Sunday, July 5, 2009

Toys and expectations

Finn's birthday is just a couple days away (!!). I went to Target today and headed for the toy section, intending on buying a couple things for him for his birthday. I thought it would be easy, because at this age, they're so easy to please and really couldn't care less about what gifts they get. But as I started up the aisle of toys for the 1-year-old+ set, I became uncertain. And then frustrated. And then sad.

I don't know what are appropriate toys to get him. I know that I'm supposed to keep my expectations of his abilities high, but what's too high? Should I expect that he'll be able to do a shape sorter or a ball pounder some time over the next year? I'm suddenly afraid of getting him things that will set him up for failure. Should I be looking at toys for 6 month olds? I wandered up and down the aisle, suddenly wishing that I had his therapists' phone numbers with me so I could call them and ask them to advise me on what to get him for his birthday. And then I felt mad and frustrated for not being able to make a judgment myself as to what is appropriate for him, and for feeling like every toy has to be theraputic in some way. As much as I want to just treat him like a child, and not a child with delays or disabilities, it's always there in my mind to some degree . . . sometimes right there in my face, and sometimes hovering at the edges of my consciousness.

I ended up getting him a few things that hopefully he'll like . . . maybe even be motivated and stimulated by. More than likely, his siblings will commandeer them for themselves just because they're new things.

I'm probably overthinking this whole thing.


Tricia said...

Funny, I, too, have found the toy aisle disconcerting when trying to find something appropriate for G. FWIW, G has loved her shape sorter for a LONG time since a little over a year. She didn't always get the shapes in the right holes, but even just learning to put things IN is helpful.

rebecca said...

This struggle doesn't change much with age. E will be five on Friday and I can't for the life of me figure out what to get her. She likes so many different things, many that are age appropriate, but she does still put things in her mouth which is a big consideration for choking hazards.

E loved her Melissa and Doug wooden shape sorter for years. That's a great suggestion from Tricia.

Alisa said...

Isn't it funny how the challenges of DS just sneak up on you when you least expect them? The toys that worked the best for us were ones that had a wide developmental range-things like the Fisher Price garage or farm, for example. Our favorite toy from that age, though, has to be the Tiny Love Musical Stack and Play elephant. There are balls to put in, but if the elephant's head is "on" it acts like a big funnel-bigger targets are better! If off, it is a great fine-motor exercise. And it is very rewarding because if you get the ball in, it plays cute music. Finally, if all these things are still too hard, banging the balls together produces a nice sound and chewing on the arm/leg rings is fun too!

Happy almost birthday to Finn! And remember, he'll probably like the wrapping paper and bow the best, just like any 1-year old!

rebecca said...

I just remembered while putting E to bed that she has always loved this toy: Parent Mirror Pound-A-Ball - Red. It's noisy as ever, but great long lasting fun for her even now.

Brandie said...

Over the last year Goldie has enjoyed her farm and animals, the shape sorter that looks like a yellow tool box, toys that you put balls into, and musical instruments are a big hit. I only have 3 kids and we have so many toys, I'm sure its hard to find him something the other kids don't already have. We no own 4 different shape sorters!

Wendy P said...

I'd get him music things, since he seems to have an interest (and rhythm!). If you want to get something big, Kira LOVED this Fisher price sing-along stage:

And it was big enough and sturdy enough that she was also able to pull up on it - OT and PT!

Seriously, though, just think about what he might want to play with. OT/PT/skills practice kind of come up organically - don't stress about it. He's a kid - get him some fun stuff!

sheree said...

yep...been there, done that!

The toy aisle is not supposed to be SAD! lol

I find that Gabby doen't really care about anything I buy her. She prefers the box it comes n or the paper it's wrapped in ;)

Karly said...

I have found that you can't go wrong with most of the Melissa and Doug stuff. Most of it can be played with many ways and sneaks in the therapy. For instance the block puzzles are great for now just to stack and then down the road he can learn to actually put the puzzle into the correct pictures.

{hugs} You're doing great! As long as he's having fun, not everything has to be therapy.

Ria said...

The toy aisle is not supposed to be sad. It can be overwhelming though but with a little guidance and tips from friends and therapists and learning what Finn is interested in, you will find many options. Finn might like a stacker toy like the one Heidi has on her blog

If Finn likes music like my son Matthew (who is 21 months old now), he might like the Fisher Price Sing-Along Stage.

For more ideas, you might want to check out this book I blogged about

I blog about toys that Matthew likes every Tuesday (Toy Review Tuesday). If you go to my blog, and view posts by topic "toy review" on the sidebar, you will find all the toys I have reviewed so far. I hope that helps.

datri said...

I completely hate buying toys for Kayla. She's 5, but I'm still looking at stuff for 1 year olds (musical flashing toys) since she doesn't do any pretend play and if it doesn't light up and make noise she's not interested.