We’ve pooled our occupational and physical therapy expertise this holiday season to bring you these awesome gift guides of toys to promote fine and gross motor skills! Check out some of our favorite toys that are perfect for helping kids develop fine and gross motor skills!!
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Fine Motor Skills Toys
1.The Automoblox Mini: These little cars might be my boys’ all time favorite toys! They are durable, and easily transportable (great for long car rides or restaurants) and the pieces are interchangeable, so you can mix and match! All of the cars’ tiny parts click on and off, offering the perfect fine motor challenge!
2. Wikki Stix Activity Set: Here’s of my standby activities to do with kids during treatment sessions at school. Kids can use these sticky, waxy sticks to create everything from shapes to letters to their own creative masterpieces by sticking them to template cards, paper, or to each other! Extra Wikki Stix would make a great stocking stuffer! Check out how these fun Wikki Stix ideas!
3. Orb Factory Magnetic Mosaics Jr.: Kids have to grasp and manipulate small magnetic foam pieces, placing them onto intricately designed templates in order to create a larger picture. The template cards are reusable and the set comes in its own travel tin to keep all of the pieces contained.
4. Rainbow Loom: It appears that the Rainbow Loom is taking over the world (or at least elementary and middle schools across the nation :) and we’re behind it 100%! This toy requires some serious fine motor coordination and manipulation skills to weave tiny rubber bands together to make all kinds of jewelry and other creations! Have extra loom bands lying around? Try these fun loom band activities!
5. The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game: This cute game is on my wish list for my kids and would be one of those games that would do double duty (which means I would buy it for my boys and then steal it to use it during therapy sessions at school!). Kids have to fill their game boards by matching the colored acorns to the right spaces using squirrel-shaped tweezers. So cute!
6. Squigz Kids’ Construction Starter Set: These rubber suction cup connectors stick to each other (and almost anything else including walls, counters, windows and even the bathtub!) but here’s the catch…to build their own creations, kids have to put those fine motor skills to work by squeezing as hard as they can! The best part? The satisfying POP! they make when kids pull them apart!
Gross Motor Skills Toys
1. Slack Line My son has been enthralled with tightrope walking since we saw the circus in October! THIS is what he wants for Christmas! I have to agree that this would be the ultimate toy for practicing motor planning, balance, proprioception, and even team work! It can be easily tied between two stationary objects (tree, fence post, deck rail, etc). I say THUMBS UP to my baby’s request for this one!
2. Musini This toy is a favorite of mine during therapy sessions. It was developed by Neurosmith and it encourages physical movement and creativity through music. The magic sensor detects the strength and speed of movement and turns it into music. There are 5 musical styles to choose from. Your child will have a blast changing up their movements to control the sounds coming from this toy!
3. Yoga Pretzels Encourage flexibility, strength and relaxation with this yoga kit. The deck of 50 cards will have your child bending and twisting! My girls love to try these poses and to see who can hold them the longest!
4. Big Time Toys Moon Shoes These are another staple in my therapy bag. Moon shoes are not only fun but are an awesome way of prompting proprioception, weightbearing, balance and coordination. They are just like mini trampolines and kids LOVE them!
5. Cranium Hulabaloo You can’t go wrong with this game by Cranium. Listen to the directions to move all over the tiny mats on the floor. You will be encouraged to jump, crawl, kneel, bend, twist, fly, and more! We use this game for color identification, direction following, sequencing, categorization and, of course, gross motor practice!
6. Chalktrail This toy is AMAZING! We have the bicycle version at our house and all 3 of my kiddos love it. Now it is available for their scooters, too! Imagine all the energy they can expend while strengthening their legs and moving all over the driveway creating their own works of art! Instant gratification!!