The cheapest development or therapy tool is yourself. Simply interacting with your child with song or play helps your child develop. Getting them to focus on you and follow you around with their eyes is quite the achievement. Once they are able to do this, it is easier to work on other tasks as they are very interested in what you are doing.
Our recent favorite therapy tool is the big plastic ball available almost any where in those huge cages. For 3 dollars you have an exercise ball 🙂 You can see in the video there are lots of activities that you can do on the ball. It helps with core strength and balance. It also helps the body learn how to react to different positions, take for example if you are “falling” to the left to reach out and catch yourself. Cheap tool number one is useful with the ball as you keep them entertained and using different muscles.
Another cheap tool we learned about at our very first occupational therapy visit was the maracas you can buy at Party City or Amazon. For 49 cents a piece you have a rattle that actually fits in the hand of your child and is light enough for them to shake. I don’t know if you felt the same way, but the rattles in the store are HUGE. Granted Noah’s hands are small, but I don’t know how any child gets their hands around those in the beginning.
One last cheap therapy tool is the different textures that are available at your house from your clothes, to furniture, to outside. Noah loves to feel things right now with his hands and feet. We notice him rubbing his hands and feet against everything. His favorite is his pack ‘n play mesh.
Have you found any cheap development tools?