The Holiday Helper That Isn't an Elf:

Posted on December 15, 2015

How to use the 2015 Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids

While no one will dispute the fact that socks are fun, practical and a great way keep feet warm, maybe they are best left off your holiday shopping lists. For all parents, and especially parents of kids with special needs, finding just the right gift can sometimes be a challenge. Due to a shared love of toys, the National Lekotek Center has partnered with Toys“R”Us since 1995 to create the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, because Lekotek and Toys“R”Us both believe in the mission of #ToysForAll. From the front cover to the back cover and all the colorful pages in between, this Guide is full of useful tips.

Here are just a few ideas on how to use the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids:

Toy Buying Tips

Toy buying is tough, so that is why at the very front of the Guide (page 3, to be precise) we list our “Top Ten Tips for Buying Toys”. Lekotek has been in the toy business for over 35 years, so we know a thing or two about buying toys. These tips are beneficial to check out before you go about selecting which toy is right for the child in question. If you cannot find a paper copy of the Guide, a digital version of the list can be found at the Toys”R”Us and AblePlay websites. 

Choosing Toys

There are a whopping 97 hand selected toys in this Guide for you to choose from, narrowing down the thousands of ideas inside of a Toys“R”Us store.

With every toy, the Guide includes a photo and short description of the product, so you can see it as well as read about it. Underneath each toy there are a selection of icons that list various developmental benefits of the toy.

These 10 benefits are as follows: auditory, creativity, fine motor, gross motor, language, self-esteem, social skills, tactile, thinking, and visual.

Use the descriptions as well as icons to determine if that toy is right for you and your child. Is the child working on going from a crawl to a walk? Then try a toy with the gross motor symbol above it. Toys are a natural way for children to learn, because they are the ones engaging in the activities that help develop these essential life skills. You can spur on certain skills by getting toys that will promote different developmental areas while keeping in mind the child’s personality and play preferences.

To expedite the process, the back of the Guide features a “Skill-Building Toy Finder Index” that outlines each toy under the developmental area it promotes.

Where is the Guide?

What good is a guide if you can’t get it? The Guide is easy to get your hands on, with plenty of hard copies available now at Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores nationwide. The Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids is also available online in both English and Spanish at