A question that we have been getting a lot of this time of year is “WHAT DO I GET MY KIDDOS FOR CHRISTMAS?!?!?!” We are hoping this blog post will help give you some ideas of games and toys that can help your littles improve in their OT and speech and language skills. Games and activities are great for facilitating interactive, relationship based fun. It’s important to realize that nothing can take the place of you interacting with your kiddos. These ideas are simply ways to facilitate that connection with your children.
IDEAS FOR TODDLERS
Bubbles are such a great activity for you and your toddler. If you allow some wait time in between blowing more bubbles, the activity allows your child to have the opportunity to use language and request for recurring bubbles. Bubbles also can focus on turn-taking as well as wonderful lip rounding and breath support for your little one. Bubbles are also an excellent tool for regulating breathing for those moments that have our kids feeling overwhelmed.
2. Hoot Owl Hoot by Peaceable Kingdom; Ages 4+, 2-4 players
Hoot Owl Hoot has the cutest manipulatives and the directions are printed on the inside of the box..GENUIS! This game is collaborative, meaning there is no competition and everyone has to work together to get all of the owls to the nest. This is a great game for turn-taking, simple strategy, and color matching.
3. Wonder Tube
How great is this wonder tube? It’s great as a transitional toy from one place to another (we’re picturing that ride to grandma and grandpas!), or something to keep you littles' hands busy during an appointment. This stick has objects in it that could work on vocabulary and comprehension: “find the green music note”. It is also a great tool to use for tracking exercises that may be on your child’s home exercise program.
Who doesn’t love bowling? When bowling, have your kiddo instruct you to set up the pins or have them establish the directions before you begin playing. Visual cues on the ground can assist children with motor planning and provides fun cause and effect play.
5. Shelby’s Snack Shack Game by Educational Insights; Ages 4+, 2-4 players
This game is adorable and an absolute favorite! It comes with dog bone dishes and cute plastic bones. “Shelby” the dog has to pick up the bones and put them into his/her bowl. This is a fantastic game for turn-taking, asking for help, and comprehension. The spinner that comes with the game can be used to target finger isolation and the “Shelby” tongs can be used for hand strength and manipulation- all important fine motor skills necessary for pre-academia.
IDEAS FOR SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN
1. Snap Circuits Jr. by Elenco; Ages 8-108
For all our little engineers out there! This game can be used as a visual perception game in which your kiddo has to follow the picture on the booklet, or it can be used as a language based game in which one person tells their partner which piece to get and where to put it-then it becomes expressive language and comprehension game! The pieces contain small snaps that require fine motor skills and the game board is a grid- talk about visual motor skills!
2. Quick Cups by Spinmaster; Ages 6+, Players 2-6
This is a fast-paced stacking game for our kiddos who thrive on friendly competition. Not only is this game working on functional hand skills and motor planning to stack the cups quickly, it also helps kiddos with visual perception. Sometimes, we have the kiddos name the colors as they are stacking to work on fast word retrieval! An absolute favorite!
3. Engineering Ants by Peaceable Kingdom; Ages 5+, 2-4 players
This game is “a creative, cooperative building game!” Kiddos have to work together to build different items that can overcome the obstacles they face to save the ants. This game is perfect for teamwork and problem solving skills. It can help kiddos with their flexibility and learn to take other’s ideas and work together to physically build different solutions to a problem.
4. Make "N" Break by Ravensberger; Ages 8-99, 2-4 players
This game is a fun way to work on fine motor skills, visual perception skills, expressive language skills, and comprehension skills. It can be played two different ways….the kiddo can look at the card and build according to the card," focusing on fine motor and visual perception skills. Another way to play is to have one person be the “builder” and the other the “instructor”. Pick a card, keep it secret, and tell the other player how to build the tower, no pointing! And then switch!
5. Eye Found It by Wonderforge, Ages 4+
This game is amazing for visual scanning and discrimination skills as well as vocabulary. "Eye Found It" is a Disney themed game, in which you have to find items on the busy, busy board before the clock hits midnight.
6. Sleeping Queens by GameWright; Ages 8 and up, 2-5 players
This is a card game for ages 8 and up. This is a great game for executive function, strategy, and quick thinking. The potions and dragons keep you on your toes when playing this game. This game takes organization and memory skills so a white board will come in handy for the rules!
Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog has no direct connection to any of the mentioned products. The information expressed here represents our own opinions and thoughts.