Toys for babies with cerebral palsy may play a vital role in the development of a child’s cerebral motor cortex. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for muscle movement.
What Is Cerebral Palsy (CP)?
It is a state or condition that occurs due to damage in the part of the brain, thus, resulting in an impairment in a child’s muscle coordination. Babies usually exhibit signs of the condition in their early months.
While cerebral palsy is not life-threatening, it can leave your baby with some mental and physical challenges if not treated earlier.
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Toys for Babies with Cerebral Palsy 2021
Typically, a therapist treating a baby with CP will mention exercises with stretching and strengthening of muscles. On top of that, they will recommend to put more focus and attention on daily exercises.
Studies have shown that toys may significantly help in curing cerebral palsy other than traditional medical treatments. In this guide, we will review the best toys for babies with cerebral palsy to help trigger healthy brain activity.
How Toys Can Help in Treating Cerebral Palsy in Babies?
Before you move on to the toys, it is important to know the connection between toys and healthy brain activity. The targeted interaction between the brain and nerves of the muscle system ignites neuroplastic changes in the peripheral and central nervous systems.
Both the central and peripheral nervous systems are responsible for balance and motor learning in babies.
When a baby interacts with a toy, the repetition of muscles over the specific time period results in gaining muscle strength, dexterity, and motor learning.
When your baby faces a challenge, they become motivated to achieve their target by trying repeatedly. As a result, the baby builds up confidence. Consequently, having more confidence will allow them to get through important developmental milestones.
What Toys Help With Cerebral Palsy?
The signs of cerebral palsy vary accordingly. Thus, each child may require unique toys that will cater to their needs at the moment. Here are some of the types of toys for babies with cerebral palsy that you may want to include in your decision-making:
- Adaptive toys for cerebral palsy allow children or parents to interact with them in a less difficult manner as they conform to what the child lacks. For example, the guardian can teach a child to switch a button of an electronic toy so it can function according to its purpose.
- On the other hand, sensory toys for cerebral palsy such as puzzles, musical instruments, and building blocks can provide relaxing and enjoyable activities while opening opportunities for muscle development.
- Finally, therapy toys for cerebral palsy such as dolls or puppets, bendable figures, and tinker toys, to name a few, will connect with your child’s innermost emotions. They can express themselves more when they are around these toys.
As an example, a child who loves dinosaurs may relate very well with dinosaur toys as they are feeling the connection they have with their favorite creatures.
Toys for Babies with Cerebral Palsy: What to Consider
As with any other toy, what you will ultimately decide on will play a role in whether your child will learn the skills you want them to or not. Here are some things to consider when choosing from among the various toys for babies with cerebral palsy:
- The size of the toy matters. It should be enough for your child to grab on to and play with but not too small to anticipate incidents that may occur during involuntary muscle movements.
- For musical instruments or toys that produce sounds, check first if it does not contribute to the overstimulation of your child’s muscle tone. Avoid toys that produce sudden noise or very loud music.
- Does the toy come with instructions? Is it easy to play with or will your child have difficulty adjusting to it? This is important especially if your child has trouble communicating.
- Is the price worth it? It is good if you have more budget for a toy. However, it is also equally important to determine if what the toy promises is enough for you to spend on it.
Best Toys for Babies with Cerebral Palsy
Inarguably, toys can help your child in achieving different developmental milestones. Our list of toys for cerebral palsy also includes some puzzles that aim to promote brain activity in kids.
Consequently, most of the toys will require physical movement, which is an important area in babies with cerebral palsy. If your baby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age, 3-6 month, toys like a wooden baby gym can be very beneficial in toning and developing their arms and legs as well.
One of the major challenges in buying toys for kids with cerebral palsy is choosing the right one from among the variety of options.
In the case of cerebral palsy, the appropriate age may differ from the one the toy manufacturer recommends. Here at ToysNotch, we have taken all the factors into consideration before developing the list of best CP toys for babies and toddlers.
#1 Whirly Squigz
Type: Spinning Toys
Age level: 10 months and up
What is great about this toy: May be used as a bath toy, BPA-free, and encourages hand movement
What is not so great about this toy: May be difficult to attach on mirrors and slippery surfaces
Whirly Squigz is the best toy to consider when treating babies with cerebral palsy. It consists of a set of 3 colorful silicone spinners.
At the bottom, there is a suction cup that sticks to any kind of surface like a table, floor, carpet, etc.
Whirly Squigz plays a great role in improving eye-to-hand coordination in babies. The toy is made up of food-grade silicone which is perfect for teething toddlers as well. It helps in refining sensory explorations, fine motor development, counting skills, and cause/effect relationship in kids.
#2 Suction Kupz Baby Toys
Type: Sorting & Stacking Toys
Age level: 12 months and up
What is great about this toy: BPA-free and 100% made from safe silicone; durable with different colors for an open-ended play
What is not so great about this toy: Ensure that the child does not attach them to sensitive body parts like the eyes.
Suction Kupz comes with 6 differently colored silicone cups with suction at the bottom. Kids can attach them to a wall or table.
Certainly, it is one of the best toys for toddlers with cerebral palsy between 2 to 3 years of age. The cups are made up of 100% safe silicon so kids can drink out of them as well.
Finally, the stacking toys encourage spatial reasoning, fine motor skills, experimentation and creativity in kids.
#3 LEGO Duplo My First Bricks
Type: Toddler Mechanic Toys
Age level: 18 months to 3 years
What is great about this toy: Durable quality and design with various shapes and colors; 100% non-toxic material
What is not so great about this toy: Lacks some of the classic Duplo blocks
Children with CP may find LEGO Duplo My First Bricks as the best gift. These blocks help toddlers in developing creativity and imagination with endless opportunities.
This set from LEGO consists of 80 colorful blocks along with a toy propeller. It is the best way to boost fine motor skills and creativity in kids.
Babies with cerebral palsy will love these toys as they go on building new things. This allows them to build anything from a flower to a helicopter to their favorite shape from scratch.
#4 Box of 5 Pack Quiet Sensory Fidget Toys
Type: Fidget Blocks
Age level: 3 months and up
What is great about this toy: Provides calming effect as it helps keeps hands busy. They can be taken apart and connected or twisted up in various ways as well.
What is not so great about this toy: Some may expect the toy to be a bit thicker or bigger. Nevertheless, they are just the perfect size.
An old classic that still is the best CP therapy for babies and toddlers. It helps in boosting the upper body dexterity and fine motor skills in kids.
The loop tracks are opened and closed for the ball to reach the other side. Each side of the loop offers a different level of difficulty to the kid. Furthermore, it helps in improving the attention and focus level in kids.
#5 Electronic Pet Dog Harry
Type: Electronic Pets
Age level: 24 months to 7 years
What is great about this toy: Realistic robot-looking dog that does a lot of things so kids will certainly have endless fun with it; reacts in real-time; with an infra-red motion sensor.
What is not so great about this toy: May be a bit complicated for kids to understand at first contact
This smart puppy is not the one you have once you were a child. Time has changed, so does the toys. This puppy is similar to any other toy that requires a remote control or an app through a smartphone.
By means of an app, kids can make the puppy do tricks and bark. Turn on your Bluetooth and play some music and the puppy will dance. Imagine the giggles that will come your way!
The size of the puppy is large enough for toddlers with cerebral palsy to handle easily. The mobile app gives you a lot of possibilities to interact with the pup.
#6 Magformers Magnetic Toys
Type: Magnetic & Felt Playboards
Age level: 36 months and up
What is great about this toy: Easy storage and portability; perfect for STEM education. The magnets can hold together really well.
What is not so great about this toy: A bit more expensive than other toys for babies with cerebral palsy
Kids with CP have a tough time grasping toys due to muscle impairment. Magformers Magnetic Toys are the best toys for a child with cerebral palsy who may be having difficulty in grasping small items and maneuvering them.
The toys from Magformers connect easily with one another due to magnets inside. Toys from Magformers include building sets, themed sets, and other toys that help in eye-to-hand coordination in kids.
Toys like these help in expanding the imagination horizon of your kid along with boosting creativity. These are earthly-magnets that are safe for kids to interact with.
#7 LeapFrog My Own Leaptop
Type: Electronic Learning & Education Toys
Age level: 24 months to 4 years
What is great about this toy: With many great songs to listen to and very simple to operate
What is not so great about this toy: The screen does not light up so you cannot use it in the dark.
Kids nowadays have developed more interest in electronic items like cellphones and laptops. The LeapFrog My Own Laptop can help your kid achieve basic learning goals.
The Leaptop features games, music, and other interactive activities to keep your kid busy for a long time. The buttons on this thing are large enough for babies with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities. Also, it helps in learning the basic alphabets, colors, animal names, and much more.
#8 Toyvelt 2021 Clay Dinosaur Toys Set for Kids
Type: Kids’ Art Clay & Dough
Age level: 3 to 12 years
What is great about this toy: With multiple species to play with; non-toxic and safe to use.
What is not so great about this toy: No containers for the play dough. We recommend using Ziploc bags.
This dinosaur toy set contains 51 pieces of play doughs, molding tools, and more to provide your child with everything they need for a one-of-a-kind pre-historic adventure.
You will love a lot of features of this set. First, it is made from skin-friendly, non-toxic materials that guarantee safety for your child.
Second, it offers opportunities for family and friends to bond together as they help kids create their masterpieces.
Finally, kids will love creating various shapes because the set features adorable designs and brightly colored doughs. Consider buying this set if you are looking to improve your child’s cognition, imagination, creativity, and fine motor skills.
#9 Little Tykes Cozy Coupe Dino
Type: Ride-On Toys & Accessories
Age level: 18 months to 3 years
What is great about this toy: Easy to assemble and comes with an instruction manual; sturdy design and durable to last for years.
What is not so great about this toy: Tires may struggle to move fast on rough surfaces.
Ride-on toys are the best alternatives if you want your little ones to learn stretching, exercising, and have fun at the same time. There are a lot of toys available in the market, but the Little Tykes Cozy Cope Dino is worth getting for your child.
The Dino toy from the Little Tykes has a great design with a removable floorboard. It also has parents’ push handle for kids who need special assistance.
It has a horn, a gas cap, and a clicking ignition switch. The wheel on this ride are durable and rotate to 360 degrees.
The floorboard can be removed so that kids can ride it by pushing their legs in a backward movement. It helps in targeting large muscle groups like arms and legs. It is a great way to exercise for toddlers with cerebral palsy.
#10 VTech Spinning Lights Learning Hippo
Type: Electronic Learning & Education Toys
Age level: 18 months to 4 years
What is great about this toy: Encourages language development with its variety of activities
What is not so great about this toy: Be ready with a new set of batteries just in case so as not to spoil your child’s fun.
One of the best toys for babies with cerebral palsy to own. VTech has been producing quality products that help in the physical and mental development of kids. Having one for your kid will aid you in monitoring their progress.
Light Learning Hippo is another magical toy that introduces your baby to basic letters, numbers, shapes and more.
Roll the red ball in the middle and it will produce melodies and sound effects. It is the most recommended toy for toddlers and preschoolers with cerebral palsy and other developmental delays.
#11 KidSource 1535 Mystic Rainmaker
Type: Toddler Learning Toys
Age level: 6 months to 3 years
What is great about this toy: Colorful and unique design and can help kids to focus
What is not so great about this toy: You have to twirl the toy to get the beads to fall down.
We bet that your baby will love this toy that packs a lot of fun and entertainment. It is more of a classic developmental toy for babies with cerebral palsy and is pretty easy to grasp and turn over as the baby will love doing it again and again.
Moreover, it promotes early learning skills in kids. That is why it is recommended for kids six months of age or above.
#12 Fisher-Price Think & Learn Rocktopus
Type: Science Kits & Toys
Age level: 36 months to 6 years
What is great about this toy: Innovative, interactive and educational toy that features multiple modes and instruments
What is not so great about this toy: The octopus may sound like it is talking too much so it does seem to downplay the music. Not ideal for kids who easily get irritated with sounds.
Our list of best toys for babies with cerebral palsy is incomplete unless we add a toy from Fisher-Price. This Octopus toy from Fisher-Price offers 3 modes of play, 15 different musical instruments, and 5 styles of music.
The Rocktopus responds to every single instrument upon which you tap. Toys like these add a sense of creativity and imagination to kids. It helps kids in understanding the cause/effect relationship along with refining their fine motor skills.
#13 Fat Brain Cerebral Palsy Toys Dimpl Baby
Type: Sorting & Stacking Toys
Age level: 10 months and up
What is great about this toy: Can be used during travels as it is only about as big as an adult’s hand. Very engaging toy for both kids and adults!
What is not so great about this toy: Would be better if there is a provision for a strap so it can be attached to a stroller or bag.
Dimpl is one of the best sensory toys for infants with cerebral palsy because it encourages fine motor skills, cause-effect relationships, and sensory exploration.
It has bright-colored silicone bubbles packed into a sturdy-looking plastic frame. It is made up of durable ABS-quality plastic for longer durability.
Little fingers will love to feel the sensation that comes when popping out the bubbles. In addition to this, the food-grade silicone bubbles are safe for infants in case they put them in the mouth. Moreover, it’s PVC free which makes it 100% safe for kids of all ages.
Toys for Babies with Cerebral Palsy: Final Thoughts
First of all, kids with cerebral palsy may need some extra care and planning to deal with difficult situations. However, it is can be treated perfectly with appropriate physical and mental exercises.
Toys play a great role in the physical development and learning of kids with CP. At the time of choosing the toy to deal with Cerebral Palsy, the parents first need to consider the age of development of their child.
Most noteworthy, keep in mind that toys are not labeled by the manufacturer by disability. Almost every toy in the market is labeled with skills enhancement and age.
The symbols labeled on the toy box let parents decide which toy is best for their kids at the current age of development. For example, you will never give a ride-on toy to a 6-month-old baby.
Finally, before selecting the best toy for a child with cerebral palsy, parents must consider whether the toy reflects the age and interest of their kid.
The toys we have included in our list cover kids from 6 months to 12 years of age. We advise you to consult your child’s therapist before offering one of these toys.
FAQs About Toys for Babies with Cerebral Palsy
What are the best toys for babies with cerebral palsy?
In our opinion, they are fun enough to play with but can challenge your child in a good way. They will require muscle movement while ensuring that the brain remains active and healthy since your child will surely love solving the problems these toys pose.
What to remember when dealing with babies with cerebral palsy?
First, and probably the most important thing, is to give them your attention. They need you in their life more than anything else. Take them to the park so that they can explore the world around them. Let them take part in different sport and outdoor activities.
In short, make them feel normal so they can develop their self-confidence at the pace they are most comfortable with.
What are ideal games for kids with cerebral palsy?
There are tons of games in which your kid can take part. One of the most effective is sorting. Sorting improves fine and gross motor control in kids dealing with cerebral palsy. It improves muscle and mind coordination in your kid as well.
Arts and crafting is another activity that improves coordination and fine motor skills in kids. Water games like splashing water, pouring cups, and other related activities improve mental and physical health.
What toys help with cerebral palsy?
You can offer puzzles, building blocks, stack cups, and musical toys to babies with cerebral palsy. These toys have been proven to be effective in promoting the physical and mental health of kids.
What are some of the best educational toys for a cerebral palsy child?
For kids suffering from any kind of cerebral palsy disorder, you can go with toys that promote education and fun at the same time. You can give them toys like the Fisher-Price Think and Learn Roctopus or Leapfrog My Own Leaptop.
Where to buy toys for toddlers?
You can find the toys we included in this article at Amazon. Inarguably, the site is the go-to store for parents looking to buy the perfect toy for their kids at the comforts of their home or office.
How much are toys for babies with cerebral palsy?
The least expensive etoys for babies with cerebral palsy cost around $20 while the more expensive ones fall in the range of $40 and $60. Truly, most of these toys are bigger than the first ones.
In our list, the most expensive is the LEGO DUPLO because the building kit contains 80 colorful pieces that are specially designed for little hands. Also, your child can adapt well to the set since they can always choose whether to create simple shapes or more complicated ones.
What do other reviewers say?
- FlintRehab believes that the Kinetic Sand set can really improve the motor skills of kids. Also, kids can play it in various ways such as building sandcastles, drawing, and making hand imprints, to name a few.
- The MonteRabbi loved the Milliard Peanut Ball because it can help kids improve their posture. Also, it functions as exercise equipment so your child can strengthen their muscles.
- The Birth Injury Guide explains that ride-on toys are the perfect way to teach your child to stretch, exercise, and engage in another form of therapy. A lot of ride-on toys are available in the market but included in their list is the EzyRoller Classic ride-on toy.