The Holiday Season is here! With that, there is shopping for our little ones. With so many types of toys out there, it can be overwhelming to think of developmentally appropriate presents for your childYour BBD Developmental Therapists have made a gift guide to keep your kiddos busy and support their global development throughout the holiday season!  These gift ideas include options for a variety of play skills. 

Cause and Effect Toys

Causeandeffect thinking helps us notice that our actions can cause something to happen.  Cause-and-effect thinking helps us understand the relationships between events within our immediate environment and their consequences. Most cause-and-effect toys also promote a variety of other skills such as:  

  • Fine motor skills  
  • Hand-eye coordination 
  • Sustained attention & engagement  
  • Problem solving   
  • Functional play skills  
  • Language concepts: Labeling items, Open/Close, More…

Here’s some toy suggestions:

Woody Treasures Montessori Wooden Toys

  • Cause and effect of pushing down and it pops up
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Matching
  • Make loud sounds when they “pop up” to support your child’s engagement!  

Battat – Pop-Up Pals

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Boppin’ Activity Bugs

  • Cause and effect of having to turn/push knobs for it to open 
  • Problem solving skills
  • Promotes fine motor skills 
  • Make it into a peek-a-boo game to support reciprocal interactions

Mirari Pop! Pop! Piano

  • This toy has a couple of different effects your child can cause! Pressing these buttons will result in different sounds AND a different color ball popping up!  

Playkidz Super Durable Pound A Ball 

  • Cause and effect of hammering/pushing the ball through the hole and the ball going down the track
  • Eye-hand coordination

Allnice Toy Cars

  • Cause and effect of pressing the button and the car going
  • Use simple words like “Go,” and “Stop!” 

Nesting, Stacking and Sorting Toys 

Being able to nest and stack cups by size is an important foundational visual motor and problem-solving activity for your child.  Sorting activities are important for teaching attributes about an item. Attributes are characteristics or traits of objects, such as color or shapeAttributes are what a child can see and describe!  Nesting cups, stacking blocks & sorting toys teach your child a variety of skills such as:  

  • Size, color & shape awareness  
  • Sequencing skills  
  • Functional play skills 
  • Problem solving skills  
  • Orientation 
  • Fine motor skills 
  • Eye-Hand coordination 
  • Language concepts such as: In/Out, Big/Little, On/Off, Up/Down, Colors, Shapes 

Here’s some toy suggestions:

Nesting and Stacking

Melissa & Doug Nesting & Sorting Garages & Cars

The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys

Fisher-Price Giant Rock-a-Stack

B. toys – One Two Squeeze Baby Blocks


Hapinest Unicorn Color Sorting and Counting Activity Set

Rainbow Counting Bears With Matching Sorting Cups

Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set

  • These three toys are great for sorting by color
  • Expand skills by counting objects
  • Expand skills to simple pretend play by pretending to eat the food
  • Expand play skills by using the farmers market set as a pretend play item. Go to the “Farmers Market” and go shopping! 

Coogam Wooden Sorting & Stacking Toys

  • This toy is great for sorting by shape OR color! 
  • Expand skills by counting the holes in shapes  

Melissa & Doug Shape-Sorting Dump Truck

  • This toy is great to match and bring awareness to shapes
  • Expand play by using the truck and the driver in pretend play!

 Constructive Play Toys 

Let’s Build! Constructive play is all about building and manipulating items to create something new.  The best thing about constructive play is that it can really be with any type of material. Whether your child is using blocks, sand or playdough your child’s ideas are growing! The biggest key here is being creative! Constructive play supports:  

  • Functional play skills 
  • Shape, color, and size awareness 
  • Executive functioning skills such as sustained attention, organizing, planning
  • Fine motor skills  
  • Eye-hand coordination  
  • Language Concepts: On/Off, Big/Little, Up/Down, More & labeling what your child is making  

Here’s some toy suggestions:

Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag (blue)

Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag (pink)

  • Everybody knows about Lego’s! These are great toys for building!

Mini Tudou 137 PCS Foam Blocks

  • These foam blocks add an additional challenge to balance them while building

Magnetic Tiles Building Blocks Game Set

  • These construction toys have a magnetic side to increase curiosity and building with different types of manipulatives. 

Gouso 166Pcs Glowing Marble Run

  • Construct a marble maze! Use this toy to support creativity when building a new course every time you play. 
  • Expand this toy by working on turn-taking with the marble!

Bristle Blocks by Battat

  • These building blocks have a different texture to them, which make them fun, different, and exciting!

Kinetic Sand

  • Use sand and buckets to be creative in the sand. Kinetic sand brings the sand to you without the mess! 

Blue Bird Day fosters socialization, sensory regulation, and pre-academic learning in children ages 2-7 years in therapeutic rotations that simulate  preschool and kindergarten settings. Our compassionate therapists practice a relationship-based and family-centered approach, provide parent training, and collaborate on goals and individualized intensive treatment plans for your child.

We believe in a collaborative and multi-disciplinary team approach to therapy. A team of occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, dietitians, developmental therapists, behavioral therapists, physical therapists, and therapeutic assistants are created for each child to ensure child and family are fully supported and the best possible results are achieved.  

Options for individualized, group and virtual therapy sessions are available as well. 

Want to learn more or you have a specific question? Feel free to connect with us here! 

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