Sunday, November 23, 2014

Holiday Shopping for Special Needs - Books

Let it be known

I am basing my opinions off of children s books at my own children s levels, Dylan age 3, functional level of baby-toddler. Sofia age 23 months functional level baby-toddler. And Jasmine age 8 and in 3rd grade, reading level 1st grade - early 2nd grade. This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own and may differ from yours.

I don't know about you but when it comes to shopping for any kid I come up stumped most of the time, but even more so with my special needs children it can become a serious challenge. I find myself running up and down the aisles, wondering what does my child need, what will my child enjoy playing with, and what would most benefit my child in their current intellectual level. No mom likes to call their child slow, but in all reality all children are at different levels at different times. Even if children are not special needs they are at different stages, take one 2 year old and put them in a room with another two year old and they will not play with the same things most of the time. And I think that's what makes shopping so difficult. Most of the toys in the toy aisle are marked with an age range. Most of the time they give a 3 to 6 month or sometimes even more leeway as to when the child should be able to play with that but sometimes even if you bought a toy for your child in the right age range that says on the box, it might not be right for them. I'm going to try to a series in the next week, gifts I think would be well suited for my children, and hope that will help you figure out gifts for your own children.

Today I just want to talk about books. Because I think a lot of the time they are left out as presents for the holidays. But if you find the right book it could be really fun and engaging for both you and your child. Working on skills your child needs at the same time.

There's this website called that I really like. The reasons that I like this site is because it is join together with 10 different site such as and, 10 stores, one shopping cart and one check out. I think it's super convenient, and I just really like it. Most of these book are from that site. They also ship fast! Like it could be on your door step the very next day without even having to pay extra for shipping.

Firstly when you go to buy a book for your child there are few things that you need to think about before. While you might know your child age and grade , do you know your child's reading level? This is an issue I have with my daughter Jasmine. She is in third grade, but has a first grade to early 2nd grade reading level. Knowing your child's reading level can help a lot, because you don't want to buy a book that won't catch their interest because they can't read it or because it's too difficult to read. Some ways you can find out your child's reading level are to ask your child's teacher, they spend 8 hours a day with your child and should know at what level your child is reading. Look at the books that they bring home from school, in school they may push your child to read about the reading level, which they should be doing. But at home to make reading more enjoyable you want to find books that are at their level and in their interest.

Another thing that you want to find out before you start looking for both is what is your child's interests. Whether it be singing and dancing, science, math, whatever their interests might be you're going to want to find a book that is interesting to them. This you can do also by asking their teachers or by simply just talking to them. If something is really interesting them they usually talk about it all the time. Like for instance, my daughter is obsessed with crafting. She loves Pinterest. So a book about crafts would be really interesting to her and she would read it. For my son, I would lean more towards books that needed social interaction, like books you would need to take part in also, because we have found he is most rewarded by one on one activities.

Also some things that might keep your child's interest in the book is find there favorite character in the books. Cartoons they are currently raving over, or movies they have seen.

Here are some Examples of books I think would be really fun and engaging for children Sofia's and Dylan's age and levels

Five Little Ducks - This book is actually a song, my son love its. This version of the book is also fun for both you and your child to read and play with because it teaches you how to sign the song in sign language.  Also teaching a little bit of counting. All the while keeping your child engaged in social interaction and having fun! 

Tickle Monster - This I think is way too much fun, which makes it a great gift :) The tickle monster kits comes with the actual book and a pair of mits, you can use to become the tickle monster! Fun and engaging book and will also allow for sensory interaction with your child. This is actual on my to get list myself, because Dylan loves tickles and I think he would really enjoy it.

Wipe Clean Learn to Write Your Letters - This I think children would find fun because it allows them to draw inside the book. While they are having fun they will also be working on their fine motor skills :)

Toes, Ears & Nose! - I like to call these the peek-a-boo books, there are many different types but this is just one that Sofia has and she enjoys. They have little flip tabs to hidden parts of the book, for example a page might show shoes on at first and once flip your will see socks. These books are great for self identification games, the " Look mommie has a nose, you have a nose, where is your nose?" game

Ten Little Ladybugs - This book I couldn't actually find at I had to Google search it and found it at . But I just love this book! This is another one on my to get list. Dylan used to play with this book A LOT during OT session in early on. Its a counting book. but as you count you push down each ladybug and they make a pop sound. So not only are they seeing the nuber on the page but they also get it feel and hear what it sounds like as they push each lady bug in while they are counting each one off. 

Here are some Examples of books I think would be really fun and engaging for children Jasmines age and reading level
(right now I'm trying to teach Jasmine that when you read, there are pay-offs to it. She really dislikes reading and it really struggling with it. So I'm trying to show her when you read something that interests you, you will learn something you can use in life to make it fun and easier)

My First Sewing Book - This is a Great book to get if you have a little crafter like me. When getting this book you may want to pair it with scrapes of felt or cotton materials as well as a  kid safe sewing kit.

The Disney Princess Cookbook - How cool would it be to be able to learn how to cook like a princess? Awesomely cool both me and Jasmine think so :) All with step by step instructions easily read by your Little reader.

First Big Book of Why - Do you have a kid who asks why all the time? I do and this book is perfect for that! Alot of the time Jasmine asks me why I dont even know the reasons myself and so I rush to Google, but how fun would it be to have a book you can look them up together. National Geographic has a lot of books, it would be hard to find one of there books that wouldn't spike your child interest. this is just one that stuck out to us.

Fingerprint Drawing Book - Jasmine always thinks its fun to do anything artsy. This is one kinda of art I have yet to see her do and I know she will think its totally awesome, This book is on my to get list. Making an entire picture out of your own finger prints! That just screams awesome-sauce!

Pop-Up: Everything You Need to Create Your Own - This Is another One Jasmine herself has said would be really cool to learn to make your own pop-up book. I plan on using this book in conjuction with our own social stories we make up together.

Just remember to keep your own children s interests in mind when shopping for books. The more interactive the book is the more likely it is to keep their attention. Remember to discuss with others who see your child everyday what they think about your child's reading level and interest. Sometimes older children will hide things from their parents and share with their teachers, baby sitters what they don't share with you. Don't be upset about it, its just something that happens with age, and its normal.

I hope you find this helpful when looking for books for your children this holiday season :)

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