I'm not just a PT, I'm also a parent!

I'm not just a PT, I'm also a parent!

Monday, November 21, 2011

2011 GIFT GUIDE - Gifts for Preschoolers

Preschoolers are such a fun group of kids to work with because their emerging language, cognitive, and social skills make it easier to play structured games and to teach them more advanced motor skills.  Here are some gift ideas for the special preschool-aged kids in your life who may need a little help with their gross motor skills:


A tricycle is always a milestone gift, so if you're not the child's parent, please ask if you can buy one.  Parents may be cherishing the special moment when they give their child their first tricycle and it would be a bummer to deny them that joy.

That being said, tricycles are great for strengthening, balance, coordination, and following directions.  My favorite is the Kettler.  They have many different colors and options, but all of them are very sturdily built and the push handle is very useful when teaching a kiddo how to propel the tricycle.  Kettlers cost a bit more than popular brands like Radio Flyer, but the quality is worth the price, especially if multiple kids will be using it.

Basketball Hoop

Basketball hoops are fun in general, but they also help kids learn to throw underhand, to throw with accuracy, and to tiptoe and jump to slam dunk.  We have the Fisher-Price Give Me Five Sports Center, which includes basketball, hockey, soccer, football, and baseball.  It may be discontinued, which is unfortunate because it's a great toy that "grows" with your child.  There are several kids' basketball hoops on the market, however, so you'll be able to find a suitable one.

Soccer Net

Soccer drills are a great way to help kids practice balance and kicking with accuracy.  You can make a goal out of something as simple as two plastic cups or cones, or you can get something like the Talk To Me Soccer Set, which gives auditory feedback when a child scores a goal.

From Head to Toe Game

Other than being just plain cute, this game is a fun way to help kids practice body awareness and balance as they stomp like elephants, wave their arms like monkeys, and bend like giraffes.

Trampoline with Support Bar

If your child is having difficulty jumping, try one of these fun trampolines!  The support bar allows children to bear some weight through their upper extremities so their lower extremities don't have to work so hard.  The bar also helps them to maintain balance.  These are also great for children who seek the sensory input from jumping and the bar will help them to remain safe and in control as they bounce.

Before shopping, don't forget to consider the trampoline's weight limits.  Some models also have removable bars.

This trampoline from Urban Rebouding is designed for adults, so it has a larger weight capacity.  The support bar is removable, but it a bit high for young children.  Another great feature is that the legs fold inward so that it stores flat.

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