While we recognize that not all families celebrate the holidays in the month of December, many of them do, and often look for recommendations for developmentally appropriate, fun and enriching toys for their little ones. We are here to help! If you’ve gotten all of your holiday shopping done already (high-five!) then be sure to bookmark this post and revisit when your child’s birthday rolls around, since the following recommendations are appropriate all year round.

Let’s get right to it…

Ages 1-3

Piano Popping Fun

Get ready for your little one to be enchanted! Piano Popping Fun is a sensory exploration of sounds and sights that engages young children through fun cause and effects that they control. Tapping on the keys launches balls into the air (within the transparent dome) with every note, including bells, whistles, laughter, or traditional piano sounds. Notes are colored to match the pipes and spheres, which stimulates emerging color matching skills. It also encourages fine motor skills, sensory learning, cause-effect learning and music skills. It even includes the 3 AA batteries required to make it work – one less thing to remember to have one hand on Christmas morning!

Buy Piano Popping Fun on Fat Brain Toys!

Spell-Your-Name Alphabet Railroad

This may just be the cutest gift in all the land of toys. What an encouraging and adorable way to make spelling fun! While purchasing the letters of a child’s name seems the logical first choice, you could also collect a variety of letters to create other words, or even transition to sentences. Each letter is wood-carved, painted, comes with a lifetime guarantee and are compatible with most standard wooden train sets. Your child will practice their fine motor skills, pre-reading and reading skills, imaginative play and self-esteem without even realizing it.

Buy Spell-Your-Name Alphabet Railroad on Fat Brain Toys!

Spin Again

This stacking toy is unique and memorable for the special feature that will have kids playing with it over and over again – it spins! Drop the discs onto the threaded corkscrew pole and watch it spin quickly and gracefully to the bottom. Kids can choose a stable base or “wobble” base, depending on their skill level and preference.Turn it upside down and watch them spin to the ground! Fun shapes and bright colors appeal to young one’s eyes, making play with this toy all the more delightful as they strengthen their hand-eye coordination skills. Discs are solid, sturdy and BPA free. 

Buy Spin Again on Fat Brain Toys!

Ages 3-5

Sky Nook

Does your child often seek or need a calm respite during a day filled with sensory load? We’re pretty sure you do too, although you’ll have to search for an adult-sized version of this cozy and unique swing. Hang it indoors or out (when the winter makes its exit) with peace of mind, as reinforced stitching and a unique design makes it difficult for children to fall out. Kids will have access to a powerful self-regulation tool that can help them achieve a calm, regulated state when they most need it.

Buy Sky Nook here on Fat Brain Toys!

Magic Inductive Toy Truck

This little train really does seem like magic – draw a line with the provided marker, and the train will follow the path! Great for prompting pre-writing strokes in little ones, as well as targeting appropriate fine motor skills, logical thinking, hand-eye coordination, visual spatial skills, imaginative play and more.

Buy Magic Inductive Toy Truck here!

Hey Clay – Monsters

An interactive app accompanies these 18 cans of wheat- and gluten-free clay that are described as “soft, lightweight, non-sticky, nontoxic and stain-free.” Children can pick one of the six features monster characters and then follow along with the interactive 3D step-by-step instructions to complete it, molding one simple shape at a time. It encourages fine motor skills, spatial reasoning, creativity, executive functioning skills and sensory input.

Buy Hey Clay – Monsters here on Fat Brain Toys!

Ages 5-10

Sturdy Birdy

This recommended Parents’ Choice Award game features Reggie the Pigeon, who dreams of being a high wire acrobat in the circus. Players help Reggie by learning to perfect twelve unique poses, although additional motor challenges make the tasks more difficult. Other players count as you keep your balance, making for a fun, giggle-filled game. Along with increasing social interaction and self-esteem, Sturdy Birdy targets counting, coordination, balance and core strength. It’s a fast-paced game with no reading required, making it a great option for a range of age groups. 

Buy Sturdy Birdy here on Fat Brain Toys!

Splitting Image

This game requires the player to arrange two patterned shapes against the mirror to match the image on each of the challenge cards. It targets and strengthens spatial reasoning skills, critical thinking, problem solving and creativity. A fun challenge for children who love challenging puzzles!

Buy Splitting Image here on Fat Brain Toys!

Gravity Maze (ThinkFun)

This 2015 Toy of the Year award winner, helps develop and strengthen critical skills, including spatial reasoning and planning, logic and problem solving. It contains 60 challenges with increasing levels of difficulty for kids ages 8 and up. 

Buy Gravity Maze here on Amazon!

Science Experiments for Kids

This book, suitable for children 5-10, offers instructions for 100+ hands-on experiments that can help them discover just how fun science is! Written by a former chemistry teacher and blogger of the Science Kiddo, the featured experiments- most of which require common household items-  are simple to do and provide lessons on how and why they work.

Buy Science Experiments for Kids on Amazon!
 

With the array of toys out there in the land of stores and online shopping, it can be overwhelming to comb through the masses and find a gift for your little ones that will benefit their overall development. While some online stores are beyond convenient and are likely a go-to source for holiday purchases (you may have heard of a little site called Amazon), the following stores, some with both an online and physical store presence, are good sources of quality gifts that keep child development at the forefront of their innovations:

 

Fat Brain Toys

Lakeshore Learning

Learning Resources

Kiwi Co

Mindware

Usborne Books

HearthSong

*Click the links above to be directed to these company websites!

(*None of the links within this article are affiliate links. CTC is not affiliated with any of the products or companies, and does not receive any form of compensation for links clicked or items purchased).

Gifts available at CTC

On display behind our front desk is our year-long gift/therapy item selection. Come take a peek at the goodies, which includes sensory toys, therapy balls, books, activity cards, CDs, CTC t-shirts and more!

Reminder:

The clinic will be closed on Tuesday, December 23 and Wednesday, December 24 in recognition of the Christmas holiday. Very limited therapists and appointments will be available on Thursday, December 26. Your therapist/s will discuss any availability they may have to offer. We will also be closed on Wednesday, January 1 in recognition of the New Year holiday. 

We wish all of our families a joyful holiday and a happy, healthy new year!