It’s that time of year! It’s a great time to buy gifts for the highly sensitives in our lives that actually help them. The ultimate Happy Sensitive Kids’ gift guide is divided up into sections to help you narrow down that perfect present for your child.
- Gifts to Help with Sleeping and Relaxation
- Gifts to Help with Emotions
- Gifts to Help Empty Their Buckets
- Gifts to Wear
- Gifts to Declutter
- Gifts to Read
- Dutch Language Gifts
*Many of the links here are affiliate links to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com or Gadanke journals. For each purchase you make with these links a small amount comes back to me, which pays for the Happy Sensitive Kids website fees for example, and a few cups of coffee here and there! :-)*
Gifts to Help with Sleeping & Relaxation
Sleep is often something that eludes a highly sensitive child. These children are often worriers and deep thinkers – and bedtime is just the time to see how full a little head is from the activities of the day. All their worries surface as they try to sleep. Here are tips from the HSK community to help with sleep and relaxation issues.
Weighted Eye Mask
To aid relaxation in order to help sleep one reader bought her son an IMAK weighted eye pillow and hasn’t looked back. There is a selection on Amazon.com, for those of you in the UK click on the photo below.
Creating a hideaway where a HSC can retreat to helps enormously. It provides a quiet space for a child to retreat to when their bucket is full and it all gets a little much.
My husband made a tent for our boys and we decorated it with fairy lights but there are lots of tents and tipis around to buy readymade. Amazon UK has a host of kids’ tents for inspiration and for those in the USA click on the photo below for ideas.
One HSK community member shares her success with her son with this Tatonka product (click on photo for US link) (here for UK link):
“This has made my son who has sensory issues sleep very soundly. I got the idea from an article about tenting beds in those who feel overloaded sensory wise in the evening. We popped a lamp in there, his teddies and a weighted duvet and he loved it. We never zip it up the whole way, just enough to make him feel cozy.”
Just having a favourite blanket can be a comfort for a child, particularly if it’s a habit that starts young.
Weighted blankets (Amazon US link) apply deep pressure on the body – like a good hug. They can help relax a child who battles with anxiety and stress and help a child feel safe and more grounded. You can buy full size weighted blankets (Amazon UK link) for sleeping under, or weighted lap blankets or pads (Amazon US link) that help with stress and help a child focus in the classroom for example (click on the photo below for Amazon UK link).
SensaCalm is a brand recommended within the HSK community.
A hanging chair or a hammock (UK link – for US link click photo below) to sit and read in is a great idea for kids.
Alternatively gift a beanbag chair (US link).
As one member of the HSK community said, “A big hit for the 8th birthday of my daughter was a big bean bag she can relax in. She keeps it in her room to read, great also for parents to sit in when bringing kids to bed , in front of tv etc. It’s actually a gift which lasts longer than two days of play with many other gifts.”
Chewing is a common topic in the HSK community. My eldest used to chew on his t-shirts – to the point of holes. Your child may also chew on pens, pencils. It’s an expensive problem – and not all too handy for the child either.
Luckily, there are tools to help chewers – like chew pendants or key rings. They come in so many designs (some are sturdier than others) so can be playful, fun to wear and subtle.
Fidget spinners (UK link) (US link) are all the rage – and they do the trick. Whilst I am reading to my seven year old he often has a fidget spinner in his hand. He uses another in school too to help him focus. They come in various colours, with lights, different weights and the like so the choice is staggering!
For a HSC lighting is an important part of being able to relax. Bright lights do little to soothe sensitive kids (or sensitive adults).
A lava lamp has worked beautifully for my eldest son. We bought a Mathmos lava lamp and we’re more than happy with it – they have internet shops worldwide.
Or maybe heart fairy lights (US link) are more appealing (click on the picture below for Amazon.co.uk).
Light projectors are also a good option to create a relaxing energy in a room. Like this space themed one (Amazon US). Click on the picture below for inspiration on Amazon.co.uk.
Record Story Time
Sometimes you can’t be there at bedtime but you can record yourself (or a grandparent or sibling) reading your child’s favourite story to be played back whenever your child wants. You can also buy recordable books. (US link here)
Relaxation music is a great way to create calm in your house. When my boys’ minds are racing at bedtime (US Link) we have a few go to CDs that help calm them but the choice is endless! (Click on the photos below for UK links).
Liquid Mind is a favourite of one of our HSK community members – and a few seconds listening to the link she shared is enough to know why. Click on the photos for Amazon.com and here for Amazon.co.uk.
This is one CD going in my kids’ stockings for sure.
Gifts to Help With Emotions
Essential oils have been recommended to me many times for many issues relating to my HSCs. They can help with sleep problems, relaxation and anxiety*. For more info on how essential oils work check out this.
Oils can be used in a diffuser or applied directly to the skin on different pressure points.
*make sure the oils are kid-safe.
A friend of mine based in the Netherlands gets oils specifically created for her children’s needs – so there are many options out there.
Natural Calm Magnesium
Worry dolls can help soothe an anxious HSC. These fair trade worry dolls come recommended from the HSK community.
I am a journal writer and I am striving to pass that on to my sons. Gadanke journals are one of our favourite – we have the mother and son and the Time Capsule journals but there is a mother and daughter journal too.
For those of you in the UK you can also order these journals from Amazon UK.
Wreck it Journals (US link) (for UK link click on photo below) are also popular in the HSK community.
Recordable Bears or Photo Albums
You can buy bears that allow you to record a short message (UK link here) that a child can play back when they like. If you can’t be there in person then your voice can still be a great comfort for your child. (US link here)
Alternatively you can gift a photo book that ‘talks’. Click on the photo for a UK link – here for a US link.
Gifts to Help Empty Their Buckets
There are many toys and activities that help children empty their buckets (for 50 ideas read this post) – the most popular ideas are:
Gifts don’t have to be expensive to be lots of fun – a little creativity and a bit of imagination is all you need to get your kids moving and over their dip. Like this mother’s brilliant idea: “Moving and laughter is a big bucket emptier for our HSC. So for movement our current favorite is cheap dollar store fly swatters and a balloon.”
Knitting helps empty my bucket, and when I introduced it to my kids it was a hit with them too. Simple patterns (a little blanket for a doll or a cuddly toy or a mini scarf for that favourite toy) are easy for children to make, fun and extremely satisfying once finished.
You could try french knitting (UK link) with your child, like one member of the HSK community, or cat’s cradles (for US link click on the photo below).
Gifts to Wear
Seamless and Soft Clothes
Socks and underwear are often problem items for highly sensitive children who are irritated by seams and labels. There are a number of brands that offer seamless and super soft products.
- Smart Knit Kids
- World’s Softest
- Primary – Get 20% off plus free shipping on your first order at Primary.com with code AFF20PCT
The daily commotion in our house about trousers is left best to the imagination. My seven year old has a wardrobe full of jeans and other trousers, but none of them classify as trousers he can actually wear. He will only wear jogging pants or trousers made of soft material. It’s a laundry battle. One mother may just have a solution – for her 13 year old son Levi’s and Wrangler’s 4 way stretch mens jeans have been a godsend. Find out more about the range on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
Primary also offer a range of soft pjs for babies and kids.
Onesies are a big hit in my house – and are also on the list of tools for one mother in the HSK community. The range is huge so finding something that your child will love should be easy. (UK link) (US link)
My three sons all have noise cancelling headphones for use in school. One also uses ear plugs for gym lessons. They are part of our standard tool kit! We have two different headphones: My youngest uses Alpine Muffy headphones (UK link) (US link) and my two eldest have Peltor headphones (UK link) (US link).
Gifts to Declutter
Many HSCs are master hoarders. They hate to throw out anything they have made, created or drawn. It’s only a matter of time before their bedrooms are heaped in ‘stuff’ they will not let go of.
- Make a photo book of their artwork
- Revamp their bedroom with plenty of storage space. A HSK community member did just that and recommends the high sleeper from the Children’s Bed Shop. This has created space under her daughter’s bed that serves as a den. My two eldest sons have exactly the same set up in their bedroom and we often find our eldest tucked away against a big cushion under there. Decluttering and relaxation in one! Take a look at the selection of high sleepers on Amazon.co.uk and loft beds on Amazon.com too for more ideas.
Gifts to Read
Don’t Feed the WorryBug Book
My Quiet Adventures Books
Frustrated by not being able to find story books tailored to her highly sensitive children Leila Boukarim decided to write her own. Introducing your children to My Quiet Adventures Books is certainly a wonderful way to gift your child.
Book to Help Kids with Emotions by Kate Collins-Donnelly
This series of books and CDs (UK link) has been a hit in our home for many years. If my sons are worried, anxious or simply full after a busy day they put on a Relax Kids meditation CD and it works wonders. Parents who happen to be hanging around bedside also benefit…..
Made By Raffi
Long Hat Story Book
You may call me biased (I translated this book from Dutch to English) but this book is an amazing resource for highly sensitive kids. Just amazing. It’s available from Amazon.co.uk.
Understanding the Highly Sensitive Child by James Williams
You could also gift your child’s school this year with this gem (also available on Amazon.co.uk here):
Dutch Language Gifts
For those of you with Dutch speaking children here are a few book tips:
Vrolijk is a colourful, almost textless, book (in Dutch) that helps children learn about emotions, another gem recommended in the HSK community.
Ridder Zeldenmoed is a story book written for highly sensitive children from eight years. It’s a fabulous read – I read it with my ten year old and it was a huge hit. It’s a book I hope will one day be translated into English!
And last, but by no means least, there’s the Langmuts series. This is a must-have series!
There are a few more ideas in other HSK posts:
- 10 Calming Gift Ideas for a Highly Sensitive Child
- 6 Perfect Gift Ideas for a Highly Sensitive Child
There are also ideas for those highly sensitive adults in your life:
- 10 Father’s Day Gift Ideas for a Highly Sensitive Father
- Mother’s Day Journal Gift Ideas
- 9 Book Gift Ideas for the Highly Sensitive People in Your Life
This list will be continually updated – if you have a gift idea or a product for a HSC then let me know!