Starting today Toys “R” Us will carry a catalog of toys for Differently-Abled Kids. Compiled by experts at the nonprofit National Lekotek Center, the guide will help parents find developmental toys for their children.
Each toy in the 52-page guide includes a detailed description of how it can be used, along with icons indicating whether the toy can stimulate development in such areas as creativity, self esteem, vision or hearing.
The guide can be useful to people buying toys for many of the more than 6 million children in the United States who have disabilities, said Diana Nielander, executive director of the Chicago-based National Lekotek Center.
The group, which operates 38 therapeutic play centers in eight states, evaluated some 200 toys over the past nine months to select those included in the guide, Nielander said.
Certified play specialists observe families and children with the toys, and determine which would work, for example, for a child who is blind, or for a child who can’t close their hand, she said.
“We want to see toys that are great for the most amount of children. And sometimes the smallest thing can make the biggest difference,” she said, such as knobs that allow puzzle pieces to be lifted easily from their board.
Nielander noted that the guide features photographs of disabled children playing with the toys, adding, “One mother told me that her daughter sleeps with this guide because it’s the first time she saw children who look like her.”
This is great news for parents who have spent many hours looking for the right toy for their child. This guide will help you make the right choices. It may also come in handy for relatives at christmas time when they are not sure what to buy.
National Lekotek Center: http://www.lekotek.org/
Toys R Us: http://www.toysrus.com/differentlyabled