Compiled and written by Brittni Barnes, OTR/L & Teresa Hans, OTR/L
Ever wanted to know what toys therapists LOVE for different developmental stages?
Progressive Pediatric Therapy staff have compiled a list for the different ages and stages to foster development! Check out our favorite toys for School aged children! These toys are ideal for ages 5 to 15 years old.
- Hover Board Soccer Ball: Speech Pathologist Regina gives ideas for the hover soccer ball “With the hover soccer ball, you can work on following auditory multi-directions (e.g., “kick the ball to the couch, then jump two times, and last kick the ball to me!”) and target orientation vocabulary like left, right, left foot, right foot, etc.”
- Legos: A classic that is great to address occupational therapy goals including imitating designs.
- Crayola Art with Edge Coloring Set: Make coloring fun for any age! These edgy, stylish coloring pages add challenge and interest to coloring! Different page and marker types allow for hours of creativity!
- Uno: This classic game works on social emotional skills, following directions, symbol recognition, and more! Easy to travel with and use anywhere with all ages! Look out for new versions of this game for added fun!
- Terrarium: This light up terrarium is a favorite of speech and language patholgist because of the language it facilitates, including “WH” questions of who, what, where, when and why. For occupational therapy these terrariums (once paths are formed) can work on left/right discrimination.
- Headbandz: We love this game because it is an easy to play question game of “What am I?” Ask “yes” or “no” questions before time runs out to figure out if the cartoon card on your headband is an animal, food or object.
- Squigz: This is occupational therapists Brittini’s favorite toy “I love using these squigz as they suction cup onto almost any surface, its great for working on grasp, hand strength, visual scanning and building. The possibilities are endless with these toys as they are so versatile.”
- Velcro Ball set: We recommend this toy as it addresses throwing skills, catching skills, eye hand coordination and use of both hands in a fun way! This set travels well, and can be used at the park, beach, or on vacations!
- Tangrams: We love using tangrams as they are a great tool for learning and development, these colorful shapes build on color and shape recognition. In addition to these skills they work on visual perceptual skills which are important and a stepping stone for handwriting.
- Lite Brite: Lite Brite is a great activity that can be used to address multiple disciplines goals, have your child work on their core strength by playing in a tall kneel. Work on multiple step directions with calling out colors to put in. Fine motor skills and visual perceptual skills are targeted when putting in the pegs.
- The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel: We love this game because kids find it so motivating! They don’t realize they are working on fine motor skills, following directions, turn taking, cooperative play and other skills. This is a great game to have in the game closet for family game night.
- Thin Ice: Another great game for game night is Thin Ice, the concept is to place your pieces on the paper without breaking it which is working on fine motor skills
- Yogarilla Body Awareness Cards: Occupational Therapist Sofia stated “Yogarilla cards are great to improve upon left/right body awareness, balance, bilateral coordination and strength. They are perfect to use as breaks throughout the day. The cards are labeled based on difficulty and can be used by kids any age. Increase in difficulty by holding positions for longer or decrease difficulty by having items to stabilize on around.”
- Q’s Race to the Top: Tiffany one of the Occupational Therapists loves Q’s Race to the Top. “Q’s Race to the Top is one of my favorite games to play with some of my clients. It is set up like a Chutes and Ladders style, but the players have to answer questions about behavior, participate in lots of motor activities, and social skills. Q is a monkey who sometimes behaves inappropriately and players have to decide ways he could have responded differently. They also talk about themselves and their feelings. And they some times have to make funny faces, have finger touching races, balance on one leg, or follow more complex directions for physical activities. It is a favorite at home and when I am treating my clients.
- Jenga: We love this classic! All disciplines have used this game at the clinic. If you don’t mind writing on the pieces you could add site words, exercises or the letters of the alphabet depending on what your child is needing to address, on top of the skills Jenga already works on in its original form!
- Throw Throw Burrito: This game is great for older kids! It is a card game combined with burrito dodgeball!
- Suspend: This game is all about motor coordination and balance! Players have to balance metal rods without toppling the whole structure over!
- Operation: This classic game is a favorite with Occupational therapists and Speech Therapists! It facilitates great language and speech skills with the different objects you have to find. OTs love it because of the fine motor skills and visual perceptual skills needed to pull out those objects, not to mention the sensory aspect when you bump the side BZZZZZZZZ!
- Best of Mad Libs: Perfect for practicing some creative writing and language skills! Come up with some silly or crazy stories with mad libs!
- Acuity: This is a game that you can play while working on your childs standing tolerance, while weight bearing, and addressing their posture while also addressing problem solving! This game also is a visual skills best friend!
- AeroDisk Max: Addressing eye hand coordination, motor planning, and processing time this fun game of “Don’t let it drop” is a win for your family!
- Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course: With this obstacle course set your kids will be working their muscles like the next Ninja Warrior! Working on motor planning, strength and so much more!
- Kids Baking Kit: This DIY cake pop kit comes with everything you need to make delicious treats! Great to help your kids learn meal preparation and kitchen skills, kitchen safety, and sequencing steps!
- Fat Brain Toys Pop and Pass: Challenge your coordination skills with a peer with this popping ball game! Use the launcher to pop up, and pass the foam ball to the next person!
- Moon Shoes: Do you remember moon shoes from when you were a kid?? They are now even better! Bounce around on mini-foot trampolines, while testing your balance and coordination!