By: Lydia Bryant, CTRS
We’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s priceless.” When we play with our children, it’s priceless. When we watch them move with joy, it’s priceless. When we laugh with them, it’s priceless. While play, joy and laughter are priceless, parents know that paying for it certainly is not. The need to providing enriching, joyful and inclusive play to our children does not need to be a financial burden. Whether you have access to a Lekotek toy lending library or not, the ability to create a world of play for our children simply takes a bit of ingenuity and imagination. The result? Priceless.
As experts of inclusive and accessible play, we know the importance of play in a child’s development and overall quality of life for the family. Creating those moments of inclusive and accessible play need not be a burden – financially or otherwise. For creating developmentally valuable play experiences that are accessible to children of all abilities, here are 7 easy and inexpensive ideas from our Lekotek Inclusive Play Specialists that are in a word, priceless.
By: Lydia Bryant, CTRS
As an inclusive play specialist at the National Lekotek Center, I adapt and modify toys and play for children with special needs and their families. Any parent or professional who works with children has seen a rise in the use of technology in toys and play. We have seen the same rise in the special needs play space. The use of technology in early intervention and therapy mirrors trends in technology used in the classroom. Students use tablets or laptops instead of jotting notes in a notebook. Many toy companies have focused on creating hi-tech gadget toys for younger and younger kids. The newest trend in both educational and play products is teaching the processes that make these innovations possible. We hear words like STEM, coding and robotics in the education and therapy community very often. For many parents and educators these terms are unfamiliar. What exactly do they mean and why are they important for kids of all abilities?
Lekotek's Executive Director, Kathryn Lavin, is a frequent contributor to several national publications. Read her latest piece in the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association's (ASTRA) monthly publication.
Just in time for holiday shopping, the guide, which includes information on more than 50 toys, is free and currently available for download. This is the guide for parents, grandparents, professionals, or anyone seeking to purchase toys for children on all abilities,” said Kathryn Lavin, Executive Director, Lekotek. "The guide features AblePlayTM approved products as well as AblePlayTM Play Ideas so that the benefits of play are maximized."
A key to Lekotek’s success is its emphasis on bringing the whole family together to enjoy the many benefits of play. This new guide will help make that all-important family time even more fun by showcasing toys that will appeal to all ages and abilities.
Fall brings the start of the school year, but it doesn't mean an end to the fun. Incorporating play into each day is part of a balanced approach to children's learning and development. Below are a few suggestions to engage children and help them learn on the sly!
Summer is a time for sunshine and laughter—when “kids can be kids” through play and TOYS! Here are a few play products just right for the season encouraging kids to explore and expand their bodies and minds: