• Lisa Marnell MBA, MS, OTR

Must-Have Toys for Child Development!

Updated: Mar 31


Today children spend more and more time on devices. And research shows that this trend is negatively impacting children's fine motor skills. In fact, a study completed at Dublin City University’s School of Health showed that 36% of children tested did not meet expected fine motor milestones (Issartel et al., 2017). Also, an article published in the journal, Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, studied fine motor skills in preschoolers (Lin et al., 2017), and authors found that children who engaged in greater than 60 minutes of weekly computer play had weaker fine motor skills when compared to children who engaged in less screen time.


Now, more than ever, children need toys that not only address motor skills but also stimulate creativity, problem solving, and social skills.


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What toys should you look for this holiday season? Some of the best toys for children encourage skill building, engagement, and learning. I recommend toys that promote any of the following:


1- PRETEND PLAY:

Think stuffed animals, action figures, dolls, transformers, kitchen sets, pretend workbenches, puppets and/or puppet theatre.


2- PROBLEM SOLVING: Think all varieties of puzzles, Jenga, Connect 4, construction kits, solar system kits, Guess Who, marbles runs, Kanoodle.


3- CREATIVITY: Think regular crayons, bath crayons, markers, paints, art kits, modeling clay, building and construction sets.


4- FINE MOTOR COORDINATION: Think Duplo Blocks, Lego, Kerplunk, Jenga, Lite Brite, Operation, Let's Go Fishing.


5- TURN-TAKING: Think board games, Twister, Hi-Ho-Cherry-o, Zingo.


Feel welcome to leave a comment. What are your favorite fun toys for promoting skill development in children?

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(TO PRINT THIS BLOG POST, CLICK HERE and access a PDF document.)


Lisa Marnell MBA, MS, OTR/L



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