Toys + Play

Sometimes it can difficult with our little ones – with low tone and issues with eyesight and coordination most children’s toys aren’t developmentally appropriate for our wee ones.

Here’s a round up of ones that have worked for us.

Sensory Toys

Toys that make sound or feel interesting when touched. Designed to engage a child’s attention both cognitively and physically by stimulating touch, sight and/or sound.

Space Blanket

This small blanket by far has had the best experience feedback. It reflects light and it makes a satisfying noise when you touch it. They also come as huge blankets (typically used to treat shock or at the end of a marathon) which mean they can be cut into small pieces, it doesn’t tear easily and it’s cheap as chips.

£3.68 for two – amazon.co.uk
$2.59 – amazon.com

Stretchy/Hairy Tactile Bugs/Crabs 

With the stretchy plastic ‘hair’ – it’s a good tactile experience, particularly when alternating between surfaces and textures. Good for pulling. Light, too. Put on the chest while lying supine to encourage cross midline reach.

Big Bugs
£3.99 – amazon.co.uk
$3.58 – amazon.com

Centipede Cyril
– £3.08 – amazon.co.uk
– $9.97 for six – amazon.com

Crab (Similar)
– £8.95 – amazon.co.uk
– $4.38 – amazon.com

Safari Mirror 

It’s not clear what our little ones can see exactly, but most respond to light and movement. By placing this mirror at eye height in places where the child lies (ie – in the crib, by the changing mat etc) you can encourage head turning.

Big Bugs
£9.09 – amazon.co.uk
$10.99 – amazon.com

Marbles

If your young one isn’t yet putting things into their mouth, this is a good one. While lying supine, either on a tray or on the floor where they can reach lay out a lot of marbles. They roll, make noise when they hit another marble and they feel slightly cold.

£9.99 – amazon.co.uk
$8.95 – amazon.com

Other good alternatives to marbles is pasta spirals/macaroni.

Baby Hand Bells/Rattles

Helpful for making a lot of noise and encouraging arm movement.

Hand Bells
£1.99 – amazon.co.uk
$6.97 – amazon.com

Soft Hand Rattles
£6.50 for four – amazon.co.uk
$3.59 – amazon.com

Rainmaker 

A small tube that makes a pretty cute ‘rain’ noise when tipped. Fantastic for kicking, or pushing.
£6.99 – amazon.co.uk
$9.99 – amazon.com

Cloud B Tranquil Turtle

A turtle that has a light up shell.

£39.99 – amazon.co.uk
$44.95 – amazon.com

LED Spiked Ball

Flashing spikey bounce ball, with motion activated flash (flashes for 10-15 seconds before de-activating).

£2.72 – amazon.co.uk
$3.99 – amazon.com

Gross Motor Movement

Toys that encourage big sweeping arm or leg movements.

Mirror Chimeabout

This is a fantastic toy for large sweeping motor movement, and instant feedback. The hanging bell’s make a lots of noise, it’s sturdy and has a large target area. Bonus is the acrylic strips work well under UV light too. It is an incredibly good sensory toy.

However, it’s marketed as a therapy toy and is ridiculously expensive for what it is. Better to see if you can get it through a play therapist (like portage in the UK).

£62.95 – amazon.co.uk
$89.00 – amazon.com

DIY Bell Ball 

Finding toys that are easy to grasp or hit that make noise can sometimes be difficult. Sometimes it’s easier to DIY one. This ball, threaded through with bells with a bit of string make a pretty satisfying noise when hit. Easy to grasp and light enough to hold or pick up. Excellent went strung up from above (from an A-frame or a microphone stand).

Ball
£4.99 – amazon.co.uk
$8.09 – amazon.com

Bells
£2.10 – amazon.co.uk
$4.67 – amazon.com

Swiss Ball

When seated, a swiss ball works great for encouraging leg movement and kicking. If you pair it with a space blanket under the ball, even better.

£11.95 – amazon.co.uk
$6.99 – amazon.com

Grasping

Toys that encourage holding and fine motor movements.

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle 

This teether is light enough to be picked up, makes a satisfying rattle and has lots of easily grasped wires to hold on to.

£9.99 – amazon.co.uk
$10.69 – amazon.com

Intentional Pushing or Kicking

Toys that have buttons that encourage a smaller target for intentional, targeted pushing or kicking.

Piano Play Mat

Helpful for making a lot of noise and encouraging kicking.

£37.99 – amazon.co.uk
$32.73 – amazon.com