I have received a few requests to share some of our favorite toys for encouraging gross motor development. As a result, I’ll be doing a series of posts over the next week highlighting some of our favorite toys to encourage Tummy Time, Sitting, Crawling, Standing, and Walking! The options below will work well for neurotypical children, as well as children with developmental delays, although if you have any questions or concerns about how to best use a toy with a child with delays, please consult your physical therapist.
We have been working with Taylor from a very young age to improve strength, balance, and coordination. A symptom of PURA Syndrome is hypotonia, or low muscle tone. Healthy muscles are never fully relaxed. They generally hold a certain degree of tension or resistance which helps us maintain our position in space. As a result, a person with low muscle tone has to work extra hard to obtain and maintain that same degree of tension in the muscles.
Tummy time provides the foundational skills, strength, and coordination for rolling over, crawling, reaching, and sitting. We personally own, or have used regularly, all of the toys/items below, (unless otherwise noted) and these are items I felt were most beneficial for Taylor’s growth and development. If we did not own the item personally, I have selected a comparable alternative.
Disclaimer: I am an Amazon Affiliate and may earn a small commission for any items purchased through links on this site. Your purchase helps support continued content on this website and anything earned above the cost of this site will be donated to the PURA Syndrome Foundation.
Boppy Nursing Pillow
It is a lot of work for little ones to lift their heads during tummy time. Try giving them a little boost by propping them on the Boppy Pillow! The slightly higher vantage point will give little ones a better view and will make it a little easier push up through the forearms. This items can also serve as a great prop when little ones are first learning to sit.
Infantino Peek and Play Tummy Time Activity Mat
This bright and colorful mat comes equipped with a mirror, sensory and tactile animals for reaching, and a prop to put under baby’s chest. We did not own this exact mat but had something similar and Taylor loved it!
Sassy Floor Mirror
Taylor absolutely loved this mirror. The bold primary colors caught her eye every time and she really enjoyed looking at her reflection. As she developed more coordination and fine motor skills, the bumble bee and lady bug provided great tactile and auditory stimulation as well.
Oball Rollin Rainstick Rattle
The eye is drawn to the bright and bold primary colors but what makes this ball particularly special, is how easy it is to initiate a cause and effect reaction. A light touch will send it rolling or initiate the rainstick which makes it highly motivating for little ones! This one is also great for bilateral movements and visual attention.
Infantino Discover and Play Soft Blocks
These little guys are awesome. They are simple and bold with little animals printed on each block. Each block makes silly and fun noises and offer a variety of textures for tactile exploration.
Although this is not a toy, IT.IS.AWESOME! Tummy time on a moving surface is double the fun! Taylor loved going for tummy “rides” on the stability ball. The higher vantage point kept her interested in her surroundings. We would also put the ball in front of a large mirror so she could see herself during tummy time. Winner, winner! This ball is also great for learning to sit. If you have exercised with a stability ball, you know that it really forces you to engage all of your muscles so any exercise done on the ball is going to challenge baby’s muscles in a unique way.
Sassy Ring O’Links Rattle
These simple little rings help promote reaching and grasping. They can also link together and attach toys to play mats, car seats, high chairs, and more!
Would you like to see our recommendations for toys that encourage sitting? Visit Sitting: Our Favorite Toys for Encouraging Gross Motor Development for some great options to motivate your child in sitting! What are some of your favorite toys for promoting tummy time?