Thursday, April 22, 2010

Need Toy Recommendations and Happy Things

I recently got Gross Motor Skills in Children With Down Syndrome and have started doing some of the exercises with Claire.  One of the things I've been working on with her is reaching.  She has no problem getting her hands off the floor and into her mouth when she wants to, but most of the time her arms are flopped out at her sides. 

I'm having a hard time finding a toy that motivates her to reach or to lift her head off the floor for very long.  Maybe she's not quite ready for it, but the toys I have don't seem to hold her attention very well.  She likes the lights and sounds on her activity gym, so I think something along those lines might be good.  She also loves soft things.  She always has her hands grabbing her clothes, burp rag or around my shirt.  I think these are easy for her to grab and hold onto, so maybe a soft small toy would be good.  If you have any recommendations for toys your kiddos enjoyed around 3-6 months of age I would love to hear about them.

Erin from Unforeseen Gifts was kind enough to bestow the Happy Award on me. 

Here are the rules for the award:

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Name the person who gave the award to you and link to their blog (or hyperlink).
3. List 10 things that make you happy.
4. Pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blogs to let them know.

My Happy Things:

1.  Sleeping in.  Granted, I don't get to do this anymore...but the thought of sleeping in someday still makes me happy.
2. Coconut shrimp from Red Lobster.  Yum!
3. Warm weather and sunshine.  I am so ready for summer.
4. A good book.  Preferably enjoyed in a hammock, in the sun.
5. A white chocolate mocha with caramel.
6. Traveling.  I love seeing new places, and would love to mark a few more locations off my "would like to visit" list.
7. A bargain.  I'm not much of a shopper, but I love getting a good deal on something I was going to buy anyways.
8. A massage and a pedicure.
9. My wonderful family and friends.  I am truly blessed to be surrounded by such loving people.
10.  And most importantly, Claire.  Her sweet smile brightens every one of my days.

Since I'm terribly behind on my blog reading (as usual), and not sure where this has been, I'm not going to pass it on.  But, if you haven't done your list of happy things yet, please join in.  It's a great way to get to know a little more about each other.


  1. Sheridan loved - LOVED - the baby einstein octopus (you push it's face and it sings music - every "arm" also has a different color and says the color so when he's older he can use that to learn colors). Between the octopus and the little mirror I bought him with bugs and a spinner on it (it's designed to be tied in the crib, but we just used it like an easel on the floor) he was so excited about looking up to watch/play with those. I'll see if I can find links to the toys :)

  2. Baby Einstein Octoplush

    Sassy Crib Mirror

    If I think of other major hits, I'll let you know :)

  3. forgot about one other thing... wrist and feet rattles are pretty cool. it helps with cause and effect (every time a hand moves, it rattles), but it also gives babies something to look at and motivates them to move their arms, etc. They are also great for when babies play on their backs (encourages them to bring hands to midline, bring feet up to play with them, etc.)

    Just a couple examples below, but this type of toy is best purchased in person (they don't all work great and some rattles are so muffled there is no point - not sure how good these examples are, but just wanted you to see what I'm talking about :)

  4. Jeez - I promise this is the LAST comment out of me :) I just remembered a book that Sheridan LOVED to look at, so he would always raise his head and work on that activity to see the different colors/etc.

    My First Colors Board Book

    We would just open the book to a page (he especially loved the blue page, but also the yellow and green!) and stand it on the ground and he would just look and look and look (and work on that head!)

  5. Piper's FAVORITE toy around that time (and still is a big hit) is the Oball. I've seen them at Toys-R-Us, Walmart, and Target recently, or you can order one that's actually a rattle, too (which I thought Piper would LOVE, but never got to ordering it) on Amazon. If you're ever here in town, there are a few specialty stores that have it on occasion; I can tell you about them if you're interested (they are SO much fun to go to, too!). They're super light, which was a huge plus with my mini-sized child, and easy to grab on to. Worked the fine motor and gross motor all at one time. One of the other best buys we ever had are those lots-of-links. They come in lots of brands, and lots of names, and maybe you have them-- they're just little plastic oval chain links. We still use them a lot to connect toys to her stroller (including the oball) so that she doesn't throw them out. Early, though, we used them to dangle ALL kinds of toys on her playmat- giving her lots of things to bat and kick at. She also liked to get two or three linked together in her Bumbo. We kept adding one or two to increase strength, and they felt good to put in her mouth. And, again, they were small enough for her to actually manipulate. Her other FAVORITE thing to do at that age was play with the baby in the mirror. We bought one of the cheapy door mirrors from Target (a whopping $5) and laid it long-ways against the wall. Then we put her in the boppy on her tummy (or sitting up facing over the center of the "u" when she got a little bigger) facing the mirror. She'd talk, reach, make faces at, and stare at that pretty lil' thing looking back. It's also really fun to lay them on their tummy on top of the mirror; it really encouraged her to get up on her arms. Maybe you already do these, and if so, sorry for the long-windedness. Hope you find something that works well for you! :)

  6. Thanks for the ideas so far. Keep them coming! I was planning on ordering Claire a mirror, but wanted to see what else was recommended before I did.

    I do have some of the wrist rattles, but those haven't caught her interest yet. I have links too and need to get a few more of them out.

  7. Emily also loved the Oball and the links. Our Early Interventionist also gave Emily a larger sized play has a mirror on it, a wooly textured part, and a scratchy part. There is also a smiley face in the center and Emily loved to touch the face. It's by Kaplan Early Learning Company.

  8. This is so sad but I can't really remember that well. We had an activity gym that we used a lot and Lucas loved being on his tummy. I do remember him playing with this little piano that we have on his tummy a lot. It was a xylophone piano. I think they are pretty cheap.

  9. Whitney loved the baby einstein "takealong tunes"
    and we also had a "rainmaker" toy that she LOVED kind of like this one
    these two things popped into my head first! also... little hand held maracas

    basically anything involving music and lights :)

  10. Lily like anything she could shake. She wasn't picky...anything that made noise...even cheap rattles. She also loved to reach for things hanging from her play yard. We had a Bumbo one. I also recommend getting some kind of mirror.

  11. I did a post on this a while bak...

    I would say the Neurosmith sunshine was Summer's favorite and most movtivating toy when she was on her belly on a boppy. It got her to hold her head up and reach out.

  12. My son at that age would become crazy in his Rainforest Bouncer (Fisher-Price). The music, sounds and lights were very attractive to him. He would kick like crazy until his arms were long enough to grab the toys. His favorite portable toy was the Whoozit (Babies-r-us, amazon). Also, a small plastic slinky is really cheap and my son would play with that at an early age, he would bounce it between his arms (I would just stick his arms in it so that everytime he moved it got the intended effect)

  13. Our Developmental Specialist had a great suggestion. We bought our daughter a loofa. Yes, the kind you use to scrub your body with in the shower! It provides nice sensory input and is so easy to pick up and to feel with two hands. My daughter is 4 months and she LOVES it. My husband picked out a nice, big, hot-pink one from Krogers. She is always happy to see it:)


Thanks for stopping by! I love to hear what is on your mind.