2021 Shop Local, Small Business Centered Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday shopping may be more challenging this year with supply chain issues, and many small businesses are still working hard to survive in the midst of ongoing pandemic challenges. As a small business ourselves, we wanted to include and highlight small businesses this year as part of our Holiday Gift Guide. We hope you’ll enjoy these options and consider shopping local in your corner of the world this year.

Milestones and Miracles 2021 Shop Local and Small Gift Guide

Personalized Rainbow Ribbon Wand by Mouse Loves Pig in Winchester, VA

Personalized Rainbow Ribbon Wand by Mouse Loves Pig in Winchester, VA

Wooden Toys Box by Toys By Cooper

Wooden Toys Box by Toys By Cooper in Matthews, NC

 

Milestones & Miracles

1-2-3 Just Play With Me by us! (Martinsburg, WV)  Don’t forget to include 3 years of developmental milestones paired with purposeful play suggestions in 5 key areas of development for the expecting and new parents (or therapists!) on your list.

Natural Wood Building Blocks by Kubiya Games in Brooklyn, NY

Wooden Building Blocks by Kubiya Games in Brooklyn, NY

Wooden Sensory Bin by Playful Petalz Btq in Appleton, WI

Wooden Sensory Bin by Playful Petalz Btq in Appleton, WI

Root Vegetable Puzzle by All About Kids Store in Bristol, TN

Root Vegetable Puzzle by All About Kids Store in Bristol, TN

Dinosaur Signature Play Doh Set by Darling Details TX in Leander TX

Dinosaur Signature Play Doh Set by Darling Details TX in Leander TX

Montessori Peg Doll Multicultural Set by Three Sunshine Shop in Carmel, IL

Acorn Matching Set With Scoop by Three Sunshines Set in Carmel, IL

Acorn Matching Set With Scoop by Three Sunshines Set in Carmel, IL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nursery Rhyme Quiet Book by LindasKraftyKreation in Olmsted Falls, IL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Spy/Busy Bags by Stitched4UbyTrippy2 in Middleboro, MA

Quiet Time Activity Bead Set from Legacy Learning in South Beloit, IL

Quiet Time Bead Set from Legacy Learning in South Beloit, IL

Name Tracing Chalkboard by Let's Make Small Stuff in Nashville, TN

Name Tracing Chalkboard by Let’s Make Small Stuff in Nashville, TN

The Original Hundred Board Counter by Mirus Toys in Vancouver, WA

The Original Hundred Board Counter by Mirus Toys in Vancouver, WA

Personalized kaleidoscope by Bobrshop Kids Store in Russia

Magnetic Putty Via UnCommon Goods. Made in PA.

Magnetic Putty Via UnCommon Goods. Made in PA.

Parent Child Interactive Communication Journal by The Link 2 Join Hearts in Columbia, SC

Parent Child Interactive Communication Journal by The Link 2 Join Hearts in Columbia, SC

Story Dice by Blackbird Fly Company in Sturbridge, MA

Story Dice by Blackbird Fly Company in Sturbridge, MA

Wooden Sling Shot by Handcrafted Buffalo in Saint Peter, MN

Wooden Sling Shot by Handcrafted Buffalo in Saint Peter, MN

Personalized Toy Truck by Trucks and More Toys in Colorado Springs. CO

Personalized Toy Truck by Trucks and More Toys in Colorado Springs. CO

Scavenger Hunt for Kids from The Idea Box Kids in Wilsonville, OR

Scavenger Hunt by The Idea Box Kids in Wilsonville, OR

Human Anatomy Felt Wall by EmIsCrafty in Clearfield, UT

Human Anatomy Felt Wall by EmIsCrafty in Clearfield, UT

Marble Maze from Dapela Woodworks in El Camp, TX

Marble Maze from Drapela Woodworks in El Camp, TX

Customized Stickers from Making Simplified Shop in Broken Arrow, OK

Personalized Stickers from Making Simplified Shop in Broken Arrow, OK

Porter and Hazel Customized Leather Bracelets From York, PA Porter and Hazel Customized Leather Bracelets From York, PA

Personalized Leather Bracelets from Porter and Hazel in York, PA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personalized Jewelry by Hope is Hip Jewelry in Bangor, ME

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personalized AirPod Case by Crafts and Splinters in Clover, SC

 

 

Don’t see what you are looking for here? Look back at our previous gift guides! 

2020 Gift Guide 

2019 Gift Guide

2018 Gift Guide By Age and Developmental Specialty 

2017 Gift Guide

Subscription Services 

With supply chain delays, maybe a subscription service might be a good choice as a gift for some. Plus, who doesn’t love a treat in the mail every week? Here are some of our favs we found.

Brick Loot

Brick Loot is a family-run company that designs, manufactures, and discovers products that delight toy LEGO and brick fanatics of all ages! They provide unique monthly subscription boxes, custom LED lighting kits for LEGO sets, custom LEGO sets, custom brick sets, and custom LEGO minifigures for individuals and corporations.Brick Loot Box subscribers receive a Brick Loot Box every month, filled with 4-8 unique, custom, and never-before-seen items – the fun theme and contents inside are always a surprise! Included in every box are creative, exclusive brick sets that we design and manufacture and LEGO products that can’t be found in a local store!

A Kids Book About….Subscription

This children’s book series tackles complex topics like racism, body image, addiction, depression, anxiety, and so many more topics that affect kids. Depending on age, this series should be read with a parent and could be an excellent family conversation starter.

Pipsticks

Who doesn’t love stickers? This company offers a monthly sticker delivery by mail!

Music Library Box

This subscription service offers books, interactive music activities, and online resources (including mini lessons)!

Sensory TheraPlay Box

Created by the occupational therapists (we love OT’s) this box comes with 5-7 sensory toys a month – great for children with sensory processing challenges or any kid who loves sensory play!

Little Global Citizens 

Designed to spark a love of travel and global awareness at an early age, this monthly box comes with books, country activity guides, games, recipes, snacks, and language cards.

Rowan

A subscription box filled with bling! Monthly hypoallergenic earrings in the mail.

Literati 

For $10 a month, Liteatri sends a child age and reading skill matched books. Families have a week to keep, preview, and buy what they want. Free returns on what you don’t want.

National Park Subscription Tee

A great option for teens, Parabox monthly will send a monthly National Park Tee Shirt with info about the park to your door (P.S. Nicole bought this as a gift for her husband and he loves it!).

IPSY

Ipsy sends 5 makeup/beauty product a month for $13

 

2020 Holiday Gift Guide Is Here!

We are almost there friends! We have almost made it to the end of this strange and hard year.  As seasoned pediatric therapists and moms ourselves, carefully preparing our annual gift guide is one of our favorite things to do.

Play matters.

And it could be argued that it matters now more than ever for our children and for ourselves.

We’ve organized this year’s guide a little differently – by category vs. age – as we all develop at our own unique pace, and play is healthy and important for us at any age. While we ALWAYS consider a few factors when choosing (quality, cost, developmental appropriateness), we particularly try to choose FOREVER TOYS (more about what this means HERE ).Of special note, in this special time, when more children are learning at home and more families are spending more time indoors, we have chosen to include a category for toys that encourage and support academic learning through multi-sensory play and a category for family fun. 

We hope you will enjoy. We hope you will share. We hope that if you are purchasing gifts or providing suggestions for gifts for children you love, that you will remember that ultimately our presence are more important than our presents, that less is often more,  that toys are the tools of play and that play really does build brains (and joy!).

Listen along to get our commentary on this year’s list here:

 

ULTIMATE BABY LIST

 

1-2-3 Just Play With Me

1-2-3 Just Play With Me

 

GROSS MOTOR GIFTS

The Nugget

 

 

FINE MOTOR/VISUAL MOTOR GIFTS

 

 

LANGUAGE GIFTS

 

LEARNING FROM HOME GIFTS

 

TEEN GIFTS

 

FAMILY FUN GIFTS

Want more ideas? Check out our past lists from 2017  2018  and 2019

** this post contains affiliate links

FLAT Ms. Lacy

FLAT Ms. Lacy ready to be mailed out to some of her favorite little people!

I miss my little people! I miss interacting with them and their families. I miss their hugs! I miss seeing parents in person, in action. I even miss my commute! But in spite of all that I miss, I’m thankful to continue to provide EI services via tele therapy. Although tele therapy was a big PIVOT for me, I’m finding my way and feeling much more comfortable now than I did six weeks ago. I’m trying to stay focused on the positive and love seeing the continued progress with my little people, all credit to their amazing families who are taking the reigns and positively impacting their child’s growth and development in amazing ways!

Over the past weeks I’ve been thinking of ways to connect with my work families other than just our tele therapy visits. I’ve continued to leave birthday presents on doorsteps and mailed pictures and handouts when needed but wanted to do something more. Then I saw this idea and knew I had to do it! Some of the teachers at my kids’ elementary school created flat versions of themselves and mailed them to students with ideas of things to do with their flat teacher. Their idea was inspired by the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. So I created a Flat version of myself and adapted ways to interact and play with Flat Ms. Lacy that are appropriate for toddlers.

I’ve had so much fun creating this! I hope my little ones enjoy the Flat me! It may not be the same as seeing me in person, but it’s a little something until we can be together again! Please feel free to download my activities and adapt them to yourself and the children you serve. Drop us a line on our Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter with your Flat therapy self! We would love to see you!

2019 Developmental Gift Guide

It’s the most wonderful (crazy) time of the year! We know it friends and we are here for you! We LOVE holiday toy recommending. It’s one of our favorite things to do. So let us help you check some things off your list by sharing some of our favorites you can pick up for some of your favorites.

Few things to remember:

  1. How we choose our favorite toys. Quality, price, how many areas of child development can be included in play with each item (the more the better), and the ability for the toy to be used numerous ways once a child’s creative muscle is flexed (we love forever toys). Many of these toys are toys we have enjoyed with our own children, toys we have tested in therapy sessions (stay tuned for a post on the numerous purposeful activities that can be done with the bean bags, rings, and cones!), or toys recommended from other therapists or parents!
  2. Choose wisely. Less really is more. Too many toys can overwhelm a child and limit their willingness to engage. In fact, we feel strongly any early childhood milestones can be taught with The 4 Essential  B’s (add the box the gift comes it and maybe there are 5!). So anything from this list is bonus fun.
  3. Individual Child and Stage vs. Age. In year’s past, we have shared our lists by age. This year we decided to try something a little different. Toys on this year’s list are listed from simple to more complex. Some toys included could be enjoyed by a 6 year old or a 42 year old (see Pass Back ball at the end of the list, a fan favorite of one of our husbands!). When you click the links below there is certainly a description and a recommended age but keep in mind that toys are the tools of learning. So just consider what stage the child you are buying for is in, what their current interests are, and choose accordingly. For more info on what big stores aren’t telling you about choosing toys (but therapists are) and a FREE handout, click here. 
  4. Don’t forget 1-2-3 Just Play With Me! Our mom inspired, therapist created tool is what we wanted to guide purposeful play and help educate and support each mini milestone when we first became parents. It’s used in every US state and in over 15 countries by parents, therapists, non profits, hospitals, and child care centers. Gift yourself or someone you love with it this holiday season. AND any orders through our website from midnight on Thursday 11/28 through midnight on Black Friday 11/29 will be DOUBLED for FREE. No code needed. We will just send you double of what you order. It’s a great time to stock up on a meaningful gift for friends or for you therapists to fill your waiting rooms with helpful materials! ** Keep in mind while we do sell through Amazon, this offer is only available through the website and only includes free shipping in the US (international customers can email for a shipping quote).

 

So without further wait – here is our

2019 OFFICIAL HOLIDAY TOY LIST. 

Black and White Mirror

 

Ring Stack

Shaky Eggs  

Playskool Pop Up Toy

Simple Balls

Shopping Cart

 

 

 

 

 

Stacking Cups 

Rainbow Stacker

 

 

 

 

 

Nesting Garage Boxes

Jack In The Box 

Spinagain Toy

Poke A Dot Book

Suction Cups 

Shape Sorter

Bristle Blocks

 

 

 

 

 

Smart Max

Pound And Tap Bench 

Piggy Bank

Rocker Board

 

 

 

 

 

Ball Pit 

And balls

Music Set 

Water Bead and Animal Set

Crawling Tunnel 

Egg Match Set

Easel

Alphabots

 

 

 

 

 

Maze Cube

 

 

 

 

 

Gears! Gears! Gears!

 

 

 

 

 

Science Experiment Set

 

 

 

 

 

Rubiks Cube

 

 

 

 

 

Perfection

 

 

 

 

 

Battleship

 

 

 

 

 

Ring Toss/Bean Bag Set

 

Block Set 

Dr. Kit 

Magnet Tiles

Stepping Stones

Drip Drip Bath 

 

Magnet Creation Station 

 

 

 

 

 

Play House Cleaning Set 

Trampoline

Kazoo

Sky Nook

Wooden Coffee Maker 

Fruit Abacus

 

 

 

 

 

 

Counting Bear 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vet Set 

 

Dinosaurs

I Can Do That Game

 

 

 

 

 

Spot It Card Game

 

 

 

 

 

TellTale Card Game

 

 

 

 

 

Stomp Rocket 

 

Bug Catcher/Magnifier 

Root Viewer 

Toss & Catch

Magic Set 

Bazooka Blower 

 

Velcro Dino

Nerf Gun Target Set

Wall Coloring Sheet

Bop It

Cloud Message Board

Pass Back Football

Play Sounds & Words Handout

Play Sounds & Words

Before little ones start saying words they imitate sounds and silliness (think blowing raspberries). In my sessions with families I often model some of these Play Sounds & Words but wanted to create a handout I could leave with them so parents can tailor their silly play with their little one to encourage more verbal imitation. Each of these sounds and words should be said with emphasis and accompanied by a dramatic gesture.

*Attention grabbing crazy is what we’re going for here folks, both to get baby’s attention and to up the entertainment value for all!

Have fun and Play on!

Click on the link above to download.

 

If you haven’t heard our new podcast titled One of the Lucky Few you can find it HERE on iTunes and HERE on Podbean.

Here’s what this episode is all about (grab your tissues!):

In one of our most personal and helpful conversations yet, we are joined by Megan Dodd. Megan, a seasoned educator, reading specialist, and administrator took on a new role as Mom when her amazing son Alex entered the world. Megan takes us on an intimate, honest, and real conversation about parenting a child who happens to have Down Syndrome. She shares her story of learning of Alex’s diagnosis, struggles of finding early connections to other parents with similar experiences, tales of medical diagnoses, hospitalizations, procedures, and therapy along with triumphs and many victories for her bright and beautiful son. In her unique position as an administrator and a parent, Megan shares advice on advocating for inclusion and navigating the public school system. Through Alex’s experience with a co-diagnoses of leukemia, Megan has learned and shares valuable lessons that can help every listener. She has turned her pain into power by co-founding the Down Syndrome Cancer Coalition and is an advocate and administrator of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network (The Rockin’ Moms). In our part of the world and for many across the globe, Megan has become a “go-to mom” for those first learning about their child’s diagnosis with Down Syndrome and/or Leukemia. Parents and family members of children with and without these diagnoses, therapists, and educators can all learn something to make the world a better and more inclusive place to be from listening to Megan share her story.

Megan shared many wonderful and helpful resources with us. You can find them here!

Support & Advocacy:

Down Syndrome and Cancer Coalition

Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network 

Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Research on Down Syndrome and Cancer 

Books:

A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny 

Down Syndrome Parenting 101: Must Have Advice for Making Your Life Easier 

Whole Child Reading: A Quick Start Guide to Teaching Students with Down Syndrome and Other Developmental Delays 

The Parent’s Guide to Down Syndrome: Advice, Information, Inspiration, and Support for Raising Your Child from Diagnosis through Adulthood 

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy: The Special Education Survival Guide 

WrightsLaw: All about IEPs

Added by us!

Gross Motor Skills for Children with Down Syndrome (A Guide for Parents and Professionals) 

Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome (A Guide for Parents and Professionals)

Fine Motor Skills for Children with Down Syndrome (A Guide for Parents and Professionals)

1-2-3 Just Play With Me (can be adapted for any child to focus on the STAGE not the AGE and to notice, track, and realize the many small steps between big milestones. Be empowered to encourage development through practical play suggestions!)

 

 

 

2018 Holiday Shopping Guide By Age & By Developmental Specialty

“What should I get them”
As therapists we hear this all the time.
You know what else we hear often?
“My kids don’t really play with toys.”

Here’s our 2 cents on this as professionals who believe in the power of play. We all play. All mammals. No matter how old. We were designed for play. It’s the best form of stress release. It recharges creative pathways. And most importantly, it brings JOY.

Sometimes as parents the hardest part is finding the right toy for the right kid (or adult). But we believe Santa has the perfect one for everyone. So here’s what we’ve done this week. We’ve made our lists and we’ve checked them twice.

We added toys we have in our homes. Toys we’ve learned about in patient’s homes. Toys recommended by therapists around the globe. And toys that span a large range of interests and prices. Because some toys, just like play, are timeless, we’ve keep some favorites from year to year and we’ve added in new finds.

This year we’ve added 4 NEW special lists. Families often ask us for toys for a specific developmental purpose so we decided to share with you what we share with them. In addition to our lists by age we’ve added lists that suggest specific toys to promote motor, language, and visual development. We also added in a list of favorite games because games promote desperately needed social skills and family game night should be celebrated regularly!

We’ve combined all our lists by age right here for you and hope you’ll find it helpful. What would you add to our lists? What do your kids love?

1 YEAR OLDS

2 YEAR OLDS

3-4 YEAR OLDS

5-7 YEAR OLDS

8-10 YEAR OLDS

10 & OLDER

MOTOR TOYS

LANGUAGE TOYS

VISION TOYS

LIST OF GAMES

Don’t forget 1-2-3 Just Play With Me for the expecting or new parents on your list! Empowering them with 3 years of education and purposeful play suggestions is a perfect and practical gift! We ship every day (free in the US. Contact for fair quotes internationally) and can include a customized gift card message just from you!

2018 Holiday Shopping Guide -Toys to Promote Language Development

“What should I get them???”
As therapists we hear this all the time.
You know what else we hear often?
“My kids don’t really play with toys.”

Here’s our 2 cents on this as professionals who believe in the power of play. We all play. All mammals. No matter how old. We were designed for play. It’s the best form of stress release. It recharges creative pathways. And most importantly, it brings JOY.

Sometimes as parents the hardest part is finding the right toy for the right kid (or adult). But we believe Santa has the perfect one for everyone .
So here’s what we’ve done this week.
We’ve made our lists and we’ve checked them twice.

We added toys we have in our homes. Toys we’ve learned about in patient’s homes. Toys recommended by therapists around the globe. And toys that span a large range of interests and prices.   Remember that toys and interest vary by age, so something on another list may really interest a child even if it is not included on the list for your child’s particular age.

We’ve given suggestions by age but here we are sharing some of our favorite LANGUAGE toys! However with toys to support language development it is MOST important to remember the magic is not in the toy but in the interaction you have with your child and the language  you model for your child while playing with the toy.  It is best to pick toys that do not light up, make sounds or talk for the child.  Often children are drawn to those types of toys (that require batteries to work) because of the flashing lights and sounds, however it takes the work out of the play and lessens your interaction with your child because the toy does that for you.  But YOU are and ALWAYS will be the best “toy” for your child to learn from!  These toys range from infant through preschool age.  We’ve picked toys that support join attention, offer opportunities for repetitive modeling of words, singing, early pretend play and vocabulary building.  But most importantly these toys are FUN and TIMELESS!   PLAY ON and Merry Christmas!!









2018 Holiday Shopping Guide – Toys To Promote Vision and Support Vision Loss

“What should I get them???”
As therapists we hear this all the time.
You know what else we hear often?
“My kids don’t really play with toys.”

Here’s our 2 cents on this as professionals who believe in the power of play. We all play. All mammals. No matter how old. We were designed for play. It’s the best form of stress release. It recharges creative pathways. And most importantly, it brings JOY.

Sometimes as parents the hardest part is finding the right toy for the right kid (or adult). But we believe Santa has the perfect one for everyone .
So here’s what we’ve done this week.
We’ve made our lists and we’ve checked them twice.

We added toys we have in our homes. Toys we’ve learned about in patient’s homes. Toys recommended by therapists around the globe. And toys that span a large range of interests and prices.   Remember that toys and interest vary by age, so something on another list may really interest a child even if it is not included on the list for your child’s particular age.

We’ve given suggestions by age but here we are sharing some of our favorite VISION toys! Toys on this list include items that we or other therapist like using in children who have vision loss and/or are working to strengthen their visual abilities with conditions such as CVI. Just like kids, vision and visual abilities are very unique, so please consult with your child’s vision specialist, but here are some great ideas to try.   Here’s our picks for this group this year!

Dimpl Duo –

This sensory toy gets rave reviews. We love that it strengthens fine motor muscles and includes braille for early learners.

Baby Sees Colors Book-

Love this high contrast book including colors baby sees best early on.

Mini Rainmaker-

With simple activation of a soothly sound with touch, this is an easy choice.

Shakin Eggs-

Easy cause and effect toy with simple movements. Great for practicing imitation.

Orange Slinky-

Versatile for draping over just about anything, and in a color motivating to many with vision challenges, slinky is fun for grabbing and batting at.

 

Hearth Song Light Up Shoe Strings-

We love the fact that these illuminate feet to enhance motor skills with a highlighter for vision!

Heart Songs Liquid Color Tiles

While an investment as a set, these are sold individually and could be illuminated from behind for motivation for movement and exploring!

 

Rocket Tent-

Sometimes closing off the clutter of the world outside helps us see the beauty of the things we bring in…and tents like this fun one are a simple way to do just that.

Koosh Ball-

Easy to grab, easier to see, even more easy to play.

Mirror-

Babies loves to look at faces and what cuter one than their own!

Red Rope Lights-

These are a staple for any vision specialist and they can be used in a variety of ways to motivate play and illuminate a child’s day.

Red Pom Pom-

Shiny, textured, with a fun sound to touch. We are giving a cheer for this!

Speaker With Light Show-

Bring the vision party to any room with this great speaker.
** Do not use with children with seizure disorder without discussing with physician first.

2018 Holiday Shopping Guide – Toys To Promote Motor Development

“What should I get them???”
As therapists we hear this all the time.
You know what else we hear often?
“My kids don’t really play with toys.”

Here’s our 2 cents on this as professionals who believe in the power of play. We all play. All mammals. No matter how old. We were designed for play. It’s the best form of stress release. It recharges creative pathways. And most importantly, it brings JOY.

Sometimes as parents the hardest part is finding the right toy for the right kid (or adult). But we believe Santa has the perfect one for everyone .
So here’s what we’ve done this week.
We’ve made our lists and we’ve checked them twice.

We added toys we have in our homes. Toys we’ve learned about in patient’s homes. Toys recommended by therapists around the globe. And toys that span a large range of interests and prices.   Remember that toys and interest vary by age, so something on another list may really interest a child even if it is not included on the list for your child’s particular age.

We’ve given suggestions by age but here we are sharing some of our favorite MOTOR toys! Toys on this list include items that motivate kids to move – both with their larger muscles for gross motor movement (rolling, crawling,walking, running, jumping, climbing and more) and fine motor movement (pointing, plucking, squeezing, scooping and more!)   Here’s our picks for this group this year!

Poke A Dot Farm –

Wonderful for promoting isolation of the index finger for pointing – am important fine motor skill!

Hop & Count Hopscotch Rug-

Even when it’s chilly inside, kids can work on balancing and coordination while having fun! Could also be used in non traditional ways by having them jump to a particular color or number.

Climb & Crawl Foam Play Set-

Could be used in many ways from early positioning to toddler tumbling!

Keyboard Play Mat-

Add some music to jumping fun!

Hearthsong Liquid Tiles-
Love these for motivational moving from tummy time to jumping. While they are an investment for the whole set, they can be purchased individually and a few seem like fun!

Knobby Ball Set-
So many motor skills can be taught with a ball – every home should have at least 1! Catch, kick, games, turn taking and more!

Hoola Hoop-

A very simple but versatile toy, they can be used the traditional way or for crawling, stepping, or jumping over and through. Great for directional, “Simon Says” type play and balance and coordination.

Large Fitness Ball-

Great to positioning (with supervision) for young babies, bouncing and playing on for toddlers and kids of all ages, and even alternative seating for meals or homework. One of our favorite ways is playing games over the ball in a plank position to strengthen shoulders (great for handwriting!).

 

Stomp Rocket-

Fun for balance on one leg and jumping.

Tweezers and Eye Droppers-

Creative fun options are endless while strengthening those tiny hand muscles – color sorting games and activities, art creations, and early science (check out our Pinterest pages for ideas!).

Balance Pods-

Love how these can be moved for simple early motion coordination games (close together for a balance beam, farther apart for indoor stone skipping). Great challenge for older kids can be progressed (stand on one foot and play ball!).

Peg Boards-

Wonderful for fine motor strengthening and early “game” playing, patterns, simple math and more.

Animal Pop Blocks-

Loved these items for play on the go (restaurant, plane, car, church) because they have few parts. Great for hand strengthening and early language with animal sound imitation.

Dimpl-

The reviews on this fine motor gem are unanimously outstanding. I may just order one for myself for play on the go.

Crawling tunnel-

Wonderful for encouraging crawling and sensory exploration.

First Slide-

I’m a fan on these outside on warm days and inside on cooler ones. Will occupy kids for hours while working on safe climbing and filling sensory needs.

Trampoline-

As a parent, I wouldn’t have survived toddlerhood in the winter without this in my house. As a therapist, I love it for sensory needs and motor coordination and strengthening.

Shopping Cart-

My go to instead of push walkers for babies learning to walk. Allows for free movement and strengthening with the option of weighing down (and gradually reducing weight) as the child gets stronger and needs less help.

Floor Tiles-

So many homes have wood or tile floors leaving parents nervous and young babies hesitant to explore. I love these because they provide a softer surface that is also smooth, making early belly scooting and crawling on hands and knees simpler.

Activity Mat-

Love these for early reaching, batting, and rolling and this one in particular includes colors that baby sees first.

Indoor Swing-

Motor skills progress best when kids get plenty of opportunity to feed their sensory systems and swings are one of many ways to do just that.