Sunday, November 4, 2012

50+ Toy Ideas For Christmas - Learning While Having Fun

Many have asked about some ideas for Christmas.  Toys that are fun and have a purpose are important for children.  I have done my best to create a list of toys that are not only fun but purposeful.    

Fine Motor:

Melissa and Doug Stack Sorter-  We loved this sorter not only does it sort colors but also shapes. 

Puzzles-  Knob puzzles can be used for so many skills.  If you child is younger start with a large knob and then move up to the pegs.

 Blocks-  These block are great and will last for many years.  Not only do they help with fine motor but imagination runs wild with these.  We build many jungles for the animals with theses.

Pound a Peg-  Great for fine motor and eye hand coordination.  This also builds strength in the hands and arms.

Peg Boards-  Another toy that can be used for sorting, colors and fine motor.

Lacing Cards- These animals help make lacing fun.
Lacing Beads-  I know that this set is a bit on the expensive side but so worth it.  We have this set and this is what finally taught Adeline to lace beads.  It has a progression.  First it starts with a rope and rings.  Then it moves to a plastic string and beads.  I love the plastic string just makes it stiffer and easier to string.  It then moves to tiny beads.  We use this everyday.

Pop Beads-  We are using these right now, these really help with hand strength and hand coordination.

Easel-So important for beginning writers to use an easel instead of flat down.  This help with moving the hand from top down and also helpful for vision.  I like that this easel has both the chalk and dry erase.  We use ours everyday.

 Nesting Blocks-  We love these blocks because they build tall, and are fun to crash.  They are also important because they teach size progression. 

Screws and Nuts- We are using these right now, they are fun for sorting, matching, colors and fine motor.

Tweezers -  Adeline is not able to use these yet but I can’t wait until she can.  So many fun activities to do with these.

Putting In-  This is another great progressive set.

Gross Motor;

Rody -  This is a yoga ball shaped like an animal.  We love ours, great for bouncing, balance, and strength.

Parachute- This is fun for the whole family.  Great gross motor activity

Scooter Board- We use ours almost every day.  This can be used sitting or laying on stomach.

Wobble Board-   We are using this right now to develop balance and strength.  We play catch while standing on the wobble board.

Inchworm Ride On- I love this ride on toy.  Adeline was getting to tall for her simple ride on but she is not ready for a tricycle.  This is taller then most ride ons.  It also helps her with balance because it is not as wide she has to balance herself a bit.

Scooter-   We do not own this but they have one at therapy and I want one for Adeline.  The child has to move the steering wheel to make it move.  For Adeline who does not like to use her left side this forces her to work both sides of her body if she wants to move.

Basketball Hoop-  This is on our list.  Adeline love to play basketball like her brother and sister. 

Ring Toss-  great eye hand coordination and fun to use with scooter board.  The child can scoot down and up the rings on.

Mini Tramp-   I really like the handle on this tramp.

Bean Bags-   Great for throwing and catching.  We use these of throwing in the hoop and learning to catch.

Huge Ball-   I know this ball will not last forever but it is on our list.  So many gross motor skills using this.  Fun for kicking, running, and hitting even for crawlers.


Texture Shapes-  Great box for teaching “in and out” and also textures.

Paints-   I love these paints from Lakeshore.  They clean up easily and are great colors.

Eye Droppers-  These are on Adeline’s Christmas list.  These are wonderful for fine motor skills but also fun to use with colored water and paints.

No Spill Cups-   I really do not know what I would do without these.  You can add your paints and the lids seal shut so that nothing dries up or spills out.

Texture Brushes-  more painting fun

Alphabet Sponges-  These are on our list.  Fun for painting and playing in the water

Dot Art-   These stampers are so much fun.

Colors Ice Cream Cones-   These cones are so much fun.  They are great for stacking, learning colors and imaginary play.

Matching Cup Cakes-    Teaches matching, in and out, one on one correspondence and great for imaginary play.

Bear Sorting-   Adeline loves these.  This was her first matching game.  Teaches colors, big and small, sorting and matching.

Stacking Cake-   great for stacking skills and learning numbers

Beginning Pattern Blocks  – This is a great way to introduce shapes, colors, and pattern blocks.

Beads on a Stick-  Adeline loves these.  We are not following the patterns yet just learning how to put the beads on a stick.  These are a great way to introduce patterns.

Number Matching-   introducing numbers with simple puzzles

Simple Matching Puzzles-   Once a child is able to put pieces in and out of a knob puzzle these simple two piece puzzles are great to start working on. 

Sorting Fruit- These are some much fun, great to teach colors, sorting, and imaginary play.

Fruit Sorting -  These are also on our list for Christmas.  Sorting and fine motor skills used with this great toy.

I Can Books-  We are working on the I Can Paste book.  I love the bright colors and activities in this series.  

I hope this inspires some a little for some great Christmas gifts.


  1. Could you please list the maker of each toys as well, or EXACTLY what it is called so we could web search it? I too have s daughter with DS, she is two, you and your daughter is an inspiration!!!

  2. Hi Sherri, It is tricky to notice but there is a link for each toy. The first word for each toy is a link.

  3. Wow this is a great list! I see quite a few things on here Little Miss D will love!

  4. The shape puzzle is fabulous. . . it is how Ellie learned her shapes and colors. Dot art is also good over here because it is the one art utensil that she doesn't "eat". The lacing beads and the number matching puzzle are definitely going on the wish list. Oh and the counting bears and the stacking cake!

  5. Great list! Thank you for posting this. I am also wondering do you have any suggestions for babies that are 12 months old? I have twins, a boy and a girl, and my daughter has DS. I can't come up with a good Christmas list for grandparents :) Thanks again for posting this!

  6. WOW...this is an awesome list. I have two with DS and this is the list where I will be getting their toys many choices!!! LOVE THIS!!!!!!

  7. Hi Diana, Is you daughter sitting well? Adeline loved the Fisher Price Singing Stage at that age, also start with a simple three hole shape sorter. The ball popper from Playskool was what helped us teach Adeline the word "more" she loved that toy. A ball track where the balls roll around and down is great for reaching and tracking. Toys that help with putting "in" are great maybe a play cookie jar with cookies. A piano type toy, Fisher Price first laptop, both great for fine motor. Board books that are sensory type such as the books by DK are great. The Dk flashcards also great. Hope this helps a little. Let me know if you need more ideas

  8. Great list! Glad I found you through the "Huge Holiday Family Guide". I got lots of great ideas!

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  10. It’s really such nice information to get advantage


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