Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists Discuss Best Gifts for Sensory Development
It’s that time of year again, when we get to celebrate all our blessings throughout the year. Holiday season is a fun time to enjoy and show love to our family and friends. This time can be so stressful to find the JUST RIGHT gift for our little blessings with varying talents.
We have developed a list of fun games and toys to match your little blessings’ wishes and talents:
Gross Motor or Movement Toys
Push toys or kid shopping carts: These are motivating for children learning to walk or children who seek heavy work through pushing objects. Developmental age 12 months and up.
Radio Flyer Cyclone Cruiser: Great for children at the developmental age of 3 years or higher, who have full sitting balance and can play without stabilizing their hands on the floor, who may not be ready balance wise for a bike. 75lbs weight limit
Kinetic sand: This is perfect for kids who love messy play. Developmental age 2 years and up. This sand-like material molds and sticks together similar to playdough but feels like sand.
Tents or Cranium Super Fort Building set: A great, fun escape for a child who is overstimulated by their environment. Developmental age 3 years and older.
Fine Motor Toys
Perler beads: Small beads that you can place on boards to form different art projects, shapes, or patterns. Appropriate for children with a developmental age of at least 5 years old, who do not place objects in their mouth.
Scratch N’ Color: A great way to incorporate drawing and tool use without having to do writing. Kids can draw pictures on black paper using a small wooden dowel that scratches off to reveal colors underneath. Appropriate for developmental ages 5 years and older.
Bath time squeeze toys or cups: Practice pouring and squeezing during bath time. Developmental age 2 years and older. Be sure your child can sit upright or is fully supported when incorporating fine motor play during bath time.
Busy Ball Drop: Working on grasp/ release with your child? Get a toy that is visually fun when a child releases the ball into it. Add a toy hammer, and you just included tool use in the fun.
Legos or building blocks: They make all sizes and types depending upon your child’s developmental age and if they place objects in their mouths. You can start your child with Mega blocks around the developmental age of 11 months.
Include bubbles and all kinds of whistles as stocking stuffers. These are great to improve your child’s breath control, work on deep breathing, blowing, and possibly decrease oral sensitivities.
Dress up medical kits: Your children have so many medical appointments; allow playtime to include doctor play and dress up to help decrease anxiety during these times as they begin to understand more about what doctors/nurses do.
Spot It!, Blokus, Rush Hour Jr, Head Bandz, Tapple, Mouse Match, Scatterpillar Scrabble, Diggity Dog, Don’t Break the Ice: All games for children with a developmental age of at least 4 years. Some rules may have to be adapted depending upon your child’s level. All of these games are easily adaptable.
The Physical Therapy Services team would love to discuss these and other ideas with you as the shopping season comes upon us. Also, see our Gift Giving Guide located in the lobby of both of our clinics for more ideas.
Our hope is for this season of giving and love to be full of enjoyment and peace