Leave it to Cali’s amazing therapists to take time out of their nights to send me lists of christmas ideas for me and all the readers on this blog! Why is it that we get stumped when it comes to thinking up ideas for christmas gift ideas. I’ve already had multiple friends ask me what I am getting the girls, and I too have asked them! Or how many of you have grandparents, aunt, or uncles asking you the same thing. All of us!! The fantastic part about these ideas brought on by Krisanne and now Dawn, is they are simple, affordable (or at least has a variation of being affordable) , and most of what we have already heard. We just need to be reminded of these great ideas! So thank you to Dawn and Krisanne!
Todays ideas from Dawn, Cali’s speech therapist:
Books! I never get tired of books for speech and language development. There are so many things to see, discuss, and imagine. There are many books made now that are “interactive” (but not electronic), so it feels more like a toy. One of my favorites is Once Upon a Time by Nick Sharratt. This author has others as well, and a quick search on Amazon of “children’s preschool books + moveable books” brought up many more.
Toys for creative play. Of course classics include Potato Heads (lots of new variations), Legos (so many choices now!), and marble mazes. But check out Weird and Wacky Contraption Lab, Domino Express or Chaos Tower from Mindware!
Pretend play. Again another classic category but lends itself to imagination and language. Dolls, Fisher-Price play sets (farms, houses, schools), Action Figures, play kitchen, tools. In this category, simple is good. Technology now with allow your dollhouse to have working lights and sounds, but all of those things can also be imagined and pretended.
(Calico Critters: one of Cali’s favorite pretend play toys. She is getting some from Santa!)
Games, simple “board” games (and your time to play them . Board games can teach turn-taking, conversation, sequencing, following rules, and language skills galore!
(Honey Bee Tree game. We have used this game on multiple occasions with Cali’s therapist Madi. Use it for counting, more or less, turn taking, etc.)
(Another Santa gift for both Cali and Ava. Cali has used this on occasion with Krisanne during occupational therapy)
Sensory – toys and activities that allow for sensory experiences. Discussing how things look, feel, smell, taste, and sound leads to opportunities for expanding vocabulary, comparing and contrasting, and categorizing.
(Stretchy Mouse and Cheese. Found this toy through a website Krisanne mentioned, but you can find it just as easily on amazon. Bought this about a year ago and Cali and Ava still love playing with it!)
Lots of resources on this blog already – but think outside of the ones offered “professionally” for this area. How about craft kits for making your own lip gloss (that has to have interesting smells and textures), or trying the many different varieties of molding options (e.g., moon sand, goo, clay, playdoh, etc.)
( I think Cali and Ava need this!!)