It is that time of year where everyone is scrambling to buy gifts for love ones. It can be a fun time, especially if you include your child in the process. For families with special needs children, it can be hard to involve your child in gift giving. Every child should be included in the fun and adjusting the process for your special needs child can actually be an easy task. These five tips can help you include your child in gift giving and spread the holiday cheer.
Some of our greatest childhood memories is picking out gifts for our parents and siblings. This process may be overwhelming for your child, especially in a large department store. Try taking them to a local dollar store instead. A dollar store is smaller and you can direct them to certain isles to help narrow their choices. Shopping for their family members will be an exciting process for them and a dollar store can less overwhelming than a department store. It is also cheap!
Another tip is to include your child in picking out holiday cards. You can pick out a couple and then have them pick what card will go to who. Your child can sign their own name or draw a little picture inside to personalize it. This will give them pride to know they got to add their own little touch onto the card. If possible, the child can even make their own cards for grandparents or other family members. An adult may have to help by writing a little holiday saying on the inside, but let the child draw pictures and add fun sensory (glitter, ribbon, etc.). Cards is another great way to include your child with the gift giving process.
Another alternative to picking out gifts is to give two options for your child. Pick out two items and then let the child decide which one to get. This is less overwhelming than letting them pick out anything in the store. It also gives the parent a little more control while allowing the child to be involved in the decision. It will be fun for your child to make the final decision and give them the sense of being needed. Your child will also feel proud when seeing the individual receive the gift.
If your child enjoys crafts, then this next tip is for them. Have your child make gifts for family and friends. They can be simple or more complex. One idea is to pick out a wooden frame and allow your child to decorate it with paints, bows, glitter, stickers, etc. Next, have them pick out a picture to put into the frame. Not only is this thoughtful, but your child will love the process of making the gift and they will feel proud giving the gift to someone they care about. Making gifts can bring out the creative side in your child and give them a way to feel included in gift giving.
The last tip is for wrapping. Your child may not take any interest in actually wrapping the gift. They also may not have the motor skills for it, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be involved. Let your child pick out the wrapping paper and bows. They will see the final product all wrapped up with a bow on top and know they helped. It will also be a fun thing for your child to tell the individual who is getting the gift.
Children want to be involved in everything, especially around the holidays. They see how much time and energy is put into gift giving and they want to help and feel needed. Simple tips such as making a card or gift is just two ways a child can be involved. No child wants to be left out and these five tips may help you include them in the process of gift giving. We hope these tips can be applied to your family and make it easier to involve your special needs child. If you have anymore tips on involving children with gift giving, please submit them through a comment.