Holiday Gifts to Enhance the Development and Interaction of Your Older Child

Holiday Gifts to Enhance the Development and Interaction of Your Older Child

Tracey Dantin, MA/CCC-SLP, Pediatric Supervisor

When our children are young, choosing toys for birthdays and holidays is fun and easy. Colorful, safe, interactive toys are easy to find. However, once children reach elementary and middle school, there is a dramatic shift from imagination to technology. Oftentimes, parents and family members struggle finding toys children will enjoy without increasing the level of screen-time they already receive.

Decreasing screen-time, while increasing interaction and engagement, has never been more apparent than during the current pandemic. Children are relying on more virtual education opportunities than ever before, and parents are looking for ways to increase physical activity away from the computer.

Here is a selection of fun, engaging, and therapist-approved toys that may entice even the most screen-dependent kiddo to break away and play away!

1. Swipe-Shot (ages 6-10):

Kids use the “wrecking ball” to pull, swing, swipe, and bash their opponent’s cups first! Go ahead, take a swipe!

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2. Door-Pong (ages 6-11):

This game is, literally, Ping-Pong without the table and encourages hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, concentration, and cooperative active engagement.

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3. Klutz Lego Chain  (ages 8 and up)

Your little engineer can learn to build 10 LEGO machines that can swing, pivot, roll, lift, and drop. Then connect, rearrange, and experiment with the machines to create a chain reaction. This toy comes with a book that encourages the child to use LEGOs from his or her own collection to make endless projects!  Imagination and innovation at its best!

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4. Pencil Nose (ages 8 and up)

Players try to guess what their teammates are drawing…with their noses!  This game encourages teamwork, imagination and quick thinking!

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5.  Stick Six (ages 6 and up)

If parents are looking for a game that targets critical thinking, strategizing, planning, and logic, this is the game for them! Players try to be the first one to line up 6 suction cups in a row without being thwarted by their opponents. This game is for 2-4 players.

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