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Top 10 Tummy Time Toys – Pediatric Therapist Approved

Sep 18th, 2023 | by Samantha Berger, MS, OTR/L

Samantha Berger, MS, OTR/L

September 18th, 2023

First, Why Is Tummy Time Important?

It’s no secret that tummy time is important for your child’s development. By spending time in a prone (belly down) position, your baby is working to strengthen the muscles in his or her upper body, including the arms, neck, and chest as he or she attempts to push themselves up off the ground to engage with their environment. Tummy time promotes the development of proper spinal curvatures and helps to prevent plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome). The strengthening of the proximal musculature is a precursor for head control and trunk stability. Additionally, weight shifting to reach toward preferred objects is a precursor for rolling and crawling. 

10 Baby Tummy Time Toys Recommended by an Occupational Therapist

Although tummy time is important, it is also often a non-preferred position. While there are positioning modifications that can support improved tolerance for tummy time, we also recommend the use of highly motivating and engaging toys to encourage tummy time or equipment that offers opportunities for sensory input. Some of our favorite tummy time toys include: 

1. Water Play Mat

A water play mat is a great tummy time toy for babies. Find more in this blog post!

Image Source: www.amazon.com

Offers visual, tactile and proprioceptive (movement) sensory input

2. Floor Mirror

A floor mirror is a tummy time toy recommended by pediatric occupational therapists. Find more in this blog post!

Image Source: www.amazon.com

Offers visual sensory input

3. Bubble Machine

A bubble machine is a great toy that can be used to encourage your baby to engage in tummy time. Find more in this blog post!

Image Source: www.amazon.com

 

Offers visual and tactile sensory input

4. Soft Activity Book

Soft activity books offer visual input with high contrast colors, making them a great choice for a tummy time toy. Find more in this blog post!

Image Source: www.amazon.com

Offers visual and tactile sensory input

5. Suction Cup Wonder Wheel

A suction cup wonder wheel is a great tummy time toy. Find more in this blog post!

Image Source: www.amazon.com

Offers visual, auditory and tactile sensory input and encourages targeted reaching 

6. Height Adjustable Ball Drop

This ball drop toy can be used during tummy time to encourage targeted reaching, grasp, and more.

Image Source: www.amazon.com

Encourages targeted reaching, grasp and release with an interactive cause-and-effect relationship

7. Musical Mat

A musical mat is a great tummy time toy, as recommended by pediatric therapists. Find more in this blog post!

Image Source: www.amazon.com

Offers auditory sensory input with an interactive cause-and-effect relationship

8. Suspended O-Ball

Find 10 tummy time toys in this blog post!

Image Source: www.amazon.com

Offers visual and tactile sensory input and encourages targeted reaching with increased support for the development of grasp (plus the ball won’t roll away making it a hands-free option for mom or dad) 

9. Pop-Up Toy

Pop up toys can be used during tummy time to help motivate your baby. Find more tummy time toys in this blog post!

Image Source: www.amazon.com

Offers visual and tactile sensory input with advanced dexterous skill to activate cause-and-effect pop-up 

10. Soft Blocks

Soft activity blocks offer visual input with high contrast colors, making them a great choice for a tummy time toy. Find more in this blog post!

Image Source: www.amazon.com

Offers visual sensory input with high-contrast colors 

Additional Resources from the NAPA Blog:

About the Author 

Samantha Cooper is a pediatric occupational therapist at NAPA Center-Los Angeles. When not engaging her clients through play, Samantha can be found balancing her love for ice cream with spin or barre classes or trying to cuddle her dog, Cassidy, who would much rather have her personal space.  

About NAPA Center

At NAPA Center, we take an individualized approach to pediatric therapy because we understand that each child is unique with very specific needs. We embrace differences with an understanding that individualized programs work better. For this reason, no two therapeutic programs are alike. If your child needs our services, we will work closely with you to select the best therapies for them, creating a customized program specific to your child’s needs and your family’s goals. Let your child’s journey begin today by contacting us to learn more.

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