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  • Writer's pictureAnnmarie DeMarco

Play with a Purpose for the Holidays! Toys for toddlers ages 24-36 months.

Therapy Putty

Adding a sensory component to an activity will usually improve attention. Therapy Putty is a great way to strengthen little hands and provide heavy work during activities; it also provides a tactile experience during play. The putty ranges from x-soft to firm resistance. Cover a small toy car, and encourage your little one to pull the putty apart to find it. You can also work on completing a puzzle; cover one puzzle piece at a time in putty, have your little one find the puzzle piece, give the putty back to you, and then cover the next puzzle piece. This is great for sequencing and following one step direction. Therapy Putty is a lot of fun-but it will stick to clothing-especially when it is pulled apart, so I always recommend being close by during play!

Strider 12 Classic

Strider Balance Bikes encourage balance, motor planning, and core strengthening. Motor planning is the ability to think about what you want to do, make a plan, and carry it out motorically. For most of us, motor planning comes easily; we don't have to consciously think about what we want to do. However, for some of our kiddos, it can be difficult. Engaging in novel motor games and activities helps us to improve our motor planning ability. Strider Balance Bikes are a wonderful option for many reasons, but especially because kids are able to have their feet on the ground to propel the bike instead of having to motor plan moving both sides of their body simultaneously, in the opposite direction to gain momentum; all while taking in visual & auditory stimuli & maintaining their balance! (That's a lot to think about, right?)

Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit

Pretend play is so much fun with this toy! The Velcro holds the fruit together-use the wooden knife to "cut" the fruit into pieces. This toy helps build fine motor skills, visual motor skills, & motor planning. You can also begin the activity by taking the pieces apart, and have your child match the colors to put the fruit back together!

Kinetic Sand: Bake Shop Patisserie

Kinetic Sand: Dig & Demolish

The water table I had in my last post can double as a sensory table! Clean out the water table, and put some Kinetic Sand inside. If you don't have a water table, you can use any large bin you have around the house!Kinetic Sand is one of my go-to sensory play activities. I love the kits because they encourage pretend play, sensory play, and work on those fine motor skills!

Melissa & Doug: Pound A Peg

Simple is best and this toy is proof of that. Your little one will learn color recognition, eye-hand coordination, and how to grade their force (how much strength to use when trying to accomplish a task.) Your little one can use the hammer to push the pegs down, or use their hands. After they push the pegs down, they can flip the toy over and begin again..facilitating independent play!

Edx Education: Step-A-Trail

Around this age, little ones are very active. Vestibular based activities such as balance provide movement in a more structured way. To work on motor planning, change the lay out of the Step-A-Trail after your child walks across to create a novel experience each time! Your little one will also begin to learn spatial awareness and body awareness during this activity!

Stomp Rocket

Two foot jumps (getting both feet off of the ground) begins around age 2. The Stomp Rocket is a great way to practice that skill! I love toys that foster independent play; your child has the skills around this age to jump, visually track the rocket as it soars in the air, follow a one step direction to find the rocket, and use their fine motor & visual motor skills to place it back on the base. Activities that incorporate a learning opportunity along with movement are so important at this age- this toy is made for just that!

Fat Brain Toys: Tinker Rings

Tinker Rings have different textures and and have magnets for easy stacking ability. They are great for teaching your little one how to grade their force when using them as pictured above. You can also stack them from big to small; working on basic concepts & visual perceptual skills!

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