Okay, this toy is new to us. One of our therapists had it for her kids and she brought it in for us to use. I’ll admit, it sat in the corner for a while, partially because it needed new batteries. It came out when we were looking for something, besides the various activity tables that were out there (V-Tech, Leap Frog, Fisher Price, Kids II), to encourage standing and cruising. (Don’t get us wrong, we use the activity tables too, we just needed something different) We had a child that needed something novel to keep them on their feet, and so we bought some batteries and gave this toy a try! Since then it has been used in a variety of ways which I’ll talk about below. What we also like about it is that it doesn’t require a lot to activate it. So this is a great toy for kids that may have challenges with motor control and need to see success when attempting to activate a toy. All you need to do is touch the areas that light up and it starts making sounds and turning on the lights!
Here are ways we have used this toy:
- Standing – It’s great for lifting hands off the toy to work on balance. They can also stand with both hands on the toy if they are less stable. The lights and music are very entertaining.
- Sit to Stand – You can use a small bench or your lap to have your child sit on. Once they realize that they can activate the toy, you can help them stand up from a sitting position to get to the toy. Make sure you start close enough so that they can reach the toy to help them get into standing, or so that they can hold on for balance once they are standing.
- Squatting – The balls are really motivating and you can hold the ball up so your child reaches for it in standing and then they squat down to put it on the ball groove (no idea if this is what it’s called). Or you can have them play with spinning ball and wheel that are attached.
- Sitting – Your child can sit facing the toy and engage with the balls and attachments that are lower, or they can reach a little higher to activate the lights and music. The more they reach the more they are working on not only reaching, but also their sitting balance. Depending on how good their balance is you might need to give them a little support or make sure you are nearby.
- Pulling to Stand – When your child is learning to stand they will start with pulling on an object that is higher than them to help them get up. This qualifies and it’s nice because with the curve of it, there are various heights that your child can reach for.
- Cruising – With the C/U shape of the toy your child can start to move from one side to the other by side stepping/cruising. You can also encourage it by moving from one end of the toy to the other and encouraging them to come to you. Maybe grab the balls and have them cruise to you to get the ball!
- Trunk Strength – As you can see by the picture, when we pair it with a small peanut ball, we can also work on reaching, weight bearing through the arms, extensor strength (head, neck, back), also weight shifting from side to side depending on which arm they are reaching with. This is where the easy activation is really helpful because they don’t have to work hard to get a reward!
What are other ways you have used this toy?