These toys and products will stimulate and encourage the imaginations of all sizes and ages.
Busy Barn Bright Basics
Based on the nursery rhyme “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” the Busy Barn expands on the busy board concept by incorporating eight different engaging activities. Not only does the Busy Barn encourage imaginative play, but also presents educational concepts like cause and effect, making it ideal for emerging learners.
$24.99; age range: 2+ years; amazon.com
Nurture Smart Mobile
Not your standard mobile, the Nurture Smart Mobile is designed to be the “most advanced crib mobile ever created”. With multiple sound options and light settings, the mobile is designed to either comfort or stimulate, depending on the needs of your child. The mobile is also built to be completely safe for children, with a sturdy design that ensures that no pieces fall into the crib while still being completely cleanable and able to within disinfectants.
Rib It Ball
Rated by Dr. Toy (Stevanne Auerbach, who specializes in educational and developmental toys for children) as one of the “10 Best Socially Responsible Products”, the Rib-It Ball is ideal to help develop fine motor skills and increase social engagement in special needs children. With its patented rib system, even the smallest hands are able to grab on and interact with the Rib It Ball. Several sizes are also available to meet the needs to children both young and old.
Tying shoes can be a frustrating experience for any child, but especially for a special needs child that can be easily flummoxed. Laceez patent-pending aglets help easily “lock” laces into place, turning any pair of shoes into slip-ons. And while even Laceez acknowledges that “Everyone should learn how to tie their shoes” they’re also aware that kids should just be able to have a little simplicity in their lives as well.
$7.99 kids; $12.99 men’s & women’s; laceez.com
Gears! Gears! Gears! Machines in Motion
Using a variety of different gears, pulleys and wheels, your child can create tanks, wrecking balls, or other machines all while developing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills for the classroom. More advanced builders can forego the instructions entirely, creating fun and innovative designs with the included parts. Best of all, the machines are interchangeable with other Gears! Gears! Gears! sets, meaning that your future engineer can be the next Rube Goldberg!
$39.99; 5+ years; amazon.com
Learning Resources Super Sorting Pie
There’s nothing better than pie — especially when that pie helps children to develop their mathematics skills at a young age. The Learning Resources Super Sorting Pie contains 60 counters in the form of various fruits to help children learn the essential skills of classification and organization. Because they all fit into a “pie”, children will also begin to develop spatial reasoning and geometry skills as well, with tweezers being ideal to hone fine motor skills.
$29.99; 3+ years; amazon.com
By Jackie Moe