CreativitydexterityFine Motor SkillsFinger strengthhypermobilitysensory

The Ultimate Hypermobility-Friendly Toy List (Part 1)

Whether it’s birthday presents or Christmas, toy shopping can be a nightmare. I’m like a bit kid in a toy shop, I love them, but I know that a lot of people just see TOYS. They can’t work out what to get, what’s worth the price tag, or what’s developmentally appropriate. I get that. That why I decided to compile my all-time favourite hypermobility-friendly toy list you can buy online that I think are appropriate for kids with hypermobility.

The Ultimate Hypermobility-Friendly Toy List (Part 1)

Being an OT means that toys can’t JUST be fun. They have to have a purpose (yes, yes play therapists, I know, even if that purpose is just to engage in the act of play itself). My list of toys help children to work on a range of developmental skills: Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Sensory, Imagination. All those things OT’s love, because they are crucial for development.

(This post contains affiliate links because I stand by the educational/developmental value of these products!)

1. Pop Up Piratetomy-pop-up-pirate-90245-0-1437391929000
An oldie, but a goodie. I am amazed how kids can play this time and time again and still be fascinated and shocked (and how many times parents can play it and feign shock when the pirate pops). I’ll give you a tip, if you are the adult playing, as your child starts to work out the position of the sword which makes him pop, spin the shaft inside before/while you put the pirate back in… and magically, “THE” hole has magically moved somewhere else.

I think I might actually recommend this one every year. Oops. But you can’t go past a good thing. The aquadoodle, whether it be the travel mat or the large mat, is a magical way of getting kids who hate drawing and writing to do just that. Draw and write. The great part about the aqua doodle is that imaginations run wild, brains start ticking over as they work out how on earth their drawing is disappearing (and not coming back) and they usually end up drawing and writing without even thinking about it. Perfect!


3. The Watering Can36287_medium_

The simple, yet often forgotten little gem. The watering can. This one ticks so many of my lists: water play (sensory), cause & effect, gross motor (filling, tipping, re-filling, tipping… you get the drift), educational (plants need water, but not too much water to survive). If you’re game, and you have dirt…. water + dirt = mud.  Which ticks EVEN MORE of my list – MESSY PLAY.


Messy play is music to an OT’s ears, and probably like fingernails down a chalkboard for many of you (especially if you are a mess-phobe, sensory-avoidant parent). But, get with the program. This is about your child’s development, not your own. So let your child get wet. And let them get muddy. They are kids. While you’re at it…. live on the edge, buy them some gumboots and next time it rains, let them jump and splash in the puddles. I dare you.


2212aObviously, this is one for little tikes, but I can never go past a Lamaze baby toy. There is so much to explore on this toy, right at the time when a baby’s brain is expanding at an earth-shattering rate. I really wish we could see all the connections their brains were making every time they played with toys. We know from observation that this kind of toy provides sensory input, fine motor activity, visual acuity, cause and effect…and so much more. If you know someone with a little person (6m+) then this little guy will be a real hit.


Tomy Octopals


5. Octopals by Tomy (12m+)


While we’re on the topic of octopuses…. You cannot go past a good bath toy. It doesn’t have to be this one, but I liked the look of this one. I would play with it. A good bath toy does the following:
  • entertains
  • develops skills i.e. fine motor strength; cause and effect (if I squeeze A then B happens)
  • is easily washable
  • has multiple uses (therefore will stop you having to buy another toy in 2 weeks time when the child has run out of things to do with it!!!)
BONUS: I also love (and bought for a friends child) the Tomy Do-Re-Mi Dolphins (12m+) 

Next Up: Part 2: The Ultimate Hypermobility-Friendly Toy List (Part 2)


(This post contains affiliate links because I stand by the educational/developmental value of these products!)



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