It's the most wonderful time of the year! Holidays bring lots of fun, family time, good food, and for a lot of parents—a multitude of toys that often end up forgotten and untouched after a few weeks. More parents are looking for toys with a purpose and those that can provide enrichment for their children. There are plenty of good toys on the market that can help enhance your child's motor development. Here are a few physical therapist recommended toys that can improve your child's motor development.
Fisher Price Think and Learn Smart Cycle
The fisher price think and learn smart cycle is recommended for ages 3-6. Combining exercise with educational video games your child will love—this is sure to be a hit. Perfect for climates that limit outside activity throughout certain seasons, your child can get physical activity racing through games that teach phonics and reading.
These chairs are excellent for developing core strength, balance, and can be a useful sensory tool. Manufacturer recommended ages for 24 months to 7 years old, these lightweight chairs can be easily sat in to twist, rock, and balance. Core muscle strength is critical for developing children. Good core stability is a necessary tool for things such as sitting in a desk chair with correct posture to facilitate good handwriting, as well as for recreational activities like riding a bike.
Scooters and Bicycles
Encourage active lifestyles by buying your child a bicycle or scooter this holiday season. Depending on your child's age, a tricycle is a great starting point for toddlers, and preschoolers can take off on a bike with training wheels or even a balance bike. Not only do bicycles, scooters, and balance bikes promote cardiovascular fitness and leg strengthening, they also help improve that important core strength. Just do not forget the helmet to protect those growing brains!
Build, Build, Build
Blocks, magnetic tiles, and Legos are not only great for fostering your child's imagination, but are also an excellent toy for promoting fine motor skills. The snapping, placing, and stacking help your child with both hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills that are important for things such as handwriting, cutting, and typing.
Puzzles can be fun for all ages from infants through adult. Your small children will enjoy practicing their pincer grasp with large peg puzzles while learning shapes, letters, and numbers. Older children can use critical thinking skills to piece together pictures of their favorite scenes or characters. Manipulating the small pieces and finding the perfect fit helps cultivate those very important fine motor skills.
This holiday season, step back from screens and look to buying your children lasting toys that encourage development of their bodies and minds. The early years are extremely critical to practice these skills that will carry them throughout a lifetime. Toys that encourage healthy minds and bodies are also lots of fun for your little one.