Holiday Gift Guide 2019 – The Hottest Therapist Recommended Toys (With links!)

With the holiday season quickly approaching, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite games and toys that can help your child develop many skills. Many toys and games are great resources for therapy, and the best part is kids just think they’re playing!

Here are some of our therapist recommended games and toys, with links to find them!

Avalanche Fruit Stand

Find it here!

Great game that works on fine motor skills as well as social skills and turn taking.

-Shaina Bartle, Occupational Therapist

Melissa and Doug Reusable Stickers

Find it here!

Melissa and Doug reusable stickers are great for modeling language, following directions, pronouns, and wh- questions. Honestly I find these so useful that I could write an entire thing about them!

-Elizabeth Miller, Speech Therapist

Hedbanz Game

Find it here!

I LOVE using the game hedbanz… You can target articulation (pick out target words depending on what sound you’re working on) It has TONS of initial, medial, and final /k/ as well as initial medial and final /g/. It also has multisyllabic words. You can compare and contrast with the cards, you can work on describing using attributes, you can work on categories. Literally this is the best game for mixed groups!!

-Sabrina Mottershead, Speech Therapist

Paw Patrol Dog House Bingo Fisher Price Game

Find it here!

I have had the fisher price “barnyard bing” for YEARS! This is my go to for many preschoolers. They love the sound the spring makes to release the token. Sometimes they like just releasing the token and putting it back in. At that stage we can imitate the animal sounds pictured on the tokens, use requests (push, more), and practice early location concepts (in, out).  At another stage we practice turn taking. It’s really easy to practice turn taking with this item because the adult can quickly pass the item after it activates (unlike other toys you need to travel to get pieces you’ve activated). In another stage, we play the game by having to match the color and animal and can talk about expected behaviors (waiting, saying “nice try” when losing), same/different concepts, and negation (not the color you need). They made a Paw Patrol version for under 12.00 that may be an even more popular theme!

-Rachel Collins, Speech Therapist

Boogie Board Play and Trace

Find it here!

Students love the Boogie Board Play and Trace. It helps to develop fine motor, visual motor, bilateral integration and motor planning skills while having fun. It is light weight and can be taken anywhere to help keep kids busy while developing important underlying skills.

-Melissa Eddy, Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant

Marky Sparky Blast Pad Rocket Launcher

Find it here!

This is the best PT toy! It’s a great incentive for kids to finish their other exercises and you can work on jumping, stomping, single leg balance, even eye hand coordination for putting the rocket back on. You can also have them skip, hop, jump, run to go get the rocket. I like this one in particular because it is sturdier and has a base.
-Chris Stroll, Physical Therapist Assistant

Zingo

I love using Zingo in speech to teach vocabulary, articulation as well as turn-taking.  Kids of all ages love this game, and I find myself reaching for it all the time!

-Carrie Ravine, Speech Therapist

Legato Counting Bears

These are great and very versatile.  I use them to work on sorting colors, naming colors, imitating words and more!

-Carrie Ravine, Speech Therapist

Dot Markers

Find it here!

These markers are so much fun, and kids love using them!  They can be used as a reinforcement (after you say a sound or word you make a dot) or to work on imitating beginning sounds/words (saying the word “dot” or the color “red” each time you make a dot).

-Carrie Ravine, Speech Therapist

Treasure X Aliens – Dissection Kit with Slime, Action Figure, and Treasure

Find it here!

This is a toy that can work on fine motor strengthening and manipulation skills, activities of daily living/self-help skills, as well as sensory processing skills. Kids get to use a toy knife to cut with, using tweezers to pinch items, squeeze items, and search for items. Great toy to engage kids in therapy without them knowing, as well as easy on the wallet. 
 
-Madonna Smith, Occupational Therapist

Tangle Therapy Hand Fidget

Find it here!

This twistable therapy device is a new ergonomic approach to hand therapy, minor stress relief, building fine motor skills, and is great for the sensory sensitive child. Research studies include fields such as play therapy, ADHD, dementia, nursing, special needs care, mental health and well-being and have found efficacy in playing with a Tangle. Researchers have found when a child has a fidget to hold and manipulate during stressful times, the child has better reading and math comprehension, smoothed nerves and anxiety, more body control, and improved focus.

Tangle Hand Fidget includes:

  • Twistable therapy device with a new ergonomic approach to stress relief and hand therapy
  • Use Tangle Therapy for hand and mind wellness
  • Tangle Therapy fits in your hand for single handed manipulation
  • With 20 pieces interconnected, this twisty toy keeps your fingers busy
  • Each piece is covered with a soft rubberized material that is designed for maximum tactile pleasure

-Jessica Glenbocki, Occupational Therapist

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