Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Santa Claus,

Once your baby can sit or has better body and head control, you can introduce stage two toys. (Not here yet? Check out the stage one toy recommendations. Or if you have already moved on to the next stage, check out these toys.) I’m going to list 10 toys you might want to put on your baby’s Christmas... Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day... list. Though this post comes too late for Eid-el-Fitr (and Black Friday), you will hopefully still get some good ideas from it.

Fisher Price—Roll-a-Rounds Swirlin Surprise Gumballs
Lights! Action! Wow! This oversized “gumball” machine releases four see-through balls that have “candies” in them. Each time your baby taps the lever, he is rewarded with lights, music, and a gumball that swirls around as it makes its way out of the dispenser. This toy teaches cause and effect, as well as the concept of in/out. The lights and sounds can be turned off and the volume has two settings. Comes with 3 AA batteries (but the ball dispensing would still work with no batteries). $22.99 Toys-R-Us
Picture credit: Sheridan from Genetically Enhanced

Fisher Price—Little Superstar Sing-Along Stage
music table
This toy gets an A+ for entertainment value as it will keep your baby interested for long periods of time. It also gets high marks for teaching cause and effect, encouraging self-recognition and communication, and promoting sitting, reaching, and fine motor hand control. For an in-depth description of this toy, check out Ria’s review. (3 AA batteries included) Overpriced ($83) at Look for it in-store at Toys-R-Us.

slinky1Who knew a slinky could be so much fun? Put your baby’s amazing feet to work with this toy and then sit back and enjoy the show. The plastic version comes in two sizes, several bright neon colors, and is easy to untangle. This toy encourages your baby to practice gross and fine motor skills, but even if it didn’t have any therapeutic or educational value, I’d still recommend it because it is the most fun your baby can have for five dollars :-) Small plastic version, $4.99 Toys-R-Us

Fisher Price—Rainforest Jumperoo
DSC01400Many babies with Down syndrome love to bounce and the Jumperoo provides the perfect opportunity for it. Once your baby has good core strength, he’ll enjoy pushing off with his feet and bouncing himself like crazy. The jumper has lights and sounds with various settings, but your baby might be too busy jumping to notice!. Babies up to 25 lbs. and 32 in. can enjoy this toy. (3 AA batteries not included) $69 at
Picture credit: Joey from Our Bundle of Joey

Fisher Price—Sesame Street Singing Pop-Up Pals
This pop up toy features Sesame Street figures who sing clips of their songs when they pop out. The toy teaches cause and effect and prompts your baby to practice his fine motor skills to twist, press, click, and slide the knobs. The characters’ doors close in two different ways adding to your baby’s coordination skills. The sound can be turned off and the pop ups still work (nice feature for when you run out of the 3 AA batteries that come in it). $21.99 at Toys-R-Us

Fisher Price—Moo Sounds Milk & Cookies
Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? Your baby will! This little jug comes with 5 cookie-shaped colored discs that your baby can put in and take out. For beginners the jug opens up completely and for those who have practiced a bit, the cover fits on with just a cookie-sized slot in it. When you dump the cookies out, the jug “moos”. This is a great way to work on the concept of in/ out, colors recognition, and beginning counting, while also working on the coordination skills of targeted placing and reaching for objects. (2 Alkaline Button Cell batteries included) $9.99 at Target

Melissa & Doug Nesting Boxes
What’s more fun than building a tall tower? Knocking it down of course! Your baby will likely master the destruction part of this game before the building part. That’s ok because she has you to stack and restack the boxes for her :-) Eventually she will learn to stack the boxes and to nest them by herself. You can work on the concepts of up/down and in/out with this toy, as well as practicing the motor skills necessary to build and knock down the boxes. These nesting boxes have the alphabet on them and lots of pictures that you can use to teach some common words to your baby. Melissa & Doug Deluxe 10-Piece Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks are $9.99 at Amazon

Fisher Price—Stack 'n Surprise Blocks Songs 'n Smiles Sillytown
sillytownPop up, peek-a-boo, stacking, music, lights, and a race car... there is much to do with this toy. Your baby will practice fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and cause and effect. This set comes with 8 stacking blocks (one that is a car) and features a pop up section and a tumble down section, as well as a car ramp, and a stacking shelf. After seeing how much fun Summer (and her 3 yo brother :-) had with the Count and Build Snail Pail set, I knew this one would have a spot under the tree this year! (3 C batteries included) Songs ‘n Smiles Sillytown is about $40 at Walmart and the Count and Build Snail Pail is $19.97 at

Munchkin Mozart Music Cube
Music therapy here we come :-) This cube features 5 individual instrument buttons: harp, flute, French horn, piano and violin, and an orchestra button that plays all the instruments at once. It has 8 Mozart compositions and the lights flash in rhythm will the songs. The buttons are big and easy to push with hands or feet. The toy teaches cause and effect as well as the different sounds instruments make. (3 AA batteries not included.) $15 at

Discovery Toys—Go Go Caterpillar
Our PT brought this toy over one day and Summer was very interested in playing with it, though for a while she seemed a little mad that it “ran away” :-). If you are ready to urge your baby to crawl or scoot, this is a good toy to have. Your baby can make it roll away by gently pressing on its back. The wheels are filled with beads that fly around as the caterpillar zooms across the floor. The toy reinforces the concept of cause and effect, and prompts your baby to strengthen his gross-motor "Go Go Baby" muscles. $15 at Discovery Toys

And Santa, please bring shares of Fisher Price stock for mom and dad...

Your Turn
Got a favorite stage two toy recommendation for Santa? Want to tell us what gifts are you giving to your children with Ds this year? Please do, inquiring minds want to know :-)


  1. Awesome! Thanks so much for this!

  2. This is great. Thank you for sharing. Gaby is getting a little stronger, so instead of her Jumperoo, we are starting her on a mini trampoline. Should be exciting. xox

  3. We absolutely love the Fisher Price Music Table. Aubrey has something to play with as she practices standing and is now standing and sitting while playing. Soon she will "cruise" around it to get to what she wants. Bonus is that before she could stand, the legs came off and she could just play while sitting by it.

  4. any... any... ANY cause and effect toys that are not plastic and battery operated?! We're dyin' here.

    I'm working on a list... right now we have a ball run at home. Our neighbors have this car run, but most everything else I'm finding requires just a touch more coordination or physical strength than he's got.

  5. Awesome! Thanks so much, now I have some ideas to forward to family and friends!

  6. Just found this blog - great suggestions!! My almost 18 month old little boy with DS also loves sensory balls and the peek a blocks sorting cube.

  7. THANK YOU!! I was stumped with what toys to get for Maddox!! you are my rockstar! happy holidays! smiles

  8. Great toy ideas. It was so cute seeing Sheridan and Joey in your post, two of John Michael's local buddies.

  9. Thank you for list. Our 14 month old with DS loves the slinky. Also percussion instruments like maracas and tambourine***Please note that our PT and OT agree jumperoos, walkers, exersaucers, etc are *not* recommended . Check with your dr or therapists before you invest in one of these.


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