I have parents ask me multiple times per week, “What are the best toys to buy for my child?” This was a question I frequently asked when I first started treating children as well.
When I was taking my NDT Certification Course, I wanted to explore all my instructors’ “suitcases of toys”. They always had the coolest gadgets to entertain the kids. Most of us would have at least 5+ activities or toys lined up because kids have pretty short attention spans, as we all know (especially those who have kids themselves). The instructors, on the other hand, could keep a child engaged for an entire hour session with just 1 small toy! I was always mesmerized by this and still to this day am always on the search for the perfect toys!
Of course it depends on the age of the child, but the following are 3 of my favorite toys (currently):
1. Flying Monkey
All of my kids LOVE the flying monkey! – I found this odd little toy being sold from a box at the register of a local gas station. This little monkey has stretchy arms and pockets on his hands where you place your fingers . . . pull back his feet and tail and off he flies across the room (of course with his super hero cape fluttering behind him). Once he lands, he makes loud monkey sounds (enter monkey screaming here). I use him to knock over towers we have built, to land in a bucket (add this to my previous bucket blog), or simply to walk across an obstacle course I’ve built.
2. Connect 4
This classic game I have found to be so handy to work on fine motor skills (pincher fingers), reaching up high to work on sitting or standing up tall (to place game piece in), to work on sit to stand (grab piece from floor, then stand to table to drop piece into game), trunk/back strength when played lying on belly and having to reach forward and up to place piece in game, etc. I use this with my older kids and my younger kids. My younger kids may not play the traditional game, but they love to fill it up and slide to watch them all crash down.
3. Bead Necklaces
Cheap bead necklaces that you buy for parties are always a blast! With little girls, of course the obvious dress up always entertains. Boys like to use them as pirate treasure. I frequently use the beads to provide tactile input – I will roll the beads along a body part (the feet for example) when a child does not have a lot of body awareness of their feet. The child feels the beads on his feet and then I may have him reach with his feet to roll the beads toward him. I have used reachers to have the kids pick up the beads. They are perfect for working on reaching tasks to put a necklace on mom or on a doll.
These are usually standard toys that you will always find at the bottom of my bag of tricks.
What are your favorite toys that keep kids motivated? Please share below in the comments. Thanks and have a great day!