Holiday wish list for children

With Christmas only a few short weeks away and Black Friday just around the corner, we often wonder what to get our kids. Sure, there are a ton of toys that are electronic, loud, and flashy. But what about items that can really help our children to learn and grow? Now all children are different and have different needs, but this is a good place to start. So, without further ado, here is our top 10 Holiday Wishlist for children this year:

Wooden toys. There are often so many toys that run on batteries and have bright flashing lights. These are fun, but often times can be overstimulating for younger ones. They don’t need all the bells and whistles to have fun. Simple wooden toys that work on hand-eye coordination, thought processing, and cause and effect are wonderful. Think things like a hammer toy, pegs, rolling a wooden ball down a ramp, etc. This is especially great for little ones under 3 years old.

Scooter board. Scooter boards are fantastic. You can sit on them and get a leg workout in or lay on your stomach and work those arms. You can make obstacle courses, scooter board races, and so much more! Just make sure you don’t stand on them, and always be cautious about fingers and toes!

Balls. There are literally so many kinds of balls for children to play with. Very small ones can start with ball-pit size balls and move up from there. Tennis balls, soccer balls, kickballs, etc. Often kids just need to be outside running around and having a ball is a great place to start.

Play-dough. This is great one for any kid (over the age of 2). It is a great sensory activity and can work on hand strengthening too. Just buy a kit and have fun!

Exercise ball. This one may be for the slightly older kids. But sitting on them can help to take away some of the energy a kid has built up. Plus, they are great for sorts of activities and exercise without feeling like exercise at all!

Weighted blanket. Have a kid that likes to throw themselves into things. Do they really like those big, snuggly hugs? A child may be seeking that sensory input from anywhere they can get it. Weighted blankets are great for just that. By giving a child that input, it may help to calm and prevent those random dangerous couch dives we all know about.

Puzzles. These are great for all levels and children. Start off with simple shape sorters, then easy puzzles placing one item into a board with simple shapes, and move up from there! Anyone can work on puzzles, but sometimes may need a little guidance if the puzzle is tricky. Simple puzzles like shapes and animals can help with word associations as well for those learning new words and sounds.

Art supplies! This can be as simple as markers, crayons, and colored paper, to maybe a kid’s easel with chalkboard/dry erase to those art supply kits you see for kids. Art is great way for kids to be able to express themselves. It can also stimulate thinking, creativity, and fine-motor skills. Maybe get a smock for a child to wear to decrease the mess or try and do messy activities outside to help with the clean-up.

Anything that pedals! Tricycles, bicycles, etc. There is even a great one without pedals called a Plasma car that uses the arms only. Anything with pedals or like this helps with coordination, balance, strengthening, and so much more! They are always great. Germany is a great time for the whole family to get some pedals and go explore the trails!

Games. There are so many games out there for children of all ages to play. Simple card games like Go Fish! and Memory are great for the smaller kids. Move on to games that teach kids to win and lose gracefully. There can also be co-op games where each person builds on the next and not competing. Think outside the box. It doesn’t have to be a board game. There are tons of games for everyone in the family to play.

There you have it! The top 10 toy ideas for a holiday wishlist for your children to support developmental skills. This list encompass many age groups and a variety of ideas. No matter the toy, you want to make sure it makes the child happy, is safe, and can form memories for everyone.

Kasandra Vanegas, PT, DPT is a guest contributing writer and a pediatric physical therapist who is offering her services at Growing Up Therapy,