Most of our hydran kids like toys with music and lights. Many of the kids have poor vision, but still see at least some light and contrast. Many respond to toys with lights, or heavy contrasted patterns and colors. Infant toys are generally designed with lights, music and contrast and often work well for our kids of all ages.
Therapists can be a wonderful source of ideas and help with toys. If you don't have a therapist, check with your doctor or call your local Early Intervention. Our kids qualify easily for Early Intervention services and they can be a great source.
***Note of caution that some children are sensitve to toys with lights, especially those with very flashy lights. They can sometimes cause seizures in some children. Check with your therapist or doctor if you are unsure or think your child is having photosensitive seizures.
Also sometimes toys can overstimulate and upset our kids. This is especially true for our youngest kids. Toys with too much visible overload can send kids into a screaming fit if they overload their brains with too much stimulation. Also too much touch or other sensory input can overload kids. Take it slow and easy with exposing kids to new toys and again always check with your therapist or doctor if you are unsure.
Many of our kids use toys with adapted switches. These toys are specially made so that by hitting a large switch activates the toy making them easier for our children to operate. These toys and switches can be costly but things like battery adapters allow many toys to be adapted easily and cheaply and can be reused in other toys.
Toys do not have to be made for play to interest our kids. Items such as "Space Blankets" are inexpensive on ebay or at army surplus stores and can provide reusable hours of fun.
VIDEO WITH PICTURES OF OUR KIDS' SENSORY ROOMS/SPACES
SENSORY ROOM IDEAS
Many of our families swear by "little rooms" or "sensory rooms". These can take on any number of forms. People have used cardboard boxes, squares made from PVC pipe, tents, and many other creations to make these "rooms". One thing they all have in common are several sensory type items hanging from the top for the child to manipulate. Things that can easily be bought cheaply at the dollar store, shiny items, spoons, pom poms, spoons, wind chimes, infant toys, or anything else that has texture/make sound/has visual interest.
Our kids work very well with sensory play. One thing that is a cheap and excellent source for the sense of touch is food. Food play is very popular with our kids. Tubs full or rice or other food such as pasta makes a great sensory experience. Cold pudding also is excellent for finger painting with. Shaving cream is also excellent for sensory play with both the hands and feet.
For stimulating their hearing, most of our kids just love music. Music therapy is also popular with our kids. Headphones work great and our kids seem to love them. An inexpensive portable cd player or ipod with headphones can provide many hours of fun. Also many of our kids love movies and respond well to personal portable cd players that can be placed close enough for them to really enjoy the pictures.
Many of our kids respond very well to the iPad or other tablet. They can read stories, listen to music or play learning games. Switches are available for the kids that are able to use them and special stands can be bought for using on the wheelchair tray or mounting on the wheelchair.
It is important to keep your child stimulated. I recommend not leaving your hydran child without some form of stimulation unless they are sleeping. If you are not there playing with them, have music playing and toys to look at and feel around them.