It's that time of year! Below you will find some of my favorite gifts for gross motor play! If you know someone with a 6-36 month old child who is looking for gift ideas, share this with them!
1. Foam climbers. I love the SoftZone climbers by ECR4Kids. They are great for kneeling play, climbing, and pulling to stand. They can be used well beyond 12 months of age too as toddlers love to crawl, walk, and roll on them!
2. Sensory balls. A variety of sizes and textures makes balls even more fun. These are fun for babies learning to sit, crawl, stand, walk, throw, and run! Balls are a great toy to work on fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination as well. Smaller ones are easier to grasp, hold and manipulate.
3. Large ball. These are great for babies learning to sit, crawl, stand, walk, throw, and run as well. They are especially great for babies learning how to stand without holding onto a stable surface or hold while walking to challenge their balance. Plus they are fun to throw and kick!
4. Large Foam Blocks. These blocks by ECR4Kids are a fabulous gift that will grow with your child! They are a HIT in our house! Children can work on sitting, kneeling, squatting, and standing balance while stacking these blocks. They will also be working on eye-hand coordination!
5. Bowling set. Who doesn't love bowling?! A great activity to work on sitting, kneeling, or standing balance, squatting, eye-hand coordination, and visual-motor skills...and so much fun!
6. Tunnel. A fantastic gift for almost-crawlers (great motivation!), crawlers, and beyond! Can be shared with an older sibling to get out the wiggles this winter!
7. Ball pit. Such a fun activity for little ones working on sitting, crawling, standing, walking, and stepping over obstacles. Not to mention, ball pits offer sensory input to improve body awareness!
9. Pull toy. Fantastic for learning to walk backwards! Have a new walker? A pull toy is a fun gift to challenge them to turn their head, pivot, and walk backwards.
10. Balance bike. I love the 3-wheel balance bikes for 12+ months. When your little one has mastered the 3-wheel, they can graduate to the 2-wheel. Balance bikes target coordination, balance, and strength!
11 Learning tower. These are a great way to let your little one get involved with practical life activities or play with fine motor toys at counter height, all while standing! They are a great way to get more standing time in while parents prepare meals!
12 Play kitchen. Play kitchens are a great spot for little ones to work on standing and weight-shifting while playing!
13 Toddler table and chairs. This is often a birthday or holiday gift idea! Some things to consider when choosing a table: Many toddler height tables and chairs are too high for little ones to sit at with their feet flat on the floor. Consider an adjustable weaning table and chairs, a set that you can cut down to a shorter height yourself if you're a DIY lover, or add a small step stool under your child's feet to ensure that they can sit with feet flat and supported.
14 Balance beam. These are fantastic for little walkers 15 months and beyond! They can begin by practicing stepping over to work on single leg balance, stepping onto and off of to help with stair climbing, and progress to walking across! You can purchase one or this is also an easy DIY project with some plywood!
15 Slide. Oh how fun slides are! Toddler slides are almost always a hit! Not to mention they help little ones learn how to climb up safely, working on their balance and coordination! I love that they can be used outside in the warmer weather and brought inside for gross motor play in the cooler weather.
16 Water table. Though we are going into winter, these are great gifts to use indoors (place in the shower or tub) during cold weather months and outside when that warm weather returns! Water tables are a great sensory play activity that also promotes pulling to stands, standing, and cruising.
17 Grocery cart. Little ones love to push! Grocery carts can make a fun gift to go along with a play kitchen. These also promote practice walking, changing directions, and pushing a cart of various weights (depending on how many items are in it at a given time).
18 Art easel. A fantastic place to encourage your child to stand while also improving fine motor skills!
19 Riverstones. These are great for building indoor or outdoor obstacle courses and pair really well with balance beams!
20 Toddler basketball hoop, soccer goal, or baseball tee. Ball skills are important gross motor skills that improve balance and eye-hand coordination! You can always DIY a basketball hoop with a laundry basket and create a soccer goal with some cones, but if you're looking for the real thing, these make fun gifts for little ones!
If you find this list helpful, please share with your friends and family with little ones! Wishing you and your families Happy Holidays ahead!
xoxo, Dr. Brittany