Selecting Toys for Young Children With Disabilities

Play is what children do; it is how they grow and learn.

Great and timely article from our the Center on Technology and Disability. check it out:

"The importance of play in a young child's life cannot be over-stated; it is their primary occupation, impacting all areas of development. All children regardless of ability need a variety of opportunities to playfully interact. Since toys are the child’s tools for play, finding toys with features that make them usable by all/most children is a critical part of this effort. Toys with these features are defined as “universally designed”.

"Families and service providers should look for toys that include features that make them universally
appealing, usable and fun, that are challenging, yet appropriate for the child’s abilities. Any toy should be safe and durable. Consider these features as you select toys for a child:

  • Is the toy appealing? Does the toy have bright colors or texture? Does it respond with lights,
    sound, movement or vibration? Color, sound, texture, lights and vibration add to the
    multisensory appeal of the toy. What kind of response appeals most to the child?
  • How does the toy work? A simple, intuitive design is best. Controls should be obvious and
    accessible. Will the child understand how to use it?
  • Is the toy easy to use? How much force is required to interact with the toy? It should be easy
    to use and require little strength. Are multiple movements required? Will the child be able to
    interact with it?
  • Is the toy adjustable? Can the volume level, height, speed, or level of difficulty be changed?
    Toys with adjustable features may appeal to a child longer. Can it adjust to the child’s interests
    and abilities?
  • Can the toy be played with in different ways? Does the toy appeal to children at various
    developmental levels? Toys should encourage use in more than one way. Can it be used in
    different ways across play stages?"

Read more at this link.