Holiday Gift Guide & Events

Tis the season for decking the halls and all the fa-la-las! With the holidays right around the corner, parents may be seeking gift suggestions to work on progressing therapy goals and bringing the fun of occupational and speech-language therapy to your home. While this gift guide may help to give your children presents that can help them practice their speech and occupational skills in a fun and unique way – the best gift for your children is quality time together. Ditch the toys with batteries, flashing lights, and loud noises and opt for something that encourages creativity and play!

Sensory Toys

Squish, build, mold, and play! Sensory toys are particularly enjoyable for children with autism due to their sensory processing needs. Sensorimotor toys can help alleviate these needs by stimulating or calming the senses and can facilitate communication and occupational success. In occupational therapy, you can expect to find toys and games that support development such as motor planning, coordination, balance, fine and gross-motor skills, and problem solving. Some of our occupational therapists’ favorite OT toys include:

Movement-Based Activities

Toys and activities that get us up and moving are great for facilitating language development and are especially wonderful for our friends with sensory needs! These toys can also be very useful for improving fine and gross-motor skills. We recommend small trampolines, swings, building blocks, and train sets to get our kiddos moving during at-home play. 

Pretend Play

Open-ended toys (more than one way to play with the toy) allow your child to build their imagination and creativity while targeting therapy goals. When you follow your child’s lead they will be more motivated to interact because it feeds into their unique interests and abilities.

Animal Toys

Some of the most engaging toys are centered around our furry friends. Animal toys and games are a fun and versatile way to target nearly therapy goals and help foster language development. Engage your child by making early developing sounds (moo, baa, woof, ink, grr), practice new words through play (dinosaur…hungry dinosaur…dinosaur eats), work on following directions (bunny is jumping, kitty is running), and modeling new phrases (cow says moo). This low pressure activity is functional and gives them endless possibilities for fun.

Sensory-Friendly SmallTalk Holiday Events

What: Sensory Santa East County

Where: SmallTalk Speech & Occupational Therapy, 260 E Chase Ave Ste 204 El Cajon, CA

When: Sat Dec 02 2023 at 9:00am to 1:00pm

What: Sensory Santa North County

Where: SmallTalk Speech & Occupational Therapy, 12030 Scripps Summit Dr, Suite A

San Diego, CA 92131

When: Sat Dec 09 2023 at 9:00am to 1:00pm

By Madison Trussell, M.S., CCC-SLP

Link copied to clipboard!