Special Needs Round-up: Christmas gifts and tips

special needs blog posts sliderHappy Christmas to you all!

Here’s a quick round-up of the festive season, from gifts, to crafts, tips, books and films in case you need a little last minute inspiration. Have fun!


Joy at Pink Oddy has got us in the festive spirit whilst improving our fine motor skills with these Salt Dough Star Gift Ideas. As well as lovely tags, they’d make super tree decorations.

Twinkl are my go to site for free downloadable resources. The have a wonderful SEN section and plenty of Christmas activities, colouring, card making and learning here. They might just be what you need on a rainy day when the children are bored over the holidays.

Nativity 3

Festive films

Have you been to see Nativity 3 yet? We were persuaded by an over-zealous 7 year old to pop along weeks ago. Here’s what we thought, giggles, tears and all, in Nativity 3 in November. Some cinemas are offering autism friendly screening, so check their websites before you go.

Gift Ideas

The Mum of an 18-year-old with Cerebral Palsy has compiled this fabulous list of gift ideas. She writes at Have Wheelchair Will Travel and her post includes exciting options like a Kayak lesson or funky wheel guards.

For a sensory seeker, a fidget or child with fine or gross motor skill problems, it can be tricky to find stocking fillers and gifts. You might find some inspiration on Special Needs Toys site which includes inexpensive items like fidget toys right up to more expensive swings and fitness equipment.

Scope has compiled a very useful list of storybooks for children containing characters with disabilities. They make fabulous stocking fillers or useful books to spark discussion at any time of year.

Apps for phone and iPad

A Day in Our Shoes has gathered a collection of fun and educational apps ‘yule’ love (pardon the pun). 20 Special Needs Apps for Christmas are here.


If you use sign as a means of communication at home you will absolutely adore the new Christmas song from Singing Hands. It’s called All I Want for Christmas is a Hippo. Of course, what else? You can watch the video of them in action here:


Advent Calendars

And on the subject on signing, the Makaton Charity have once again treated us to a daily video advent calendar. Each day teaches us a new Christmas sign and you can watch them all here. My girls can’t wait to join in each day as we count down the days and an advent calendar helps them understand the concept of time and Christmas approaching.

Please do leave your posts in the linky below for inclusion in the January round-up. And remember to have a wonderful family time, doing what’s right for you and your unique family. And try to find a moment for yourself!

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About Hayley Goleniowska

A former language teacher and voice-over artist, Hayley is now the Mum of two gorgeous girls, the youngest of whom, Natty, has Down’s Syndrome. She blogs, speaks and writes articles on the subject for all who will read or listen.

Through Downs Side Up she aims to both offer support and encouragement to new families with a diagnosis, and gently change perceptions of Down’s Syndrome from within hearts through beautiful words and photos.

Her daughter Natty is a clothing model and an amazing ambassador for children with disabilities everywhere. She has appeared in The Sun, Mail Online, Bella Magazine and on ITV Daybreak.

You can find Hayley on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.


  1. 15 December 2014 / 22:48

    What a fantastic, really useful round up – thank you for featuring our stars.

    • 15 December 2014 / 22:58

      You are most welcome Joy. I always find your site an essential visit for Christmas ideas.