It’s Christmas time again, which means it’s time to buy presents for family and friends. Hooray!
We know that sometimes it can be challenging to think of great gift ideas for your children at this time of the year. So, what about choosing a gift your child will find fun whilst also contributing to their development? Here we will give you gift ideas with an Occupational Therapy view to help you with this decision.
Our Favourite Toys and Games At The Moment
Squigz – Squigz are fun little silicone toys that stick to almost any flat surface. They encourage creativity, fine motor skills, interaction and playful experimentation. They are excellent for strengthening wrist stability, fine motor skills, and bilateral coordination to hold the surface with one hand while the other hand pulls the squig.
Barbeque Party – A fun game where players place food items on top of a barbeque, hoping that the thing they put doesn’t cause the barbeque to “explode” and throw all the items off. Works on fine motor skills, force modulation, eye-hand coordination. It is excellent for turn-taking and winning and losing behaviour.
Crazy Toaster – This game involves trying to catch toast as they fly out of the toaster. It addresses eye-hand coordination, matching skills and counting. It is also a good one for turn-taking and winning and losing behaviour.
Shopping List – Each child takes turns turning over a card and finding their item to put in their shopping trolley. It encourages joint attention, imaginative play, matching and memory skills. Encourages observational skills and helps develop social and personal skills.
Finger Crayons – These are crayons that easily slip on the end of a child’s finger. They improve fingers isolation and finger strengthening and can be used as finger puppets helping to enhance fine motor skills and promote imagination.
Is there a particular skill you would like your child to develop? The following list includes toys and games that work on each specific skill. Some toys might fit into different categories, but we’ll put them in the primary skill group that each address.
Fine motor skills
- Scratch book
- Pop the pirate
- Filo design
- Giggle Wiggle
- Craft supplies
Gross motor skills
- Garden sports day
- Walking beams
- Ballz Up! Party Game
- Skipping rope
- Stepping stones
- Basketball hoop
- The Magic Labyrinth
- Traffic Jam
- Connect 4
- Micro Series Simon
- Memory games
- Guess who
- The game of life
Body language/ Body awareness
- Kids on stage (Charades)
- What Did You Say?
- Mr Potato Head
- Zoom Ball Hydro
- Joey Jumper
- 10 pin bowling
- Pop Rocket Stomp and Fly Rocket
- Skipping rope
- Vestibular processing: IKEA PS LÖMSK – Egg chair
- Tactile processing: Slime kit
- Auditory processing: Stacking Music Set
- Visual processing: Find It Original Puzzle Game
- Olfactory processing: WowWee What’s That Smell? The Party Game That Stinks
- Oral processing: Jelly Belly BeanBoozled
- Interoception: Anatomy Apron Human Body Organs
- Koala Capers
- Phill the fridge
- Melissa & Doug wooden basic skills board
- Melissa & Doug cutting food set
- Melissa & Doug wooden latches board
- Take-Along tool kit
- Play-Doh Drill’ n Fill Dentist Cabinet Playset
We hope that we’ve helped make your gift-giving process slightly easier this year. Remember, when choosing the gift, it is essential to be aware of the child’s developmental stages and preferences. In addition, please pay attention to whether the objects are age-appropriate and safe for your child. Lots of these toys you can find online or at kid toy stores around Australia – don’t underestimate the treasures that can be found in Kmart, Target and other department stores!
We are wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!