Shopping during this busy time of year can be overwhelming! BAC clinicians are masters of play and well-versed when it comes to children's toys and games. Let them help to narrow down your choices with suggestions that are sure to bring smiles while secretly targeting a variety of therapeutic goals! First up, BAC occupational therapist, Lauren, shares her three favorite picks!
A multi-step movement and body control game with plenty of silly and yucky foods to giggle about!
Kids must roll the dice to determine the number of yucky foods for their spoon, then spin the spinner to know how they have to move their bodies while they bring the food to the Woozle!
This game can easily be graded up and down – little ones can use two hands on the spoon and move the Woozle closer. For bigger kids, challenge them by asking them to keep their eyes closed and follow your directions, put the Woozle far away, or balance something on their heads while they move!
While not a toy themselves, these can be added to any new or well-loved games to add a fine motor and hand strengthening challenge – you can move your game pieces with the tongs or use the tongs instead of your hands to adjust balancing toys like Jenga!
Turn household items into a game by adding tongs – can you find all the black beans in your sensory bin with the tongs? Can you stack erasers or foam beads into a tall tower? Can you feed your doll with the tongs?
As your child’s fine motor skills and hand strength improves, you can have them pinch on the tongs further from the tip, where the resistance is higher and will continue to help with strengthening.
Addresses visual perception, visual-motor skills, problem-solving skills, gradation of muscle force, executive functioning skills.
Use the blocks to copy the designs on the cards! If that’s too easy, create a barrier and challenge your child to follow your verbal directions and see if the designs match at the end! Each card also comes with its own challenge of how to move around or change the design to fit new rules, addressing problem-solving skills.
You can also add a balance component by having a child stand on a pillow, bosu ball or rocker board, and lean over to get the blocks from the floor – they’ll have to be extra steady to build without knocking things over!