The festive season is upon us! As the holidays draw near, the quest for the ideal Christmas gift becomes paramount, particularly when seeking something both entertaining and instructive for a child with dyslexia or dyscalculia. Luckily, the Dyslexia UK store offers an array of games and tools designed to enhance children’s abilities. Here’s our selection of the top 10 Christmas gifts for Secondary-aged children grappling with dyslexia or dyscalculia.
Rummikub is not just a game; it’s a tool for honing cognitive skills, strategic acumen, and pattern recognition. Players dive into the thrill of creating numerical runs, like 2-3-4, or groups such as 8-8-8, utilising vibrant, tactile tiles. For secondary-aged students with dyslexia, Rummikub emerges as a captivating break from word-heavy games, placing the spotlight on numeric sequences and strategic planning. As players plot to use their tiles in the most effective ways and outmaneuver their competitors, they refine their logical and mathematical prowess. The tactile feedback from the tiles, combined with the visual engagement of spotting patterns, can also be advantageous for students grappling with learning challenges. This Christmas, present the gift of strategy, skill-building, and sheer enjoyment with this classic game!
Dive into a world of quick thinking and creative flair with Scattergories. The game, designed for teenagers and adults, revolves around coming up with words that fit a specific category, all while racing against the clock. It’s a fantastic way to expand vocabulary, improve spelling, and boost creative thinking. For children with dyslexia, Scattergories offers an engaging way to practice word retrieval and strengthen language skills. By categorizing and brainstorming words under pressure, children hone their cognitive abilities and build confidence in their language skills.
This is an engaging and innovative tool designed to elevate your child’s mathematical prowess. This unique set promotes mastery of multiplication and division, key foundational arithmetic skills. Through the use of colour-coded cards and a game-based approach, learners will find practicing times tables both rewarding and fun. For children grappling with dyscalculia, tackling tables offers a tactile, visual, and interactive method to grasp mathematical concepts. This set promises to turn tedious table training into an exhilarating educational experience.
This is not just a 1980s throwback to classic electronic games; it is a tool that could significantly aid children with memory-related learning difficulties. Simon challenges players to remember and repeat sequences of lights and sounds, which directly stimulates the working memory and sequencing skills. For children whose working memory is a learning barrier, regular engagement with this game can promote enhanced auditory and visual memory. As the sequences grow longer and more complex, children incrementally challenge themselves, reinforcing memory retention and recall capabilities. This repetitive yet entertaining form of cognitive exercise helps solidify neural pathways associated with these processes, essential for academic learning and daily life navigation. Moreover, the game’s sensory engagement is ideal for maintaining focus and attention, often problematic areas for children with learning differences, making Simon an enjoyable and beneficial activity.
Similar to Simon above, Bop It! develops a child’s memory and processing skills. This game comes with commands that prompt children to twist, pull, or bop the game unit, ensuring hours of giggles and excitement. Bop It! is an engaging way to enhance hand-eye coordination, improve reaction times, and develop auditory processing skills. The repetitive nature of the game can also be beneficial for children with dyslexia, aiding in pattern recognition and memory recall. Plus, the game grows with the child, offering multiple levels of challenge to keep them intrigued. Bop It! Electronic Game makes for a fantastic Christmas gift that promises both entertainment and learning.
Get ready for a burst of giggles and excitement with the Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza card game! This lively game brings an electrifying mix of slapstick fun and swift decision-making. As cards are flipped over, players need to shout out the card’s name and be the quickest to slap the pile when the card matches the chant. Perfect for children, the game enhances reflexes, sharpens memory, and hones auditory and visual processing skills. For those with dyslexia, the repetitive nature of the game aids in pattern recognition and builds confidence in verbal articulation.
Another 1980s classic, in the quest to make learning more accessible for teens with dyscalculia, Yahtzee emerges as an unexpected yet effective educational resource. This engaging dice game subtly bridges the gap between fun and education, requiring players to navigate number relationships, pattern recognition, and strategic mathematical thinking as they roll and allocate dice to score points. The competitive aspect of Yahtzee offers an adrenaline boost, motivating players to engage more deeply with mathematical concepts, often a challenge area for those with dyscalculia. Furthermore, the game’s practical application of maths helps demystify abstract concepts, encouraging teens to interact with numbers more confidently.
This game revolutionises the learning experience by focusing on visual and tactile methods, which are often more suitable for students with reading difficulties. The word wheel challenges users to create words in a fun, stress-free manner, circumventing the frustrations typically associated with traditional spelling tasks. This hands-on approach encourages learning through doing, which is particularly effective for those with dyslexia as it allows students to understand word construction visually and spatially, rather than relying solely on their ability to recall textual information. Furthermore, its engaging nature turns learning into a game, reducing the pressure often felt by dyslexic learners and promoting a more positive, confidence-building academic experience.
Whilst not the most fun present, your teenager will thank you for this gift. Beyond a conventional dictionary, this resource is tailored specifically to navigate the unique challenges dyslexic individuals face, employing a user-friendly colour-coding system that streamlines the search for words, reducing the stress commonly associated with spelling. The dictionary develops independence and confidence in language use, qualities especially crucial during the formative teenage years. By focusing on pattern recognition rather than rote memorisation, it complements the dyslexic learner’s cognitive style, empowering them to master spelling at their own pace and fostering a more positive approach to literacy. The more advanced version is available here
This book, by Kate Griggs, is an uplifting and insightful gift for teenagers with dyslexia. It offers inspirational stories of individuals who have overcome the hurdles of dyslexia and thrived. It doesn’t just stop at their stories; it delves into practical advice, strategies, and an affirmative viewpoint on the strengths and unique skills often associated with dyslexic individuals. The book’s empathetic approach helps demystify dyslexia, encouraging teenagers to embrace their learning differences as just one aspect of their extraordinary selves. By gifting this, you’re providing more than just understanding; you’re offering a source of motivation and a message of resilience that could be life-changing for a young mind struggling to find their place in the academic world.
We hope you have found these suggestions useful. Please check out the Dyslexia UK shop for further books and games which our assessors recommend for people with dyslexia or dyscalculia. The previous article on Christmas presents for Primary age children with dyslexia can be found here. Also, look out for next week’s Dyslexia UK article on suggestions for Christmas family board games.