harder sometimes rougher materials. Often it’s the softer materials that children dislike because they can’t really get hold of them and they just tickle.
“Another tip would be to think about cause and effect toys where you turn or press something and something happens, and things which involve music are always good.”
For more information please see the gift guide infographic or call 0800 781 1444 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org