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When it comes to toys, all children have likes and dislikes. There is no reason to search for toys that are made especially for deaf children. Most toys will be suitable, although sound-based toys may be difficult for your child to use. There are some toys that are designed for deaf children. These tend to have an extra purpose, such as helping with speech and language development.

There are some basic principles that might help with your choice of toys:

  • Look for toys that help your child to learn new things and develop new skills. The toys should be appropriate for your child’s age and level of development.
  • Toys that have a purpose may help your child to understand different concepts (for example, if a child has to push a button or pull a lever to make the toy move or make the lights flash).
  • Toys that have an interesting shape, feel nice to touch or are attractive to look at (with bright colours or flashing lights) may be especially interesting to your child.
  • Toys that allow your child to play ‘make believe’ games, such as play tea sets, shops and kitchens, help to stimulate their imagination. These toys may also help them to understand different kinds of real-life situations, such as how to use money, and encourage them to develop social skills.
  • The important thing to remember is that toys should be fun and be enjoyable for your child.

“Looking back, some of the best times I had with my son when he was young was during our ‘together time’. I used to make time every day for just the two of us. We used to play a game or just chat about what we had done that day. Although some days it wasn’t easy to find the time, as I used to work, it was worth it.”

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Information provided by the National Deaf Children’s Society. Reproduced with permission.
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