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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

2018 Holiday Shopping Guide – Unique Finds for 8-10 year olds

“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.

8-10 year olds are beginning to figure out who they are and what they like.  Although they typically have well developed preferences when it comes to play introducing them to something new will challenge their minds and broaden their play horizons!  Here’s our picks for this group this year!

 

 Smart Pitch Radar Detector

Box & Balls Game

 

 

SMART BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPPING – making choices that are fun & thoughtful

It’s almost here….can you hear it? In my mind, it’s the sounds of doors opening to welcome family and friends, the fire crackling, the soft snowflakes quietly falling, and parents softly reading Christmas stories to the small ones tucked in the crook of their arms. Ahhhhhh…sounds nice doesn’t it? Might look like this..

The reality is that come Friday, after those delicious leftovers have been packed away, the noises surrounding many of us will be whizzing shopping carts, overheard blaring announcements of deals to be had, and wrapping paper galore dressing up those black Friday deals. Maybe something like this….

Hopefully, your reality will fall somewhere between those two scenarios! Whether you are a black Friday shopper or not (me? I will likely do some online shopping and a lot of yoga come Friday!), most of us make time shortly after Thanksgiving to do some shopping – many of us for children. I’m a big fan of trying not to overindulge my children at Christmas time, with the hope that one day when they off on their own, they’ll have a nice balance of feeling loved and really knowing the Reason we love at Christmas.  Shopping this time of year for children is a fun and exciting opportunity for PLAY in the months ahead. Toys are our children’s TOOLS OF LEARNING – when you think of it that way, choosing toys as Christmas gifts is kind of exciting. Instead of wondering if a chosen toy will end up at the bottom of the toy box, consider what your child might learn from it (and I don’t mean the alphabet all the time — there’s much MORE to learn through play. Want to know more? Click HERE).

Also – use our FREE PDF download from Medbridge Education. It’s a cheat sheet of sorts providing you the age/stage of development with suggestions for toys and activities. (simply scroll towards the bottom of the link and click the icon to download!).

As early interventionists, we get to be a “toy spies” in the homes we visit.  I always find it interesting when come February, I see the “must have” toddler toy in the corner of most homes, while the child I am playing with shows way more interest in a plastic water bottle (how many Christmas mornings have you had where your child just LOVED that box the toy came in?).  In fact, I’ve embarrassed my husband more than once by “helping” a confused grandparent in the toy aisle by providing suggestions of “what the kids really like!”

We decided to compile a list of “what the kids really like.” We arranged our list by suggested age and included toys that we ourselves have either enjoyed with our own children or have seen be consistent hits in the homes where we provide therapy. What was required to make our list? Here it is:

1. Prices varied, but the toys we chose were (in our opinions) a value for the quality.

2. Toys addressed more or one developmental domain of child development (Cognitive, Motor, Language, & Social skills).

3. These toys don’t “do it all” for the child. In other words, these toys leave room for the child to flex their own imaginative muscle, and add their own creativity to play.

4. The toys were consistent favorites with children we know (and continued to be long after December 26).

5. Toys are what we like to call “forever toys”  – toys that can be used in many ways for several years.  For more on this see our article in the months Child Guide Magazine.

Please note that we do not receive any compensation from any of these toy makers (but wouldn’t THAT be fun, though… FREE TOYS!).  We also have provided these as an example of ideas.  We certainly encourage parents to use these as a guide for suggestions, but by all means shop around! You just never know where you might get a better deal! Also, the ages listed are suggested, but as you know, many children play with toys at more than one age/stage — and often in a different way (how cool is that?!)

HERE YOU GO – OUR 2012 TOY IDEA LIST FROM SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO PLAY FOR A LIVING!

Side Note: ** Please see our PINTEREST Page to see a complete list of recommended toys by age and our FACEBOOK PAGE for our photo album of a months worth of FOREVER TOYS!

BABY:

1 YEAR OLD:

2 YEARS OLD:

3 YEARS OLD:

4 YEARS OLD:

5 YEARS OLD:

6 YEARS OLD:

 

7 YEARS OLD:

 

8 YEARS OLD:

 

9-12 YEARS OLD:

 

Likes these ideas? We have more! Specifically – ideas on WHY Play matters and HOW plays is intimately related to development in young kids. Check out 1-2-3 Just Play With Me — a thoughtful gift for parents of young children (plus FREE shipping). SOUNDS like a whole lot of FUN to me!