Christmas is just around the corner and we’re confident that a great gift can bring the fun whilst also encouraging learning and development for a dyslexic child
There’s no denying that although it’s the ‘most wonderful time of the year’, the Christmas build up is thoroughly exhausting for children and parents alike. Managing a non-stop whirlwind of nativities, carol concerts, craft projects and Christmas lunches whilst also trying to squeeze in the all-important Christmas shopping is no easy feat. And when the recipient of the gifts you’re buying is a dyslexic child, there can be the added pressure of getting a present that takes into account the everyday challenges they face.
Learning, without realising it
Buying the perfect gift is never easy, no matter who you are buying for, but the great news is there are a wide variety of toys and games out there that are fun to play whilst also having an added educational benefit for dyslexic children. This matters, because although we’re all in need of a rest by the time the big day finally arrives, it’s really important for dyslexic children to make sure that a break from school doesn’t result in a complete break from learning and progressing. The right toy can build on their learning and help to stretch their development too – without them even realising!
But where do you start?
With thousands of toys to choose from it can be hard to work out what you should be looking for, so to give you a nudge in the right direction and make things a little bit easier, we’ve put together a list of a few of our favourites. Happy Shopping!
Play on words
At school, teachers are great at making word games fun, especially when kids have their friends around them whilst they learn, but it can be hard to replicate that when you want to help them learn at home. Luckily, there are a great selection of bright, colourful games on the market that focus on learning how to correctly form words whilst still bringing a real fun factor to the process.
If your focus is phonics, then look no further then these fabulous Phonics Dominoes which allow children to form hundreds of different words and are a great basis for lots of word formation games. With two sets available, one for blends and digraphs and the other for long vowels they are a great idea to help kids recognise and learn phonic sounds.
Alternatively, if your child is an animal lover, then these Rhyming Pups might be just the answer. Cute and colourful to look at and fun to snap together, these pups are aimed at younger children who are starting to match simple word beginnings and endings. Not only that, they also encourage their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. What more could you want?
Books, books and more books
Struggling to read is frustrating, but that doesn’t mean that books can’t be great presents for dyslexic children. The key is finding the right kind of book that’s appropriate for their reading level and what they’re interested in.
Whether it’s a fact book about a hobby they enjoy, a simple story book with pictures and less text, or a book with characters they can relate to, a book can be a great gift whether you read it together or they prefer to look at it by themselves.
We love the Treehouse books, where with each book the treehouse gets a little bit taller and packed full of more of Andy and Terry’s wacky inventions. The funny cartoon illustrations mean the pages are not text heavy, and there are a lot of laughs (for all the family!)
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is written in a similar style and with spaced out text it can make for easier, more natural reading. Plus, it’s guaranteed to make your children (and probably you) laugh out loud so what’s not to love.
There are so many books to choose from that the perfect book is just waiting to be found, plus getting a new book for Christmas creates the perfect opportunity for a post-Christmas dinner family reading session, perfect.
Time for a bake off
Whether your child fancies themselves on the next series of Junior Bake Off, or they’re just starting to show an interest when you get the mixing bowl out, baking is the perfect hobby for a dyslexic child.
Reading recipes, making shopping lists and measuring ingredients all provide great opportunities to develop literacy, numeracy and work as a team with siblings or parents. The more fun you can make it the better, so their very own baking set is a great Christmas present.
Kids baking equipment is bright, colourful and looks just like the real thing – which is something all children love! There are also great selections of fancy cutters in interesting shapes to choose from, after all what child wouldn’t love to make, and eat, their very own dog face biscuits? So, if you’re stumped for ideas then a baking related gift could be a great solution for the dyslexic child in your life.
All we want for Christmas
Of course there are many more toys and games out there, we’ve just chosen a few of our favourites, but we’re also firm believers that the most important thing is that the people you love are happy. Whatever you choose for that special someone in your life, if it’s given with love then it’s guaranteed to make their day. So good luck with the shopping and pre-Christmas build up and have a very merry Christmas.
About Dyslexia First
At Dyslexia First we want to help those who are living with dyslexia to enjoy life and the many opportunities it brings. We are relentlessly positive about dyslexia.
If you would like to talk further about dyslexia and discuss assessment for children or adults suspected of being dyslexic, then please get in touch.