Hippity Hop: The hippity hop is a great toy although your child needs to be walking already to utilize this toy. They will get the most bounce from it if they are already jumping however they can have just as much fun just sitting on it and bouncing for some pre-jumping practice. The bouncing and jumping your kid will do on the hippity hop is great for leg strengthening, cardiovascular endurance, sensory exploration, and balance.
Hopscotch squares: Hopscotch is a fun and social game. Making a board can be low tech like using chalk on the sidewalk, or can be pre-fabricated and bought in the store, providing the opportunity to play both indoors and outdoors. Hopscotch also works on jumping with both one and two feet, as well as coordination for how to jump from one foot to two feet and then two feet to one foot. For beginners they can jump with two feet the whole time which encourages practice of jumping with their feet open and then close, which is a pre-requisite for doing jumping jacks later. As they advance they get to practice balance by bending down to pick up their place holder and then returning to standing. Its a lot easier if they are standing on two feet and more of a challenge when they are on one foot. In addition the jumping and turning 180 degrees at number 10 requires motor planning and balance.
Sit and Spin: The sit and spin provides your child the opportunity to work on arm strength as well as strengthening their trunk muscles including their obliques and abs (just make sure they spin in both directions and not always to one side). It also works on the muscles of their shoulder blades. It encourages motor planning and coordination as well as provides opportunities for sensory input.
Twister: Twister can be played as it is intended or you can make your own variations for your kids. It can help to develop your child’s balance, core muscle strength and coordination. We will sometimes start with our feet on two circles and then try to see what the furthest circles are that they can reach without collapsing onto the mat. You can also use it for visual cues for push-ups by using the circles to provide a place for their hands and feet and then see who can get closest to the mat without collapsing. Its also fun to encourage their imagination by seeing who can create the craziest pose and then hold it the longest!