Now that we’re in November, you may be starting to think about holiday gift giving for your children! From young children to teenagers, if there is someone with hearing loss on your gift list this year, consider some of the suggestions listed below:

  1. shutterstock_17746006Toys always seem to be a popular item particularly for young children. When purchasing you may want to consider toys that ignite your child’s imagination and can be used to stimulate and reinforce listening and language development. Some suggestions are toys that allow for creative expression and learning, such as dress up clothes, puppets, kitchen with play food or any of the LeapFrog® Also available today are many dolls and stuffed animals that wear hearing aids, hearing implants and other accessories related to hearing impairments.
  1. Books at any age can engage and reinforce listening skills as well as expand a child’s vocabulary, so they are always a great gift for a child. Consider purchasing books that are age appropriate. For younger children, consider simple interactive books that are repetitive with bright colorful pictures that you can describe to a child and create a dialogue. As a child gets older you might consider a popular book series or audiobooks. There are also many books featuring children with hearing loss; a few examples includeA Birthday for Ben” by Kate Gaynor and Karen Quirke, Hear Bear Discovers a World of Sound” by David and Brooke Sawyer, andAbby Gets a Cochlear Implant” by Maureen Riski.
  1. Games such as Apples to Apples™ and Barnyard Bingo™ are excellent holiday gifts as they reinforce social skills, turn-taking and listening for directions—plus a great activity for the entire family. There have been many games created for children with hearing loss that support listening, self-advocacy and communication strategies, including Look Who’s Listening Game®, Monkey Talk Self Advocacy Game, and What’s the Problem? game.
  1. Apps are an easy purchase for children who have access to a tablet or smartphone. There are many apps available that support listening and language development for children with hearing loss such as, Cochlear™ HOPE Words, Splingos Language Universe, Little Ears—Sounds for Toddler, and Voice Toddler Cards.
  1. Music strengthens language and listening and invites social participation for your child! There are a number of items that can fill your child’s holiday gift basket, including musical instruments, a ticket to a concert for their favorite artist, a children’s sing-along CD, or an iTunes® gift card.
  1. Accessories for your child’s hearing device. There are many wireless accessories and other assistive devices that can assist your child in their everyday life. The Cochlear™ True Wireless™ Mini Microphone 2+ would be an excellent gift for your child with a hearing implant to help provide enhanced hearing opportunities at school or while playing sports. There are many other accessories that promote independence for your child, including alerting devices for the home, phone accessories to improve hearing clarity, or TV listeners for a more enjoyable listening experience.
  1. Hearing Device “Bling” designed to provide style and pizzazz to your child’s device. SkinIt ®, Ear Gear, as well as several individual sellers/creators who offer hearing device bling that can be found on peer-to-peer e-commerce websites offer many ways to personalize your child’s device and show off their individuality. Ensure that if you do add some personality to your child’s hearing device it isn’t compromising the device’s ability to work.

We wish you and your family a joyous holiday season! Happy shopping!

Parents of a child with hearing loss looking for more resources can visit IWantYouToHear.com.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Renee Oehlerking
Renee Oehlerking is the Public Relations Manager at Cochlear Americas where she is responsible for the region’s public relations and consumer marketing social media. Renee enjoys uncovering, telling and showcasing the inspiring stories of hearing implant recipients. As a recent transplant to Denver, Colorado, Renee enjoys exploring all that the state has to offer outdoors.