2017 Gift Guide – Therapist Approved!
Brightly colored and highly versatile, Squigz are a great gift! Kids enjoy constructing and experimenting while also working on many important skills.
Skills: Fine motor, individual and cooperative play, creativity
Cost: ~$24.00 – $50.00
Design and Drill
Using the Design and Drill activity kit, children create their own designs or follow a pattern to make pictures. This toy provides growing opportunities for the mind and body, especially the little muscles in the hand.
Skills: Fine motor, bilateral coordination, pattern recognition, spatial relationships
Pop-Up Pirate brings the element of surprise to fine motor skill practice, as each turn could be the one that shoots the pirate out of the barrel!
Skills: Fine motor, bilateral coordination, turn taking, impulse control
Cost: ~$15.00 – $20.00
Therapist Pick: Mr. Potato Head
“As a speech therapist, I love to incorporate Mr. Potato Head into my sessions to work on verbal requests, following one to two step directions, and identifying and labeling body parts” – Emily, Speech Therapist
“Mr. Potato Head is a great toy for improving body and spatial awareness and facilitating fine motor skills for gasping, pushing, and pulling. If you spread the pieces out on the floor, it also helps with visual scanning skills when you try to locate certain body parts.” – Alicia, Occupational Therapist
In additional to all of the skills that bowling addresses, these bright, silly monsters also provide opportunities to learn colors, counting, and cause and effect.
Skills: Hand-eye coordination, motor planning, visual tracking
Cost: ~$20.00 – $25.00
Step-a-Logs make it easy to work on gross motor skills and can be arranged in different ways to promote growth at both beginner and advancing skill levels.
Skills: Balance, motor planning, coordination
“Jungle Jive is FUN! Kids love trying to keep the egg steady while they play. The game helps improve a child’s balance and motor planning because you have to get into and maintain certain positions, all while engaging muscles for strengthening.” – Sarah, Physical Therapy Assistant
Sequence for Kids
Played individually or in pairs, this strategy game has players racing to sequence four chips in a row on a board covered with fun animal characters. Sequence for Kids rules are easily modified to change the difficulty of the game.
Skills: Visual scanning, matching, identification, turn taking, cooperative and competitive play, forward thinking
Cost: ~ $15.00
A Worry Eater is HUNGRY and ready to eat up as many of a child’s worries as he can! Kids can write or draw their worries on paper and let it gobble them up. Once he finishes chomping on a worry, kids can let the worry go!
Skills: emotional vocabulary, self-expression, creative play, emotional regulation
Cost: ~ $15.00
Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel
The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game is a great family game that works on many early learning skills while also sneaking in lots of fine motor work!
Skills: Color identification, counting, turn taking, planning, fine motor skills
Therapist Pick: Steppers!
“Steppers are a great gift that can help improve a kiddo’s balance and coordination! You can make them more challenging by walking forwards, backwards, or sideways. I love using them during obstacle courses.” – Shannon, Physical Therapist
Therapist Pick: ZOOM Ball
“I like ZOOM Ball because you can address so many things at one time. You can work on improving bilateral coordination while increasing arm and leg strength, endurance, and balance. It is fun to mix up doing ZOOM Ball in standing, tall kneeling, and standing on one foot.” – Kellie, Physical Therapist
TheraPLACE Favorite: Alphabet Marks the Spot
Our occupational, physical, and speech therapists LOVE Alphabet Marks the Spot. The game can be adapted to work on skills that all three disciplines address, and often these skills can be targeted at the same time!
Age: 3+ Cost: ~$25
Incorporated skills include:
- Letter identification
- Color identification
- Pre-reading skills
- Visual scanning
- Motor planning
- Body awareness