Written by Anna Claire Pritchard, MOT, LOTR
Buying gifts for kids can be difficult sometimes, especially if you aren’t the parent of the child. One way I love to decide on a gift is to start with the child’s age then move to their interest or upcoming milestones. This gift guide is meant to be just that – a “guide” in assisting you to find the perfect toy for the child you are buying for this holiday season.
This age is full of growth and development. Toys should allow for exploration and refinement of skills. The dimpl is an affordable gift that will be any parent’s go-to for an easy toy to throw in the diaper bag. An activity cube or bead maze is a great gift option for those learning to sit up, allowing them to work on eye-hand coordination and visual-motor skills. They also make taller activity tables that are a great option for those learning to stand on their own. Do you have a “climber?” The Piklr Triangle is one of my favorites for gross motor development. We purchased ours from Etsy – I love that it offers a folding option for easy storage. They also offer a variety of attachments, such as a rock wall or a slide that are great add ons now or later on down the road. A personalized puzzle will be a classic gift that children and parents will love.
Physical growth slows down during this time and cognitive and language growth takes the front seat. I love toys that allow for imaginative play for this age range. Play kitchens are great basics for any household. Does the child you are buying for already have a play kitchen, what about new accessories like a pizza set or shopping cart? Wobble boards are an open-ended toy great for providing movement inside or a prop for toy cars to roll down – the play options for this toy are endless. At this age children are learning social skills such as turn taking – group games with simple rules are a great way to introduce these skills at home. Zingo! is a fun and educational game – great for the whole family. An easel is another household staple that allows for hours of creativity.
This is the age of growing independence and self-sufficiency. Botley is a screen-free coding system that any little engineer would love. Tap Tap play sets and craft collage sets are great options for the little artists in your life. The movie maker studio set is perfect for the hands-on creative kiddos that you know and love.
Toys take on a more constructive role with this age group and tend to consist mostly of games and organized play. Lego Dots are great for kids who enjoy creative play – they come in a variety of sets from slap bracelets to pencil holders. Trash Pandas and The Floor is Lava are fun and interactive games that the whole family will grow to love. Kids who love a good challenge and a game of logic are sure to love Gravity Maze.
Logic and deductive reasoning skills increase during these years. The Air Power Racer Kit is no easy task – great for the pre-teen in your life that loves a good challenge. The Giant Tumbling Tower and Rummikub are sure to be a hit for those who love to have fun with their friends. Go Cubes are the new and improved interactive Rubik’s cube – it turns a beginner into a pro while keeping a log of stats. It also offers a live battle mode to play online with friends who have Go Cubes.
Lovevery Newborn – 3 years
KiwiCo 24 months – 16+ YEARS
Guide Dots Level 1: 4-7 YEARS Level 2: 8-10 YEARS
Prime Book Box Newborn-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12 YEARS
Brick Loot 6+ YEARS
Little Passports 3-5; 5-8; 6-10; 7-12; 9+ YEARS
KidStir Cooking Kit 4-14 YEARS
Anna Claire is a pediatric occupational therapist at Building Futures Pediatric Therapy Center. Her love of occupational therapy began at a young age. She incorporates fun, creative facets as well as holistic approaches to better assist her clients in reaching their goals. She has experience in a variety of settings from a multidisciplinary center for children with Autism and communication disorders to home health and an outpatient clinic for children and adults with a wide variety of diagnoses such as traumatic brain injury, CVA, cerebral palsy, Sensory Processing Disorder and dysgraphia. Her diverse population of patients is one of her favorite aspects of occupational therapy. Due to her innate love for children, she chose Pediatric occupational therapy as her focus. Anna Claire cares for all of her patients on a personal and professional level.