Is it Santa’s Workshop, or an LLA clinic? You would be hard pressed to know the difference if you visited one of our locations. That is because we have toys, and lots of them! Think of toys as our tools. Not only do we use them to motivate our clients, but we use toys each and every day for therapeutic intent whether it is to increase communication and vocabulary, or to strengthen and increase finger dexterity.
Below you will find our therapists’ hand-picked favorites from this past year with descriptions for how they can be used, and why they made our list. We also provided clickable pictures with links to make your shopping a breeze. We hope you enjoy– and as always, Happy HoLLAdays!
Why we love it: This toy is awesome! The wax strings are used to create all sorts of designs. We love the fine motor aspect of bending and molding the strings but it also holds kids attention for a long time! The best part is the wikki stix don’t dry out and are mess-free and easy to store!
Five Little Fish
Why we love it: This game is a fan favorite for my little ones! It is a great game to work on turn taking, following directions, colors, counting, requesting, basic vocabulary, and more! I also love to use it as a reinforcer when working on articulation.
Why we love it: Kids love playing with water, it is a great sensory experience! To target speech, we talk about the colors of the markers and it’s great to target vocabulary (wash, clean, dry, scrub, brush, water). This toy is always a huge hit!
Why we love it: Sand is a sensory experience and kids enjoy sculpting and playing with it. In speech therapy we stick articulation cards or objects in the sand and practice saying the words. For occupational therapy we love the sensory experience of the feel of the sand as well as the fine motor aspect of packing the sand into objects like castles and pyramids. The sand can be reused over and over again and kids enjoy it every time!
Why we love it: From a therapy perspective, this game has it all! It incorporates fine motor skills, teaching emotions, visual perception skills and requires logic/problem solving skills! Kids love that it is a quick game that is easy to learn and play.
Why we love it: These are great for kids of all ages! The younger kids (12 months) enjoy making the tiles stick together, stacking them and knocking them down. Older kids (3-4) enjoy making creative masterpieces! They are also great for teaching colors and shapes. This is a toy I reach for over and over again because the possibilities are endless!
Pop The Pig
Why we love it: Kids love feeding this pig burgers and watching his belly grow until his shirt pops! We use this toy in therapy by incorporating therapy tasks in between turns (saying target articulation words or doing gross motor tasks like balancing on one leg)
Why we love it: For any child, regardless of athletic ability, this toy is a hit (pun intended)! For younger children, we don’t even use a bat; we just put the ball in and watch it pop out! Older kids like to catch or hit the ball with a bat. It works on coordination and balance and great for anyone ranging from the young child to budding athlete!
Why we love it: Sensory/Fidget toys are popular with kids and these poppin’ tubes are no exception! They are the ultimate sensory toy; they pop, snap, stretch, connect, and keep those little fingers busy for hours!
Why we love it: This is great for your kiddo who loves to create! It promotes hand strength and dexterity while making a craft. You can also work on color identification and sorting. PLUS there are TONS of expansion packs available. The creations are endless!