2020 CSS Therapy Gift Guide

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It’s that time of the year again! Time to scour the stores (or websites) to search for the perfect holiday gifts for your child. When choosing a toy, the most important thing to consider is how your child will engage with it. Ideally, the toy should encourage your child to actively participate in what makes the toy fun.

The occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists at Children’s Support Solutions have come up with a list of toys and games that will help support your child’s sensory, fine motor and language goals in a fun way, at home.

We hope this will help families in selecting fun and educational toys as gifts this holiday season!


Contributions from:
Ashley Cooper, Occupational Therapist
Kaylee Miller, SLP Student
Keltie Morrison, Occupational Therapist

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Toddlers 12 months-2 years

BOOKS:

Your child can never have too many books! They are fun, easy to find and are available for all ages and reading levels. Books are great for identifying letters, building vocabulary, strengthening narrative skills and so much more. Most importantly, reading promotes bonding and is a special activity you and your child can share.

Check out some local shops:

Mabel’s Fables Bookstore
Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore
Moonbeam Books

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TOY CARS:

Any toy that stops and starts is wonderful for little ones who are still working on their first words. Toy cars will allow your child to practice making noises (e.g. beep beep), saying “go”, turn taking and engaging with their play partners. Toy cars integrate cause and effect into play in an exciting way.

Here are a few ideas:

Press & Zoom Police Car
Little People Helpful Garage

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LEARNING RESOURCES:

Spike the Hedgehog

Great for fine motor skills, develop colour recognition, sorting, and counting!  Easy to grasp for toddlers and preschoolers!

Steggy, The Fine Motor Dino

Another great toy for developing fine motor skills, develop colour recognition, sorting, and counting!  The shape of these promotes pincer grasp, hand strength!

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Children 3-5 years old:

TOY FOOD:

Toy food is great because it provides an opportunity for the imagination to run wild. Your child can go grocery shopping, host a dinner party, become a chef or engage in any other pretend play.  You can also practice labelling objects, following directions and learning social routines. As your children grow you can introduce written language with grocery lists and menus. If you would like to splurge, you can even buy a kitchen set to go with it!

Here are a few ideas:

Cutting Food
Chef Cooking Set

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TOY BUS:

Fisher-Price® Little People® Big Yellow School Bus

This classic toy has been around for decades. This is a fantastic toy for practicing pronouns with your child, teaching them words such as on and off and engaging in pretend play.

Another option: Fisher Price Little People Sit with me School Bus

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LEARNING RESOURCES:

Rock ‘n Gem Surprise

Great for developing fine motor skills to crack open and reveal the colourful gems inside! Practice sorting, matching, counting your gems and the shapes as well! 

Play-Doh Variety Pack

Play-Doh branched out from the regular Play-Doh we know and love to create different types of ‘doh’s.’ Different textures of Play-Doh allow for additional sensory exploration, descriptive vocabulary and fun!

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Children 6+ Years: 

Hedbanz

HedBanz is a fun, family friendly game in which players wear headbands with a picture attached. Each player has to ask questions to help them figure out what picture is attached to their headband. It can also be played in reverse, with players giving their teammates clues, until they guess the correct response. I love this game because it encourages critical thinking, asking questions, inferencing and teamwork.  AND HedBanz Junior – for the younger kids!

Obstacle Set Course

A wonderful way to keep kids moving! Design their own obstacle courses to develop gross motor skills, balance, and coordination! 

MadLibs

MadLibs is great for encouraging reading and writing in an amusing and creative way. It builds vocabulary, teaches components of grammar and provides an opportunity to practice proper spelling. A game of MadLibs brings on so much laughter, its players won’t even realize how much learning is taking place!

The Floor is Lava Game

The family board game cards promote sports activities, active imagination, planning, balance and coordination and attracts the excitement of children and adults. 

Code Breaker

This game is great for a variety of reasons of skills including spatial reasoning, critical thinking, strategical thinking and problem-solving.

Upside Down Challenge

Flip your vision with the #upsidedownchallenge game. This challenges players to try various tasls with your vision flipped upside down!

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