EMI Toys

The Blocks and the Pop-up enclosures are recommended play toys for the EMI. Similar toys with equivalent functions were used in its initial development. The normative data used for decision making represent children’s movement while playing with these toys.


Toys were screened and selected based on their ability to engage children’s interest and evoke their movement skills. Additionally important criteria for selecting these toys included safety, common availability in child care settings, purchase availability, and suitability for use by the entire age range (birth to 3 years). Additionally, we rejected toys that did not meet these criteria (for example, those that too often evoked sitting and exploration rather than gross movement).


Pop up School Bus

Pop-up School Bus

Pop-up-style enclosures: These type of toys are typically made of a flexible nylon enclosure, similar to the bus and “Big Burger Drive Thru” on the right. Playhut and Gigatent offer several different styles of these enclosures. They are characterized by a door that children can walk through and by window(s) that allow children to explore the inside and

Pop Up Burger Tent

“Big Burger” Pop-Up Tent 

outside of the enclosure. For safety reasons, there is no attached floor. In addition to crawling through, children may stand up in the enclosure, open and close the nylon doors, and look out the windows. As with the blocks, you may add balls to the house for children to roll or throw into and out of the enclosure, which encourages movement within and around the toy.


Stacked foam blocks

EMI Foam Blocks

Blocks and Balls: This set of blocks can be purchased in bulk with 40-130 foam rubber blocks of various sizes, colors, and shapes. Using these blocks, children will build structures, which they will ultimately enjoy knocking down by walking through them, or by using another block or ball (sold separately).

 Add at least three balls of similar size (one small, medium, and large) to the blocks. Ensure that the balls can be easily cleaned with antiseptic wipes and that they are large enough to avoid a choking hazard. See the EMI administration instructions (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) for additional information, including recommendations on how to use the toys during an observation and modify the toys for children with sensory impairments.

EMI Toy Purchasing Information

 All of these toys can be purchased through online stores such as Amazon. The tables below contain links to the toys in various online stores. Alternatively, you may go to one of the online stores listed in the table below and type in toy names into the store’s “search” field. While other stores may also sell these toys, these were the most popular stores that had them in stock as of our last check. If you have problems finding them at the stores listed, search for them via Google or via Shopping.com by typing in the toy name into the website’s search fields.

The following price estimates are based on our current records. Prices may vary depending on manufacturer sales and retailer markups or discounts.



Use the product name to search for this toy in stores or in one of the online stores listed below. To search for a toy online, type “Educolor Toys Block Set” into the store’s search field.
Store Approximate Price Purchase Online

Bed Bath & Beyond

$30 Verdes Wood-Foam Blocks, 100 ct


$31-$45 Walmart, EduColor Blocks, 80 ct
Sears, EduColor Blocks, 80 ct
Target, EduShape Textured Blocks, 80 ct

Bed Bath & Beyond

$36 Amazon, E-Wonder World Foam Blocks
Amazon $23 PowerTRC Creative Educational EVA Foam Building Blocks, 131 ct




Pop-Up Enclosures

Click the link in the right column or use name to search for these toys in stores. To search for a toy online, type the name of the item into the store’s search field.
Store Approximate Price Link and Toy Name
Amazon $26 Homfu Gingerbread Play Tent
Amazon $26 Liberty Imports Pop up Fire Engine
$16-30 Walmart, Folding Portable Playpen with Carrying Case
Amazon, Folding Portable Playpen with Carrying Case




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