With the holiday season coming up, I thought it would be a good time to share with all of you my favorite toys. These are all toys/products that I have personally used or have been recommended by friends/family. (As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases). All of these "toys" are great for birthday, shower, new baby, and holiday gifts! I've broken it down by different developmental stages below:
For babies, floor time and tummy time:
1. One of my favorite music toys, great for tummy time, and visual tracking in all positions!
2. Rattle socks for kicking their legs, encouraging babies to lift their feet and legs up for core strengthening!
3. Mirror for tummy time, side lying, sitting. I love having mirrors on the floor with me to be able to see the baby's face when I am behind them, and they love finding their faces in the mirror!
4. Boppy pillow - for all things nursing/feeding/tummy time/positioning:
5. Tummy time water mat - fun way to entertain babies on their bellies!
6. Play mats - I've linked a couple of options here depending on your style/budget! Basically, any mat on the floor that promotes reaching, rolling, tummy time and has a small positioning pillow for the early months is what I would recommend!
7. Peanut ball: I love using peanut balls for tummy time, and seated core exercises for babies and toddlers:
8. Foam play mat/play area: I love using foam mats on the floor for play time, and also I like how this one has sides to give a small boundary for your child's play space:
For crawlers, standers and new walkers:
The little balance box: this was designed by a pediatric PT and in my opinion is the best push toy out there! It has spring loaded legs which are great for pulling to stand, and new walkers! The top is also see through which I love for babies to see their feet in front of them when they are learning to walk.
2. The Pewi Y Bike: this is another great push toy, that can also be used as a ride on toy. The wide base of the legs make it stable enough for new walkers, and is on the only plastic push toy that I have found to work without needing to be weighed down!
3. Activity cube: this is a great toy to have in your child's play space for pulling to stand, kneeling, and standing play.
4. Radioflyer wagon push toy: I like this wagon because you can weigh it down if needed by putting things in it! This can also last longer as a toy once your child is walking they can still use it to push and pull!
5. Foam climbing set: I love these foam blocks and wedge for working on climbing and crawling skills. Once children get older, they can use it to walk and climb on too!
6. Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll 'N Trike: This is one of my favorite tricycles as it grows with your child, and can first be used as a stroller, and has a lot of accessories that can be taken off as your child gets older and no longer needs them!
7. Wooden Pikler triangle: This triangle is so amazing for climbing, crawling, sliding, and never ending indoor gross motor play! The ramp can be used as a slide or a rock wall to climb up and down. It is more expensive, but can be used for years from the baby to toddler stages!
8. Stool: for sit to stands, a low surface to pull up on, and to climb over. This can be used to help sitting with feet flat on the floor and reaching for toys in sitting, to promote early weightbearing through their legs. It can also be used as they get older as a traditional step stool!
For walkers, runners, movers, and older kids:
All of these toys help develop coordination, balance, and motor skills, and can be used in so many ways! I carry most of these things with me in my car and therapy bag as a traveling school PT!
1. Zoom ball: this is a great activity for older kids (5+) to work on bilateral coordination, partner games, and taking turns! It also can help with upper body strength and range of motion!
2. Feet spots: these feet spots are always in my therapy bag, and I use them for jumping, hopping, walking on a line, obstacle courses and so many other things! Check out my Instagram to see these in action!
3. Balance buckets & stepping stones: these are great to use in obstacle courses or as a stand alone activity. They work on balance, coordination and motor planning. I love how the rope keeps the buckets together, they are easy to stack up on themselves, and you can change the configuration of them depending on your child's abilities and height! The stepping stones are great as they have different heights!
4. Wooden balance board: check out my Instagram reels for a video on all the fun ways this can be used! Kids can use it as a rocker board, or turn it upside down and climb on it!
5. Stomp rocket: this is a fun way to get kids to stand on one leg, weight shift onto one leg, and even practice stepping/jumping down onto something. Be careful if you use this inside, the rockets can launch pretty fast off of the launcher!
These are just a few of my favorite toys to use during my physical therapy sessions and also toys I recommend to all of my family, friends, and for any parent looking to foster gross motor development through the ages! If you have any questions about any of these, send me an email, message on Instagram or comment on this post! Also I'd love to see these toys in action if you buy any of these products - tag me on social media!