With the gift-giving season upon us, we asked our Pediatric Therapy team for their recommendations for gifts. Here are some of their favorites!
Ashley Fletcher, Occupational Therapist
“Prima Ballerina is a great gift for kids working on imitation skills, body awareness, and balance.”
Ashley also recommends this stacking toy. “Fat Brain Toys SpinAgain Stacking Toy is great for kids just sitting up to toddlers that are working on concepts such as size and color. New sitters and standers can work on reach, grasp, weight shifting, balance, and trunk rotation. Older kids can work on visual spatial skills, early learning concepts such as size and color, as well as cause and effect.”
Genealle Visagorskis, Speech-Language Pathologist
Genealle recommends art supplies, such as paper and markers. “I’ll have kids dictate what they want me to draw (ex: something ‘REALLY BIG’ or ‘really little’) and I use my voice and body language to add interest. If I’m interested, often kids become interested too. They tell me what colors to use, if it needs a nose, is it scary/happy/sad, should it have a cape on the back, should there be clouds in the sky…Have fun with it! I can be silly with it, drawing goofy things and having kids laugh and tell me ‘not like that.’ If they’re starting to learn letter identification or emerging literacy, I add letters or words, maybe numbers. I ask if they want to color or if they want me to color. I fill the activity with choices throughout, letting the kids dictate what’s drawn on the paper.”
Other recommendations from Genealle include I Spy books, picture books, and these fun monster feet.
Becky DeCou, Speech-Language Pathologist
“Playmobil toys for 6 and up: I love how these toys lead to so much imaginative play and are durable for years and years. There are so many details and pieces that make these toys special and memorable.”
Becky also recommends children’s books: “Reading together cultivates a lifetime love of reading. Reading together can boost language development, joint attention and general interest in stories. I like to gift my personal favorite titles; they make nice keepsakes.”
Autumn Cook-Biggert, Speech Language Pathologist
“I love stacking cups! They are great for language because you can work on ‘in,’ ‘out,’ ‘up,’ ‘down,’ ‘under,’ and ‘on,’ and you can also do pretend play (drinking out of a cup, pouring from one cup to another, eating out of the empty cup, stirring, etc.). Any plastic stacking cups are great! You can also play with them in the bathtub and outside. Very versatile!”