Here at Kid PT, we have compiled a list of our favorite toys that promote gross motor skills and development. We strongly believe that the effectiveness of exercise, movement, and learning is always amplified when combined with joy. As each child is unique, consider your child’s strengths and preferences to pick gifts that excite them. The age ranges listed below are recommendations not rules. Happy shopping!

0-6 months:

1. Love Every Play Kit Subscription: This is a great gift for parents and baby as each month you will receive age appropriate activities and well made toys to play with your child at each stage of development. 

2.Rainmaker: So much sensory fun with this toy with stimulating sounds and bright colors. This promotes visual motor skills, cause and effect, visual tracking, grasping, hands to midline, and overall movement.

3.Hands and Feet Rattles: This toy promotes bringing feet and hands together in midline, hand eye coordination, body mapping, and core strength and endurance.

 4. Oball with Rattle: The easy to grasp design is well suited for little ones as it promotes hands to midline, hand eye coordination, gaze stabilization, core activation, visual tracking, and motivation to perform gross motor skills of tummy time, rolling, sitting, and play on their backs.

5. Curious Baby Activity Cards: Another great gift for both parents and baby are these activity cards. They provide education on how baby is developing at each age and age appropriate activities to further promote development. The kit also includes high contrast image cards to promote newborn visual development and can be used to motivate visual tracking and tummy time. 

6. Baby Play Gym Activity Mat: A play gym provides babies with motivation to move and explore their environment.

7. Tummy Time Play Mat: This play mat includes various textures, high contrast images, crinkle material, and a removable mirror. These features promote movement, exploration of the environment, reaching with arms, weight shifts, pivoting, and floor mobility.

8. Tummy Time Floor Mirror and High Contrast Images: This mirror and picture display is another great addition to tummy time. It promotes motivation to stay in tummy time to develop strength and endurance in their core, shoulders, and hips while also developing vision, body awareness, gaze stabilization, and overall movement.

9.Suction Toys: Suction toys are versatile as they can be secured to the floor, mirrors, tables, feeding trays, or the bathtub wall. They are incredible motivators for our babies in tummy time, sitting, and standing by promoting reaching, hand eye coordination, cause and effect, weight shifts, and balance reactions. 

6-12 months

1. Sensory Tissue Box: This toy is filled with “tissues” of different textures, colors, and patterns. This is a great toy to promote movement especially while sitting and standing. As your child pulls the tissues out of the box, it develops their core and extensor strength, balance, weight shifts, and hand eye coordination.

2.  Stacking Cups: Gift this baby development staple as it promotes cognitive, fine motor, and hand eye coordination skills. It also promotes motivation while performing gross motor skills in tummy time, supine, sitting, and standing.

3.Climb and Crawl Set: These large blocks are versatile as they can be used for hand support in tall kneeling, pull to standing, and as obstacles to creep over. This targets strength and stability of the core and hip muscles. 

4. Drum Shape Sorter: This toy targets so many aspects of development including cognition, object permanence, hand eye coordination, and movement. This is a perfect height to promote upright sitting and is also a fun task to promote weight shifts, reaching, and balance in standing.

5.Little Balance Box: Standard baby walkers can be distracting and unsteady due to the wheels, which can impact the motivation to walk and also the quality of walking. This balance box was designed by a PT to provide a moveable, semi-stable surface to promote standing balance and supported walking. We often recommend using household items of chairs, boxes, and laundry baskets instead of standard baby walkers and this balance box was designed for just that. 

12-36 months

1. Curious Toddler Activity Cards: Fear not, Curious baby also provides development and activity cards for your toddler.  

2. Rody Horse: A great toy that provides proprioceptive and vestibular input, a full body workout, and also challenges sitting balance.

3.Pull Toy: This pull toy combines shape sorting, stimulating sounds, and gross motor fun. 

4. Squigz: Squigz are a clinic favorite from our babies to our school aged children. They are versatile as they can suction to walls, mats, windows, mirrors, hard surfaces, and other squigz. They challenge fine motor skills and can be incorporated in balance and obstacle course activities.

5. Corn Popper Push Toy and Bulldozer Push Toy: These highly motivating push toys make exploring the environment stimulating and fun. It challenges a child’s coordination to navigate the push toy forward and around obstacles and turns.

6. Walker Wagon: Have your little one push their toys around the block to promote strength and endurance with this fun wagon walker.

7. Broom and Mop Set: This fun pretend play set promotes core strength, coordination, and balance.

3-5 years

1. Balance Bike: Ditch the idea of using training wheels. Have your child learn how to balance and coordinate weight shifts by using a balance bike prior to training on a bike with pedals. 

2.Hedge Hog Balance Pods: These stepping stones provide countless opportunities for fun by using them with obstacle courses, pretend play, and exercise for the whole family. They promote strength, stability, coordination, and balance.  

3. Mini Basketball Hoop: This works on ball skills, hand eye coordination, visual motor skills, and can be incorporated into obstacle courses.

4. Mini Trampoline with Railing: Trampolines help with developing coordination, power, core and leg strength, jumping skills, balance, and endurance.

5. Rocket Launcher: This is a beloved toy at the clinic as our kiddos take such joy in launching the rockets as far as possible. This promotes single limb balance, strength, coordination, and jumping skills.

6. Pop the Pig: This is a great game to activate and strengthen the core while pushing down with both hands on the pig’s head. It can also be incorporated into obstacles and balance activities.

7. Climber and Slide Play Set: The climbing portions promote core and hip strength and the slide activates the vestibular system.

5 years and up:

1. BoBo Balance Core Trainer: This is a visual feedback device that can be connected to a phone or ipad that challenges core strength, balance, coordination, and visual motor skills. It is versatile as you can use it in varied positions with your arms, both legs, or just one leg. The challenges include mazes, snowboarding, sledding, submarining, and so much more.

2. Wooden Wobble Balance Board– The balance board challenges core and hip strength, coordination, and balance. You can also turn it over and it can act as a little bridge.

3. Hyperdash: Hyperdash has both individual or group player modes that challenge coordination, response time, and speed. 

4. Roller Skates: Roller skates are a great gadget that challenges coordination, endurance, balance, and single limb stance. 

5. Zoom Ball– This is a great activity that challenges visual motor skills, coordination, core strength, and postural control.

6. Bike: A bike is a classic toy that promotes strength, balance, coordination, and endurance. It is a great way to keep kids active throughout the year.

We hope these ideas were helpful to you and your family! If you have any favorites share them with us in the comments!

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