Are you looking for amazing gross motor skill toys to help your child’s development? It can be hard to know which choices are best, but I got you covered! With years of experience helping kids with cerebral palsy reach their development goals, along with my trusted therapist friends at NAPA Center, here are 12 super engaging toys to challenge your child’s skill set.
From toys that focus on fine motor development to balance and coordination, these gross motor activities are sure to inspire playtime – all while developing those very important skills.
Let’s dive in!
1. Ball Drop Tower Activity
For Ages: 1 year and up
Targeted Skills: Fine motor development, Reaching and grasping
The Ball Drop Tower is a playful activity that offers both visual and tactile stimulation.
This amazing toy inspires hands-on learning because of its vibrant colors, rattling sounds, and movement. The best part?
It’s an engaging activity to enhance grasping skills AND it’s therapist-approved by my friends at NAPA Center!
Have your child drop the ball at the top of the tower to watch it rattle and roll.
Final Verdict: An engaging toy to promote independent play, sensory development, fine motor skills, and early learning.
2. Chewy Tubes
For Ages: 6 months and up
Targeted Skills: Developing biting and chewing skills
Hence the name “super chews” this material is super tough! It is made for teething babies OR for aggressive chewers.
The purpose of a chew toy is to reduce a child’s stress, anxiety, or teething relief.
It provides a safe alternative chewing solution to clothes, hands, or other unsafe things little ones may want to put in their mouths.
Final Verdict: A chew toy to support sensory issues, ADHD, Autism, and little ones who are teething.
3. Elite Bike Walking Ride On Toy
For Ages: 9 months to 3 years
Targeted Skills: Gross motor development
If you are looking for an adaptive toy, this award-winning bike is great for easing kids into learning how to walk or how to ride a bike.
It helps build strength to spur motor functions into action.
The supportive chair is multi-functional because you may use it as a ride-on, push toy, or walker.
Final Verdict: For kids who need additional support while learning to walk or ride with confidence.
4. Fat Brain Dipl Baby Toy
For Ages: 10 months and up
Targeted Skills: Fine motor development, Visual stimulation, Eye-tracking
This toy holds a little one’s attention (ahem, adults too!) with the bright-colored silicone bubbles.
You can’t help but keep staring at it.
Most importantly, your sensory skills are put into action as you poke, pop, or push the colorful bubbles.
Final Verdict: A wonderful fine motor tool to encourage sensory play for babies and toddlers.
5. Fat Brain pipSquigz
For Ages: 1 year and up
Targeted Skills: Fine motor skills, Tactile stimulation
Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which leads to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
Hence, the importance of sensory integration early on for infants and toddlers.
That’s precisely what this toy, pipSquigz, is all about.
Stick it to smooth surfaces, rattle it, or push and suction the shapes together.
My therapist friend, Molly, with Kids PT By The Sea loves these toys for a few key reasons. She says, “I absolutely love Squigz and use them in therapy all the time! They are versatile! I love sticking them on a vertical surface and having a child try to pull them off to work on strengthening and engagement of the core muscles. Kids love them and will stay engaged with them for so long!”
Final Verdict: A fun sensory toy to encourage tactile exploration and fine motor development.
6. LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book
For Ages: 18 months to 4 years
Targeted Skills: Fine motor development, Speech enhancement
The LeapFrog Words Book is a fun way to learn vocabulary through 100 new words.
What’s even better is it promotes early communication.
Categories include animals, food, opposites, colors, cars, clothes, and body parts. Touch the words on the page to play cool sound effects and fun facts.
Final Verdict: For early learners to develop speech skills and word recognition. It’s also a great tool for speech therapy to develop oral motor skills.
7. Resource Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog
For Ages: 18 months and up
Targeted Skills: Fine motor skills, Learning Math and Colors
Spike, the hedgehog, motivates little fingers to move.
Grasp and move the chunky, peg-shaped ‘quills’ to put in the holes on the adorable hedgehog’s back.
Learn to play interactive learning games like…
- Color recognition
Plus, the plastic covering allows you to easily wipe away the germs.
Final Verdict: An engaging hyper-focused fine motor activity to inspire creative learning.
8. Manhattan Toy Skwish Classic Rattle and Teether
For Ages: 0 to 1 year
Targeted Skills: Color recognition, Fine motor development, Teething
This classic wooden rattle and teether are two engaging activities made in one toy.
The rattle encourages fine motor development to clutch, hold, and squeeze the object.
No need to worry if your sweet pea puts the rattle in their mouth. It’s made out of sustainable wood with non-toxic paint.
Plus, learn colors like blue, yellow, red, orange, and green.
Final Verdict: An award-winning grasping activity to develop a baby’s fine motor skills while providing peace of mind during the “teething phase”.
9. Playskool Sit n Spin Activity Toy
For Ages: 18 months to 6 years
Targeted Skills: Motor skills, Balance
If you need a playful activity to encourage your little one to sit up and balance, this toy does the trick.
Sit on the wheel to push and pull the handle.
Soon you will start to whirl, twirl, and swirl! It’s hard not to hear cute giggles while your sweet pea is spinning around. 🙂
Final Verdict: For toddlers who need an inspiring play tool to develop balance and coordination.
10. Soft Building Blocks
For Ages: 6 months to 3 years
Targeted Skills: Fine motor development, Visual and Sensory input
Encourage your baby or toddler to explore their building skills.
A total of 6 colorful blocks are included for exploring, stacking, and knocking them down (which is the best part)!
Each block inspires hands-on learning:
- Animal pictures
- Various textures
Final Verdict: A sensory-seeking fine motor tool for babies and toddlers to enhance visual skills.
11. Wonder Wheel Activity
For Ages: 6 to 24 months
Targeted Skills: Auditory, Visual, and Tactile Stimulation
Immediately, this toy captures your attention with the spinning wheel! It encourages babies to explore with their fingers while tracking with their eyes.
It’s a wonderful fine motor activity for your child to enjoy while in their high chair.
There is a suction cup on the bottom of the Wonder Wheel for you to place on multiple surfaces like a high chair or tabletop. Plus, this toy is recommended by NAPA Center Occupational Therapist, Amanda to use during tummy time.
Final Verdict: An engaging toy to encourage fine motor development and tactile exploration.
12. Wooden Shape Stack and Sort Geometric Board Blocks
For Ages: 1 year and up
Targeted Skills: Color recognition, Fine motor development, Math skills
Get busy learning while interacting with these colorful wooden shapes.
Sort the shapes into columns to improve hand-eye coordination and develop logical thinking skills.
The toy is safe for little ones as it’s made of non-toxic water-based paint.
Final Verdict: For babies and toddlers who need a beginner tool to learn colors and shapes while boosting fine motor functions.
To Wrap It Up
I hope this list of gross motor skill toys helps you in your journey to finding the perfect developmental toy for your kiddo. With so many amazing options out there, it can be tough to choose – but hopefully, this list has given you a great starting point. These are all tried and true toys that kids I’ve worked with have loved or that my expert friends at NAPA Center recommend.
With options for ages 0 to 3 months, these gross motor activities are sure to get those little muscles working – all while having fun!
If you believe your infant is not meeting developmental milestones, it’s best to follow up with your pediatrician or healthcare provider to share your concerns. For more information regarding what developmental milestones happen in a baby’s first year, click here for the ultimate guide.
Until the next post, I’m sending you all the positive parenting vibes!
What other gross motor skill toys do you love? Have you tried any of these toys mentioned? Let me know in the comments below! Your input means a lot and helps others who read this post!
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About The Author
Linds is the proud mom of two little miracles, Mono Mono twin girls, and one AMAZING older brother! She is the founder and content creator of Mono Mono Twins, Intensive Therapy for Kids, and Co-Founder of The LENN Foundation, a 510c3 that helps children with cerebral palsy receive grants for intensive therapies to thrive. ♥
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