Some Tips for Helping Your Child with Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when a child has an extra chromosome, specifically an extra copy of chromosome 21. This lifelong condition impacts how a baby’s brain and body develop, which can cause a number of physical and mental challenges for a child.

At ExploraToy, we care about the health and well-being of every child. In the article that follows, we’ll share some tips to help your child with down syndrome develop, flourish, and live their best possible life.


Developmental Difficulties Facing Children with Down Syndrome

Children with Down Syndrome face a number of difficulties during development. This impacts both their physical and intellectual abilities. Many children with the condition have flattened faces and almond-shaped eyes that face up. Other common physical characteristics include a short neck and small ears.

Children with Down Syndrome often have additional difficulties:

  • Trouble with motor development.Children with Down Syndrome often take longer to develop motor skills, including oral motor control (which can impact their language development).
  • Difficulty with numbers and abstract concepts.Children with Down Syndrome often learn best with the help of visual supports. Because of this, numbers and abstract concepts may be particularly challenging for them to handle.
  • Challenges with spoken language. The same things that contribute to their delayed motor development make it more difficult for them to learn grammar and sentence structures. Clear speech is often a struggle for them.
  • Problems remembering verbal information.Children with Down Syndrome learn best visually. Since many educational systems rely so heavily on speech to teach students, children with the condition often struggle to process and understand new information in traditional classroom settings.

5 Ways to Help Your Child with Down Syndrome

There are many different print and online resources available to help you create the best possible life for your child with Down Syndrome. The following are five important ways you can help support your child’s growth and development.

  1. Keep learning about Down Syndrome and your child’s strengths and challenges.

Being a parent of any challenge requires constant learning, but this is especially true for parents of children with special needs. Even if you’ve already done tons of research about their condition, continue learning and adjusting. This will help you provide the best possible care for your child.

This also means learning about your specific child’s strengths and challenges. While a number of characteristics are common with children with Down Syndrome, each child is different. Historically people have greatly underestimated the abilities of children with the condition. Learning about your child will help you provide an environment where they can flourish.

  1. Use available supports to aid healthy development.

Children with Down Syndrome need extra support to help them develop. Make sure to take your child for regular check-ups with their doctor. When old enough, help them with speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other necessary supports.

  1. Engage your child through play.

Play has an essential role in any child’s development, especially for children with Down Syndrome. Take time to play, read books, and sing songs with your child. Since taking time to play helps your child learn proper speech patterns, it’s important to spend extra time playing with children that struggle in their speech development.

While this can be done with just about any toy, ExploraToy’s Wooden Knob Puzzle Animals and Vehicles is a fun and colorful way to work on your child’s speech. Ask them what each piece represents before you work together to find its proper place.

  1. Help them learn by

Children with Down Syndrome often struggle with verbal instructions. Because of this, you’ll have to find other ways to teach them new things. Whether you’re helping with homework or teaching them a new household skill, hands-on learning will always be better for them.

Instead of giving them verbal instructions (such as “stack the plates and take them to the sink”), take time to show them how to do a task. For example, you might stack the dishes together and take them to the sink to be washed after dinner. After you’ve done it together a few times, your child will be ready to tackle the chore on their own.

  1. Help them take control by offering choices.

Your initial instinct might be to protect your child from all negative outcomes. However, making choices is an important element of a child’s development. In controlled conditions, allow your child to make their own choices. For example, give them choices on what they wear or which toys they’ll play with.

Not only will it allow them to enjoy things more, but it will help them develop communication skills. You might ask your child whether they’d rather play with their ExploraToy Garden Tools outside or spend some time with a wooden puzzle inside. These decisions will strengthen their independence and foster healthy development.


Taking care of your child with special needs is a massive responsibility. At ExploraToy, we want to support you and your child by offering educational resources and toys that cater to children of all kinds. While we understand that this short guide doesn’t touch on everything that goes into caring for a child with Down Syndrome, we hope it can act as a starting point for you on your parenting journey.

If you’re looking for high-quality wooden toys to engage your child, check out our great selection of products here.