PT Recommended ToyChristmas is approaching fast! In this week’s blog I am going to highlight some great toy ideas that are not only fun to play with, but also help your child improve their gross motor skills, strength, increase activity levels, and much more.
1. Toys to promote standing
Getting your child to stand can be a difficult task. Most kids once they stand to get the toy want to sit back down to play with it. Play tables such as a water tables, art tables, or train tables are a great way to get your child standing and keep them standing. This will not only work on LE strength, but it will also help balance as children become more confident they will begin playing with two hands instead of worrying about holding on. Here is a link for some different standing toys http://blog.dinopt.com/standing-101/
2. Balance Beams
Balance beams are a lot of fun for children of all ages. They can be used to work on standing and moving balance. One of my favorite balance beams is the Curve-A-Beam set. The pieces can be taken apart and arranged in many different ways to keep games fun and entertaining. Check out this blog for some specific activities relating to the Curve-A-Beam set and other balance beams http://blog.dinopt.com/five-fun-activities-with-balance-beams/
3. Tummy Time Toys
Tummy time can be a daunting task for children, and most kids can only handle a little bit of time tummy before crying. Mirrors are often a great toy to lay on the ground to help keep a child’s attention. I also use a piece of cardboard that is wrapped in metallic wrapping paper. The shimmer and crinkle of the paper help to keep the child’s attention for much longer. Here is a list of great tummy time toys from Dinosaur Physical Therapy http://blog.dinopt.com/best-tummy-time-toys/
4. Active Play
Getting kids up and moving around is so important for physical development and to improve gross motor skills. Plasma cars and roller racers are great toy ideas to promote activity. Not only do they get kids out of the house, but they also work on endurance, core strength, upper body strength, and coordination. Other great active toys are bikes, scooters, and trampolines.
Here is a link from Dinosaur Physical Therapy with tons of toy recommendations for all different ages and goals. http://blog.dinopt.com/category/toy-recommendations/
Also, be sure to check out Krista’s blog for some toys that are recommend from an occupational therapy perspective.
-Matthew D’Antonio, PT, DPT
Pediatric Physical Therapist