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Toys and Books: 5 Options for Hearing Loss Representation

Some of my favourite memories of attending my annual hearing checkups was to read all of the books in the waiting room that had characters with hearing aids like me! It was often the only time that I ever saw hearing aids showcased in books or toys as a kid, and so I loved getting there nice and early to enjoy the short time I had with them. I also remember the only time seeing “ear devices” on TV was when they would zoom in to a singer on stage that was being filmed. I remember my younger self being so excited to see that they were wearing a bright coloured ear mold and I assumed that meant they were hard of hearing themselves. I later learned that it was simply a custom mold to protect their hearing, but I was still happy nonetheless- so if that doesn’t represent how little hearing loss was showcased in the media back then, I don’t know what will.

Fast forward over two decades, there are more options for children's toys and books that have hard of hearing characters or showcase their own features that may not be present on their peers. Here are a few great options that a younger me (and honestly the current me too) would have absolutely adored and I know several other young ones will too:

1) A Barbie with Pink Behind-the-Ear Hearing aids

2) Book: “Super Hearing”, By: Jennifer Whitehead

3) ABC Blocks with Sign Language

  • This option is more expensive; however, I think it is great to see American Sign Language shown on ABC blocks. Several parents incorporate sign language into early language learning whether they have hearing loss or not. Having blocks with these signs encourages visual hand gestures through play and alphabet learning and also provides representation of this beautiful language to young learners. Wooden blocks of high quality are usually on the pricier side; so, it would be great to invest in a set with sign language if your budget allows. 😊

  • Price: $59.99

  • Link:

4) 3-D Printed Cochlear Implant & Hearing aid (Tindledesign on Etsy)

5) Colouring Book: "All the Ways I Hear You”

  • This book is offered as a less expensive PDF download in colouring page format. It contains several characters who wear hearing aids and other hearing-related devices that can be coloured and decorated as chosen. My favourite page as seen on the site contains the quote “the best way to hear is the way that works best for YOU” which is so meaningful and a perfect quote for all kids to learn. I think this colouring book would be a great addition to all art bins and would be cherished by every child regardless of their hearing status.

  • Price: $9.00

  • Link:

Hearing loss is often considered ‘hidden’ because hearing aids can often be covered with hair. It is still not very common for it to be represented in the media and is surprisingly still not easy to find toys that represent it. However, they are out there, and society is becoming more and more accepting of ear devices. It has never been so “cool” to have hearing aids than it is now with the technology that is available! Despite this, having toys that represent the diverse ways a child can hear, see, move, etc. are important to continue with this societal acceptance. I hope seeing these few options that I listed in this post helps spark further discussion about representation and maybe gives an idea for a birthday or Christmas gift for a little one in your life.


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