toy takeover

Toy Takeover 2020 – 5 Fantastic Learning and Development Toys
Toy Takeover 2020 – 5 Fantastic Learning and Development Toys 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

December is here!  Can you believe it?  When people say “the year crept up on them”, it really rings true for 2020.  While there was a ton of instability this year, one thing that remains stable is our annual tradition of our December Toy Takeover. There are many wonderful toys that are designed to help with your child’s learning and development, including five we really love for their versatility.

Not only will these five particular toys provide hours of endless fun for your little ones, but they will also help to work on all areas of your child’s development from gross motor and fine motor skills to speech and cognition. The best part? All of the toys featured in our December blog can be purchased at local small businesses in the Chicago area.  At PTN, we believe that shopping local matters and we encourage everyone to support as many small businesses as possible. This especially applies to this year as many of these businesses have struggled during the pandemic.

We’ve decided to feature two local stores in this year’s blog – Building Blocks Toy Store, and Timeless Toys. If you’re interested in purchasing from Building Blocks Toy Store, below is a promotion that they’re currently having for $5 local Chicago deliveries:

With that being said, let’s get onto the list:

Squigz

Squigz are one of the most versatile toys on the market. Not only can your child suction cup them to basically any surface around your home, but they’ll also be able to channel their creativity as they build cool structures and unique objects by connecting the Squigz together. Your kiddos will love gripping, sticking, creating, and separating their fun new toy, and you’ll love the fact that Squigz are safe and easy to clean.

Shape Sorting Cube 

We love to use this toy during therapy sessions and now your kiddo can use it at home, too! This vibrant shape sorting cube is wonderful for helping your child learn their shapes, colors, and sorting, while also working on developing their fine motor skills and gripping. You can even start early with this toy by removing the top and having your child practice putting objects in and out of a container.

The set features 12 colorful shapes that your child will enjoy dropping into the provided wooden cube over and over again. Once they’ve figured out where each shape goes, simply have them dump out all of the pieces and repeat the process.

LED Hula Hoop

Did you know that there are plenty of things that you can do with a hula hoop besides actually hula hooping? Yes, really! Here are some of our favorites:

  • Hold onto the sides and sing, Ring Around the Rosey (the hoop can assist with side stepping, weight shifting or transitions to and from the floor if that is a goal for your child).
  • Turn the hoop so that it is standing straight up to create a tunnel that your child has to squat down and walk through.
  • Make a choo-choo train by having the leader in the hoop while others hold the back and take your train for a spin through the house.
  • Create a “pit” to jump or step in and out of.
  • Make a bean bag toss game and use the hoop for your target.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt and place all of your collected items in the hoop.
  • Have a dance contest and incorporate the hoop into your dance routines.

Stomp Rockets

Get ready.. Get set.. Blast off! Stomp Rockets are the perfect gift for those kids who are always full of energy.  Your child will love setting up their glow in the dark rocket onto the launch pad, stomping as hard as they can, and then watching as it soars over 100 feet in the air. They’ll be entertained for hours on end as they keep trying to send their rocket higher up into the sky than the time before, while also working on their coordination and balance in the process.

Fubbles

Bubbles that have a no-spill design and come in a travel sized container? Count us in!  The container is designed so that the Fubbles will not spill out, even when tipped upside down so you can let your kiddos blow bubbles indoors without worrying about the mess! Pop the bubbles by pointing, reaching, clapping, or stomping, and practice counting and turn-taking along the way.  Each set of Fubbles comes in either a red, yellow, or blue container, and contains a bubble wand and non-toxic bubble liquid.  


Believe it or not, we’re just getting started with our Toy Takeover recommendations this holiday season. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter for more great toy ideas, and be sure to follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) as we’ll be sharing even more suggestions throughout the entire month of December.  On behalf of the entire team at PTN, we wish you and your families the happiest of holidays!

Toy Takeover 2019 – 3 Toy Ideas to Help Your Little One Learn and Grow
Toy Takeover 2019 – 3 Toy Ideas to Help Your Little One Learn and Grow 1080 1080 PTN Chicago

Every December, we like to gather up all the best toys we’ve come across throughout the year and share them with you. This year, we’ve got three top picks that are all deceptively simple, but will deliver hours of fun. Best of all, these toys will help your children with their speech, occupational, and physical therapy goals.

Without further ado, here are the developmental toys that we recommend this holiday season:

Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set

This toy is a great choice for a stocking stuffer. The four different tools that come in the pack all help build fine motor skills while working different muscles. They’re also great for developing those all-important skills of concentration and patience. Use these tools outside in the sand, as part of your child’s imaginary restaurant, or use them to play doctor – the creative possibilities are endless! In addition to this set, you could also invest in some children’s scissors or eye droppers for color mixing games and art projects. This toy is ideal for ages three and up.

Water Beads + Kinetic Sand

You may have already discovered water beads or Kinetic Sand – but you have tried combining the two? 

Kinetic Sand is an ingenious material that’s wonderful to touch, manipulate, and build with. It lets children (and parents) explore their creativity while enjoying the calming sensation of the sand and working on those fine motor skills.

Water beads are an ingenious toy that come as tiny little beads (this pack has 50,000 of them) and when you place them in water, they grow to the size of marbles. Filling a sensory bin with these is a great way to have some fun, and you can even combine these beads with Kinetic Sand. Use them to add some color, variety, or finishing touches to the things you build, or break out the tool set you purchased above and search for water beads hidden in the sand like buried treasure. This toy is great for ages three and up.

Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks

This toy is a classic, and one that frequently gets overlooked. But stacking blocks is always a favorite activity of young children. We particularly like this set from Melissa & Doug, but you can find nesting and stacking toys basically anywhere. These ones come in a nice little carrying case, have a sturdy cardboard construction, include the alphabet printed on the sides, and stack up to three feet high. They’re a great toy for working on gross motor skills such as balance, coordination, standing, and squatting while also practicing letters and sounds. This toy is great for ages zero and up.

This is just the beginning of our recommendations this season. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter this month for another toy tip, and also follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) – we’ll be sharing five more suggestions throughout the month!

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