Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Porter's Christmas Presents

Everyone puts a lot of thought into Porter's presents. Presents that can make learning and working hard more fun not only help him grow stronger, but they keep him motivated. Here are this year's Christmas presents, and their purpose.
1. Imagine Elmo. This is Porter's favorite Christmas gift. We love it for a few reasons. First, Elmo asks Porter to follow some one and two step directions, like "Prince Elmo says tickle Elmo's tummy." We're working hard on following directions, so having one of his favorite characters ask him to follow directions is very motivational. Also, from a fine motor perspective, switching Elmo's hat requires Porter to use two to stabilize the toy and one to remove and replace the hat. 
2. JumpSmart Trampoline- This one was recommended by Porter's PT and works on core strength and jumping. Since Porter has very low muscle tone, the handle bars help him use his stronger upper body to help him strengthen his weaker lower body. The trampoline also has a few different music options (including the option to turn the volume up or down...hooray!), which are very motivational. Sister also loves this toy! It does have a weight limit of 80 pounds, so it's life span is limited, but it should really help him over the next few years. 

3. Fisher Price Drum Set Here's another one that works the core. Porter must actively engage his entire core to sit on the stool and play. He uses so many different muscles to push the foot pedal. And, it's so motivational- who doesn't love to make loud noises? 

4. Melissa & Doug Latch Board- this one is all about the fine motor control. And, Porter surprised us by figuring out how to open every latch! Each door has a number and animals to count inside. We're able to work on numbers, counting and colors along with fine motor. 

5. Bristle  Blocks- The set we got has people and wheels, which has made building extra fun! Bristle blocks offer sensory input, which means that Porter is more likely to play with them for a little longer. Lately he's been building birthday cakes and pretending to blow out the candles by himself. He's also been loving the cars that daddy builds! He requests trash trucks. Luckily he's got a pretty good imagination :) 

For a point of reference, Porter will be three in February. He's really enjoying these gifts! We recently cleaned out his play room, retiring many of the "baby" toys and sending them on their way to cousins. His ball pit (inflatable pool filled with balls) and climbing blocks stayed, but we made room for the new toys and he seems to be pretty happy with the results!

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