Three Year Old Special Needs Holiday Gift Guide

I feel like a chimpanzee for posting Christmas content this early, but I asked on Instagram if you guys wanted to see these posts now, or after Thanksgiving, and 83% of the people said that they wanted to see the gift guides now. So I'm unapologetically sharing with you what we're getting our kids for Christmas this year now, rather than later. 

Shopping for special needs kids is so hard. I know that this list might not even hit the mark with your child and their needs, but these are the things that we're getting Em this year for Christmas based on her skills and what she can do. I'm really excited because I feel like since her birthday, I've really hit my stride with gift giving for her, and getting her things that she's excited to play with that are not incredibly underage and pathetic for her (something I struggled with for her first few birthday's and Christmases. 

1. Hungry Hungry Hippos: I know I mentioned this on Em's birthday present gift guide, but we actually didn't purchase it then, and are looking forward to getting it for her for Christmas. It's a game that doesn't involve a lot of logic, but it still develops hand skills which are important too!

2. Xylophone: We've been collecting instruments for our kids over the last couple years. Last year we got Em a tambourine and a triangle for Christmas and she really enjoyed playing with them, so I think she'll like adding this to her collection. 

3. Color Wonder Coloring Pages: I've been a huge fan of Crayola Wonder products for years now. They make zero mess and are perfect for Em to play with. I'm excited to see how these finger paints work, and I know Jay will love playing with them too!

4. Bowling Set: We had a bowling set a couple years ago and got rid of it during one of our moves. I think this game will be great for Em since it's something that gets her up and moving, but that she can do on her knees or sitting. She can throw or roll the ball at the pins, and it's something else that her and Jay can do together. 

5. Playdough: Part of Em's homework for preschool is playing with playdough... so this is mostly to facilitate that, regardless of how I actually feel about playdough ;) 

6. Lift and Look Magnet Puzzles: We've never had these puzzles before, but I think Em will really love playing with it since it's so different from a normal puzzle. 

7. Press and Play Sensory Blocks: These blocks are awesome because it can help Em with learning how to stack, but since they're "bristle blocks" they add that sensory component to working with your hands. I like that they lock together so they don't fall easily, but Em can also work on hand strength by pulling them apart and putting them together repeatedly! 

8. Duplo Lego Set: This gift may backfire, but Em really loved playing with Duplos when we were with Derek's parents in Idaho last month. I thought it might be fun to get her a set of her very own. My only concern is her getting frustrated with assembling it the "right way", but even then, I think she'd like to play with them her own way too. 

If you need more special needs gift ideas for kids in the 3-5 age range see: What to get a Three-Year-Old Who Can't Walk


  1. Love this gift guide! I'm going to share this with my aunt. My little cousin is the sweetest girl in the world with special needs (other than Em of course;) lol) I think she would love your posts like these!!

  2. These sensory blocks are fantastic.

    I didn't encounter bristles till a few years on.

  3. This a great post and it will help me while Christmas shopping for family and friends with special needs children.

  4. I love the idea of a bowling set! Such a great idea.
    Courtney ||

  5. Great post it will help me gift my nephew thank's to share idea with me