Shopping for “our kids” can be such a chore, can’t it? And this time of year, I love shopping, I really do. I don’t over indulge throughout the year and I love shopping for things that my kids will love. But, especially with Kevin, I want the toys to have value. Kinda like their food! Sure, a junk food treat is nice now and then, but Brian would eat Oreos for 3 meals a day if I let him. So I want balance. My friend Cheri who is an OT shared some of her tips on how to choose toys that have educational and occupational (OT) value.
In the past I have shared several lists of specific toys, but maybe those don’t appeal to you. Or, if your child is significantly delayed (like mine) you find that after 8 or 9 years, you have most of the toys on this list.
- a BSC and special ed teacher recommends her 50 top toys
- 10 toys under $10 for sensory and fine motor
- light play toys that will have them forget they are learning
- inexpensive light play toys~25 ideas!
Here are Cheri’s tips for how to choose a toy for your child.
OT Advice on How to Choose A Toy for Christmas
Buying toys for children is more than just pulling a toy off the shelf. Looking for toys that are occupation-based enhance the child’s education. The definition of occupation is any activity that a person completes in a day’s time, according to occupational therapy. If there is a purpose behind the toy, it will encourage their occupations in life. Any toy that does the following is a great choice:
As you are looking for a toy for an infant or toddler, search for items that keep these components involved. For elementary children, search for toys that will imitate future roles, especially using tools such as pens, pencils, crayons, scissors, etc. For teens, keep them moving! By all means, keep it fun. Engaging toys yield engaged children. Engaged children yield children learning about their world. Also, have fun looking!
Cheri is licensed to practice OT in Pennsylvania and is also a Special Education Advocate in her spare time. She can provide services via Skype. See information below if you are interested in contacting her. And thanks for the toy-shopping advice!