Creative Gifts for Kids
Children love receiving toys for the holidays, and adults usually feel best if they can find the perfect gift is fun AND educational (or at least one that serves a useful purpose). This gift guide was put together by our pediatric therapy team and is great for children at different levels of development. If you’re looking for a gift that children will love AND will also help promote the development of fine and gross motor skills, be helpful for a child with autism, or help promote physical, occupational, or speech therapy – look no further. Happy shopping!
Fine Motor Development & Coordination Toys
Are you looking for the best toys to develop fine motor skills, improve hand-eye coordination, and promote healthy play? Check out these toys for the children in your life.
Shape Sorter and Ring Stacker: Toys of this type are great for working on hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and using two hands together. In addition, children will work on learning their shapes and colors.
Lego Duplo: This toy facilitates and promotes fine motor skills, hand strength to push blocks together, using both hands together during play, and using imaginative play.
Large Stringing Beads: This is a great hand-eye coordination toy that requires use of fine motor skills, dexterity skills, and using two hands together.
Avalanche Fruit Game: This game targets hand strength and dexterity. In addition, it encourages turn taking skills.
Straw Construction: This toy will spark your child’s creativity (executive functioning) skills while also working on fine motor skills and using two hands together.
Lite Brite: This classic toy helps children work on color matching and hand-eye coordination. It is also practice of the pincer grasp which is a steppingstone to maturely holding a pencil.
Slime kit: This kit will help you make your own slime at home while practicing direction following, daily living skills, and opening containers.
Pop Beads: This pop beads kit has everything you need to make jewelry while also working on fine motor skills and hand strength.
Squigs: This versatile toy that can be used for Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and speech skills. They can be used in the bathtub, at the table, on the windows, or in obstacle courses.
Calming Sensory Toys
Consider this your sensory-friendly gift-giving guide! These options promote self-regulation and are great options for children with autism or sensory processing needs.
Discovery Putty: This putty is a great tactile fidget while also working on fine motor skills and hand strength.
Tent: Tents are great calm-down spots to help if children are feeling overwhelmed. Pair it with a body sock, weighted blanket, light, or music for the ultimate calming corner.
Body Sock: This is a big hug without needing someone else to provide it! The body sock is a great way to get some proprioceptive input.
Projector Light: This light will be a great addition to a calm-down corner to make a cozy break spot when children feel overwhelmed.
Water Beads: When used with adult supervision, these water beads offer a fun sensory experience while also practicing scooping, pouring, and fine motor skills.
Physical Therapist Recommended Toys
The skills that children practice in physical therapy can be replicated at home with some fun options. Check out the age-specific list of physical therapy and occupational therapy toys.
Physical Therapy Toys for Children Ages 0-3:
Learning Walker: This sit-to-stand walker toy will help children work on first steps and towards independent walking.
Balance Bike: Baby bikes offer a fun way to work on balance and coordination.
Bowling: This game promotes hand-eye coordination when played traditionally. It also helps with single-leg standing balance while you kick the pins down.
Climbing Structure: This classic playground helps children work on strength and coordination while promoting exploration.
Mini Trampoline: A great way to increase leg strength and learn how to two-foot hop
Physical Therapy Toys for Children Ages 4-6:
Stomp Rocket: This fun activity helps practice your single-leg balance.
Obstacle Course Kit: Turn your living room into an obstacle course with this kit. Obstacle courses can help keep children active when the weather turns chilly.
Balance Stones: Upgrade your obstacle course and work on balance with these stepping stones.
Scooter: This indoor scooter will promote strengthening children’s postural muscles while on their bellies, seated, or on their hands and knees.
Activity Dice or Action Cards: Can’t decide what game to play? Let these movement dice or cards give children ideas about how to move their bodies.
Bean Bag Toss: This game promotes hand-eye coordination and can be used in three different ways.
Physical Therapy Toys for Children Ages 10+:
Fitness Pods: Use these pods to encourage children to turn workouts, obstacle courses, or home exercise program activities into a fun game.
Fitness Watch: Help children learn about steps, sleep patterns, heart rate, and more with this smartwatch.
Exercise Cards: Use these exercise cards to help children plan workouts or turn them into a game.
Ninja Obstacle Course: It may be cold now, but in the summer this ninja course challenges balance, strength, and coordination to navigate from side to side.
Ultra Dash: Encourage children to get their steps in and race friends with this fun game.
Launch and Catch: This game will promote hand-eye coordination. It’s a perfect indoor game in the winter or outdoor summer to play with friends.
Family game night: Bring the family together and get your bodies moving with these movement games!
Speech Therapy Gift Ideas
Practice with speech can be weaved into some fun play options for children and their families. This list of toys is great for helping with speech delay, autism, and early intervention. Consider them your must-have speech therapy toys!
- Fubbles: Blowing bubbles encourages joint attention, requesting, and imitation of sounds/words (e.g., “pop”).
- Potato Head: This toy encourages labeling of body parts, requesting, following directions, and associative play.
- Pound a Ball: This toy helps children work on “in/out”, “up/down”, turn-taking, and joint attention.
- Big Red Barn: This toy encourages children to work on labeling, animal and environmental sounds, and prepositions.
- Eric Carle Board Book Collection: These books target rhyming, labeling, predicting, and early literacy skills.
- Learning Resources Counting Surprise Party: This fun set encourages requesting, labeling, category-sorting, and counting.
- Melissa and Doug Doorbell Dollhouse: This play on a classic childhood favorite encourages requesting, environmental sounds, prepositions, and labeling.
- Pop Up Pirate: This game encourages turn-taking, following directions, and social skills.
- Sneaky Snacky Squirrel: This game encourages turn-taking and following directions.
- iSpy Dig In Game: This classic encourages children to work on labeling, color identification, object function, turn-taking, social skills, and category sorting.
Are you ready for the holiday gift-giving season? We hope this was helpful to shop for all of the children in your life! If you’re eager to keep shopping, please consider checking out our Amazon Wish List to give a gift to our pediatric therapy programs at EA Therapeutic Health. If you’re interested in learning more about our programs, please browse our website and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.