4th Annual Holiday Toy Guide 2017

Tis the season, gift-giving is upon us! The following are great gift ideas for children that support language, auditory processing, motor planning, ideation, sensory system, coordination and so much more.  

Play is an essential part of learning. As children play they are developing the cognitive, socio-emotional and physical skills they will need to take them into successful learning.  

1).  Ned’s head- great for exploring and enhancing your tactile senses.  You can make make sentences with the objects and even use describing words to picture the object.

2).  Tents and Swivel chairs– Tents provide great areas for quiet spaces when children get overwhelmed or dysregulated. Swivel egg chair- provides spinning that slowly relaxes; spinning that can help develop balance. When your child pulls down the hood, it becomes a cozy hideaway. Both can be found at IKEA.

3).  Activity carpets or play mats – There are a number of rugs and mats that include scenes such as railroad tracks, construction zones, town center and speedway tracks that can be easily stored and rolled out for pretend play.  Grab a few cars and a mat to work on linking ideas and steps.

4).  Lycra piece used to make a tunnel or a swing – You can easily purchase a piece of lycra from a craft store into a square shape and use it to swing small children, use it to hide or make a tunnel.

5).  Squigz – Promotes reaching, grasp, and anticipation skills. Builds creativity and allows for sensory stimulation.

6).  An indoor swing. Depending on how they are used, swings can provide either calming or alerting input. Swings can be found at Ikea, as well as Amazon.

7).  Trampolines and Bounce Houses. These are not only fun, they provide great vestibular input with the up-and-down movement, as well as proprioceptive input to joints and muscles, providing calming and organizing input. Both indoor and outdoor trampolines are great options!

8). Tunnels. Create obstacle courses using tunnels to provide motor opportunities. Excellent play for motor movement and/or pretend play

9). Alex Jr. My Busy Town Wooden Developmental Toy. It will teach your child about independent play and encourage development in different areas such as alphabet recognition, counting, and coordination.

10).  Weighted blankets. These provide deep pressure for calming and regulation.

11). Preschool people and transportation toys– Used for pretend play, learning vocabulary and action words.  Also great for sequencing ideas, following directions, and social thinking.

12). Play-Doh, Kinetic Sand, and Moon Dough for tactile play, as well as heavy work and fine motor strengthening for hands. Creation of shapes and/or finding hidden object while exploring with your hands.

13). Bean bags. Great for jumping and crashing into! Can be used for relax areas and place areas.

14). Water Beads. Water beads provide quite the tactile experience, great for tactile play and exploring with your hands.  Finding things hidden in sensory bins is great!

15).  Scooter Boards. These are great for strength, as well as providing various types of vestibular input. Motor plan pathways and have fun side by side with peers or caregivers.

16). Ball-pits. Ball-pits provide tactile and proprioceptive input, and can also provide great activity for coordination and strength building. Can also find hidden objects and play modulation games in the ball pit such as stop/go and fast/slow.

17).  Fidgets. These can be great for children who need to move or seek to have their hands busy! Fidgets can be small toys that move or bend. They can also be tactile balls, squishy balls, small magnetic toys, or anything that a child can hold in their hands.

18). Pop the Pig Game is great for fine motor skills.  Following multi step directions as well as, identifying colors and numbers.

19). Roll and Play – Dice game that targets great language categories and motor planning skills. Also great for following multiple directions, turn taking, and waiting.

20). Feed the Woozle – great for gross and fine motor, visual perceptual, vestibular habilitation. Practice turn taking as a family, incorporate different gross motor sequences; and incorporate obstacle course to get to the “woozle.”