An Occupational Therapist’s Holiday Toy List


SPRINGBORO, OH -- With so many different toys out on the market today, how do you know which ones would be great for your child... meaning not only are they fun, but they are also great for development?

My rule of thumb is to look for items that could be used in multiple ways, which can help add to their shelf life. I also look at what the child will learn from using said toy. Lately, toy companies have produced higher tech toys that light up, make sound, move, sing-songs, and etc. But, keeping it simple may actually be better. Oftentimes, the toys that do all the “crazy cool” stuff can actually be overwhelming to your child’s visual system.

Have you ever bought an expensive toy, but your child ends up playing with a spoon, empty plastic bottle or the box more? Sometimes, more simple items encourage different play skills, like creativity, imagination and problem solving versus a toy where you just hit buttons.

Check out the toys that I love to use an OT:

  • Squigz
  • Play-doh
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Pretend kits- (doctor, grocery, kitchen, dress up, construction, vet play)
  • Old school board games
  • Doodle board
  • Marker/crayons
  • Animal poppers
  • Stickers
  • Baby doll
  • Lite Brite
  • Magnetic Tiles
  • Toy cars/vehicles
  • Tangram Puzzle
  • Legos
  • Bike
  • Necklace/bracelet kit
  • Blocks

Of course not all toys are appropriate for everyone. So, use your best judgement when buying for your child’s age and skill level.

I hope this helps with some of your holiday shopping and wishing you... A Very Merry Christmas!!!

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