ABA Little Tots

We’re continuing our series of our ABA Little Tots therapists’ “Toy Picks”. Each therapist has chosen their favorite toy that they like to use during their sessions and have listed the ways you can use the toy and what skills can be taught while playing with the toy. Here are more of their picks:

Samara’s Pick


I think incorporating pipe cleaners into play is a super way to encourage creativity, associative play, and verbal communication skills. They can be used with any client, no matter their specific interests or abilities. The soft bristles can be emphasized with a child who enjoys exploring the physical properties of their environment, as well as experimenting with how they interact with other toys, while the variety of colours can be utilized to practice matching, sorting, and learning about patterns. Teaching fine motor skills and motor imitation can also be aided with the use of pipe cleaners, thanks to their ability to take on and hold new shapes. Clients and myself have used pipe cleaners as props for an endless amount of imaginative play – it has been a stand in for food, clothing (for dolls and dinosaurs alike), tools, royal crowns, friendship bracelets, money, to create letters and numbers, aliens and monsters, a lasso for a brave cowboy… the list really does go on. Finally, they also act as a quick and simple way to transition into new games and link different activities. For example, we can re-create objects we have just seen in a book, and continue on with the storyline for the basis of our next game.

Diana’s Pick


I really love to play with blocks with our children because of the multitude of things we can do with them. We can build towers, fences, houses, castles, animals, and even build a whole town if we want. It is easy to teach the children counting, colours, sorting, taking turns, imitation and other skills. One of the most liked games for many children is to crash the tower, we build the tower together as high as we can and then a car or ball just crashes everything. Some other children love to wreck the tower using with dinosaurs or other fierce animals. I especially love the big blocks because we also can use them for hiding animals or little treasures inside. We can also pretend that the blocks are other fun objects like; airplanes, boats, fire trucks etc. With the use of blocks, we can on work on expanding children’s communication, imitation, and creativity skills in a fun way.


Brittney’s Pick


My favorite toy to use during my sessions with the kids are the magnet blocks. I love being creative and building all sorts of structures and objects with these and they can also be used as regular magnets on a variety of objects such as fridges, magnet boards, metal frames, etc. Another way to use these are to use markers and trace the different shapes and form some pretty neat pictures. This is a great toy to use to work on turn taking, fine motor, engineering skills, as well as language skills such as; labelling or requesting different colors and shapes.