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Deaf-friendly Christmas gifts

Published Date: 07 Dec 2023

As the last firework squeals into submission among a sea of sparklers on November 5th, it’s unavoidable. A shift in the seasons instantly occurs. Bonfire Night is over. It means only one thing – Christmas is coming! My phone is full of lists for the upcoming festivities. With two deaf children aged two and five, I’ve come across a few ideas for deaf-friendly gifts.


My children love spotting characters in books with the same hearing devices they use. I think it’s so important to see representations of themselves in print. Aged just one, Jack took great delight in pointing out the monkey with a hearing aid in ‘Goat Goes to Playgroup’. Our other current favourites are ‘Mighty Mila’, ‘The Quest for the Cockle Implant’ and ‘Freddie and the Fairy’.


In recent years, a lot of toy manufacturers have recognised the popularity of creating diverse representations. Children need to see themselves in the world around them as they play. I think the Barbie with hearing aids has been well documented, but on Etsy there are also plenty of toy hearing aids and cochlear implants you can add to current dolls or soft toys.

Sound games

This idea comes from my own childhood. Immortalised in our ‘90s home video footage, there I am playing a ‘guess the sound’ game with a CD – like bingo with audio clips. These ‘listening lotto’ games are great practise for identifying real sounds, particularly for deaf children who sometimes need to ‘over learn' background sounds until they become familiar.


This is a great stocking filler for pre-schoolers. Both of mine have used these for signing and speech practise. It may sound simple, and it is – they both love taking out the cards and showing off their knowledge.

[See one family’s review of the Cath Smith British Sign Language (BSL) Flashcards]

Device accessories

As deaf children get older they may enjoy jazzing up their hearing devices according to their interests. Over on Etsy, you can find retainers or skins with a whole host of designs. I recently bought Isabelle a Harry Potter retainer to match her latest obsession. Another ideal stocking filler.

Musical instruments

Most deaf children are likely to pick up some sound and/or vibration from instruments. They’re a fantastic way of experimenting with pitch, volume, speed and rhythm. Some of our favourites are our piano mat, steel drum and sound puzzles. My children have also got their mitts on my old school recorder. Thankfully our house is detached!


We haven’t delved into this yet, but I’ve heard good things about Deaf Identity who sell a range of clothing with phrases and BSL images, some of which can be personalised. A unique gift to consider!

Cause and effect toys

These are a nice alternative to toys that rely on sound and a great opportunity for learning. We like marble runs and ball drops, pop-up toys, shape sorters and bubble wands – in fact, any toy that involves bubbles!


On that note - I’d better finish my own shopping! Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Christmas 2023. And good luck if you buy the recorder!


Nicky and her husband Ross are parents to Isabelle (5) and Jack (2). Isabelle is profoundly deaf and wears cochlear implants, and  Jack is severely to profoundly deaf and wears hearing aids. Nicky is severely deaf herself and wears a hearing aid.