With the holidays quickly approaching, the therapists at Reaching New Heights put their minds together to compile a list of toy recommendations for our kiddos! The toys and activities below will be great to enrich the home environment with activities that will benefit them long-term. If you would like recommendations specific to your child, feel free to talk to their therapist(s) about it!
Letters + Number Matching: This activity set includes matching, numbers, letters, sequencing, and pre-writing skills all in one! https://bit.ly/3HO78tp
Alphabet Dough Mats: This is a great hands-on way to get familiar with forming letters. It combines literacy and fine motor skills! https://bit.ly/32gMqlB
Comparing Sizes: This activity set helps children learn comparisons and problem solving, while building the skills needed to learn to read. https://bit.ly/3DO57ei
What Goes Together? Activity Box: Children can learn to categorize and identify associations. The cheese goes with the mouse, the banana goes with the monkey, and so on! https://bit.ly/3l2PxEx
Early Language Activity Boxes: This set can address so many areas! It comes with boxes for categorizing, associations, and comparing. https://bit.ly/30NHSmF
Cootie game: This game is great for learning body parts and requesting different colors/parts. Games are also a great way to practice turn taking. https://amzn.to/3nI84Yo
Pretend Play Oven: There are so many skills you can work on, especially requesting (open, close, take out, put in, etc.), pretend play, counting, and following directions! https://amzn.to/3l2Qk8u
Melissa and Doug Garage With Keys: This small toy is great for requesting help/open/close and labeling colors/vehicles/numbers etc. https://amzn.to/30Z3dt7
Melissa and Doug Latches Activity Board: This board is great for requesting help/open/close, as well as working on fine motor skills with various closures. https://amzn.to/3E1FpDv
Tweezers – Find the Letter: Children have to dig through and find the letter, then pick it up with tweezers. This activity is great for literacy and fine motor skills! https://bit.ly/3FKCTl8
Squirrel Tweezer game
It helps develop age-appropriate grasp patterns and grip strength. It also helps to develop turn taking skills and color recognition. https://amzn.to/3nKRuqT
Helps to develop bilateral coordination and supports imaginative play! https://amzn.to/3l36gY4
Helps to develop grip strength and supports color recognition. https://amzn.to/3FIFSdW
Pop the Pig: This game is great for fine motor, but there are so many opportunities for language! For example, the child may need to ask the game partner for a piece (“I want the yellow burger”). The game also requires counting which is a great opportunity to practice numbers in a fun way. https://bit.ly/3cHqPEZ
Design and Drill Activity Set: This set is fantastic for so many things! You can use it for fine motor skills of course, but it is also helpful for visual perception and learning to match to a sample. https://amzn.to/30VBR7h
LiteBrite: great for working on visual motor and visual perception skills https://amzn.to/3HR2Npe
Play doh: almost everyone loves this. Great for sensory play, imitation, bilateral coordination, fine motor skills… the list is endless. https://amzn.to/3FyPs38
Legos/blocks: smaller for older kids, larger ones for younger kids (like mega blocks). Great fine motor and bilateral coordination activity. Also can work on visual motor and executive function skills if copying a design. https://amzn.to/3l5O0NN https://amzn.to/30UdRAV
Crayons/markers/paint/coloring book/art set: Most kids enjoy this and it encourages creativity!
Stacking Stones: A fun twist on your regular stacking blocks! https://amzn.to/3r263YW
Buddha Board: Very calming, and encourages creativity without making a huge mess! https://amzn.to/32xFPnf
Jumparoo: Multifunctional piece that can be used to target gross motor play and sensory input. https://bit.ly/3cJGcww
This item encourages kids to use their imagination to build various structures. It also doubles as a couch, alternative seating, and a crash pad if need be! https://nuggetcomfort.com/
Teeter Popper: https://bit.ly/3l3Q6O5
Kinetic Sand: An awesome way to encourage messy play while limiting the mess! https://amzn.to/3FFygZN
Sensory Steppers: Great for kids who seek sensory input, especially through their feet. https://amzn.to/3nItowT
Social Skills / Social Emotional Learning
What Should Danny Do?
This book assists young readers with making expected/unexpected choices and shows how our choices have the ability to impact our day. This is a great way to open up a family discussion about helpful/positive choices and actions. https://amzn.to/3DM3JJ7
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us! Have a wonderful, safe, and healthy holiday season with your beautiful families.
Laina Matuch (Culley) is a BCBA at Reaching New Heights. She collaborated with other therapists to compile this awesome list. firstname.lastname@example.org