If your child has special needs of any kind, it is likely that he/she does not enjoy playing with toys in the same way that most other children do. This could be for a variety of reasons, such as sensory issues caused by noises emanating from the toys and frustration caused by the difficulty they are having understanding the rules of a game.
If you are struggling to find games and toys that keep your child entertained and happy, here is a list of alternative toys that you may not have tried. The types of toys below are more likely to stimulate, interest and satisfy your child in the ways they are looking for.
Toys They Can Watch
Toys that are just supposed to be watched are perfect for kids who don’t like playing and engaging with objects. An all-time favorite that falls into this category is a glitter jar. Check out this link for guidance on how to make your child a glitter jar that is bound to keep him/her calm and happy for hours on end.
*If you are not looking to spend the time on a DIY, other watchable toys such as disco balls or lava lamps are great alternatives.
Toys That Feel Real
If plastic kitchen toys or tool kits just don’t do the job for your child, try introducing real, but safe kitchen appliances or tools. Unlike actual toys, these items will make your child feel productive and useful, and will keep your child busy and entertained.
Your child may refuse to play with typical toys, but if you have ever taken your child to a gym or a recreation facility, you probably have noticed that it is almost impossible to divert your child’s interest from climbing on and playing with the exercise machines. It would probably be useful to invest in a small trampoline or indoor bicycle to satisfy your child’s desire for this type of activity. These active “toys” will help keep your child busy and also provide the extra benefit of a healthy and active lifestyle.
Although they might not seem like toys, playing with musical instruments may be the exact activity your child is looking for. To start, consider investing in a small, plastic kazoo or recorder. If these toy instruments peak your child’s interest and you find them wanting more, it may be time to look into actual musical instrument lessons for your child! Playing a musical instrument can help all children improve in many areas, and can help them figure out how they learn best, commit and stay motivated at something, and can even be a therapeutic outlet for expressing emotions.
Your child may be uninterested in toys simply because they see no purpose in them and they can’t find a practical “take-away” message. By providing your child with visual, educational objects such as globes or maps, you may peak your child’s interest and help them learn more about the world all at once. Your child might enjoy looking at the colors on the map, the way states and countries are spelled, the sizes of all the bodies of water, and more. They might even create their own games using the globe to play by themselves or with you.
If your child seems to not like any of the toys you buy for them, it is possible that you’re just purchasing the wrong types of toys. Try out some toys from any of the five alternative categories above, and its likely that a toy from one of those categories will suddenly do the job. If you find that your child is really interested in a toy from one of the five categories, start looking for any toy you can find that fits the same type of description. That way, your child who “doesn’t play with toys” will eventually have a collection full of alternative ones that satisfy their playing needs.