2021 Gift Guide for Kids

2021 Gift Guide for Kids

The holidays are the most joyous time of year, but with them comes the stress of buying gifts for everyone. Kids especially are hard to keep up with, and while you want them to love everything that Santa brings, you also want to get them things that will help them learn and grow. To help relieve some of that stress, our Occupational Therapists and Speech-Language Pathologists have created a gift guide for kids of all ages.

Ages 0-2

  1. Books – Supports language development: builds vocabulary for actions/objects, models language from an early age, and encourages following directions (“Point to the ___”).
  2. Blocks for stacking and building (Mega Blocks) – Supports bilateral coordination, depth perception, concentration, praxis, and hand-eye coordination. Also supports language development: imitation of sound effects, learning basic concepts (size, colors, shapes, counting), social communication (“your turn/my turn”), and following directions (“Put the blue block on the green block”)
  3. Shape sorter puzzles – Supports the following skills: visual perceptual skills, grasping, fine motor coordination, visual-spatial reasoning, problem-solving, and shape recognition. Also supports language development: answering WH questions (“where is the ____?”, “What is this?”), following directions, and learning names for shapes.
  4. Wooden peg or block puzzles – Supports visual perception, matching grasping, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, concentration, praxis, language development, and learning of shapes and words for objects.
  5. Montessori style busy board – Hand-eye coordination, functional fine motor skills, problem-solving, praxis, independence development
  6. Ball – Praxis, gross and fine motor development, social skills development when playing with a partner, bilateral integration, motor timing, and sequencing, following directions, building vocabulary for action words, and social skills
  7. Baby Doll – Supports language development for learning body parts, and words for everyday routines like bath time, bedtime and getting dressed
  8. Pop Tubes – Gross grasp, shoulder/upper body strengthening, bilateral coordination, fine motor strength, regulating, social skills

Ages 3-5

  1. Art Easel or whiteboard/chalkboard – Supports shoulder girdle and wrist strengthening, functional fine and visual motor skills, and supports language development
  2. Wooden Lacing Bead Set ­– Bilateral coordination, fine and visual motor skills, sequencing language development (naming colors and shapes)
  3. Pretend Play Toys (Dress up clothes, doctor kit, tools, dolls, kitchen, farm set) – Language development, social skills, turn-taking, listening and following directions, problem-solving, independence. Also supports language development: making requests (“I want the ___”), following directions, commenting, asking and answering questions, building narrative skills, and models language with actions, objects, and attributes
  4. Board Games (Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Hi Ho Cherry-O) – Social play skills, turn-taking, language development, executive functioning skills (working memory, impulse control, frustration tolerance), and functional fine motor skills
  5. Magnetic tiles – Fine motor strength, visual-spatial awareness, problem-solving, language development, social skills, imaginative play development
  6. Scooter Board – Gross motor skills, bilateral coordination, core/trunk strengthening, shoulder stability, proprioceptive awareness, regulating heavy work activity
  7. Pop Beads – Fine motor strength, visual-motor coordination, sequential memory, bilateral coordination, language development (recognizing colors and shapes), supports skills needed for dressing
  8. Pop Ball Toy – Inner hand and finger strengthening, visual-motor coordination, language development

Ages 6-8

  1. Bike – Supports bilateral gross motor coordination, core/trunk strengthening, praxis force modulation, language development: following direction, object/action vocabulary
  2. Marble Track Set – Visual tracking, spatial awareness, problem-solving, bilateral coordination
  3. Hidden Picture Books (I Spy, Where’s Waldo, Spot It) – Language development, visual scanning, visual memory, attention, and focus, organization skills
  4. Zoom Ball – Gross motor and bilateral coordination, rhythm and timing, shoulder/hand strengthening, visual tracking social skills
  5. Social Board Games (Don’t Break the Ice, Zingo, Charades) – Turn-taking, frustration tolerance, social play skills, waiting, following directions, problem-solving
  6. Zoobs or Legos – Visual-spatial awareness, fine motor and bilateral coordination, fine motor strength, following directions, problem-solving skills, imaginative play, social skills

Ages 9+

  1. Woodworking Kit/Tool Set – Self-care independence, problem-solving, visual-spatial awareness, fine and visual motor skills, multi-step direction following, attention and focus
  2. Sewing Kit – Self-care independence, problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, multi-step direction following, fine motor coordination, attention and focus
  3. Magnetic Dart Board – Hand-eye coordination, working memory, social skills, shoulder strengthening, fine motor coordination, force modulation
  4. Strategy-Type Board Games (Catan, Rush Hour, Pictureka, Battleship) – Working memory, social skills, problem-solving, frustration tolerance, attention and focus
  5. Snap Circuits/KNEX – Fine motor coordination, visual sequencing, problem-solving, attention and focus, multi-step directions
  6. Mental Brain Teasers – Problem solving, attention and focus, fine motor coordination, task persistence, frustration tolerance

Toys that can be calming/regulating

  1. Kinetic Sand
  2. Water Beads
  3. Bubbles (Fubbles are no spill bubbles)
  4. Weighted stuffed animal/ weighted blanket
  5. Lite Brite
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