AblePlay Blog

18 Balls and 15 Ball-Playing Activities for Children with Special Needs

Posted on March 15, 2016

Children love toys, and children with special needs especially love toys that offer them a great sensory experience. When choosing toys for your children, be sure to consider the items in this list! Sometimes when it comes to toys, less is more. That’s how we came up with the ball. It is the simplest toy there is. So of course, buying a good ball is the easiest thing there is, right? Wrong. While yes, the concept of a ball is simple—a spherical object—the thing we have to remember is that toy manufacturers are great at reinventing simple ideas. Balls can do so much more, and with the huge variety of them on the market, it is clear to see how children can “have a ball” with all of the balls! Source: Friendship Circle Special Needs Resource Blog, March 2016

Playtime: An Exercise in Inclusion

Posted on March 2, 2016

Playtime is open to all, and that is how it always has been. Rain or shine, children have always been able to find joy in play. This is namely because all you need is the desire and some imagination (but friends and toys certainly don’t hurt) to play. For an activity that is open to everyone, it is only natural that it should be a highly effective focal point to promote inclusion.

For an illustration of this, think about play itself. In most playground games, there is generally some sort of “safe haven” incorporated into the rules of the game. Sometimes it is called a base, sometimes no man’s land and sometimes it is just called a “safe zone.” Regardless of the name, this is a spot in the midst of the competitive fervor for all children to catch their breath without allegiance and bond over the shared experience of being in the game together.

Day of Play: Play the Artsy Way

Posted on March 2, 2016

Every day our kids are experiencing the world: seeing, touching, smelling, hearing and building perceptions. All of these experiences are stored in the mind, just waiting to be expressed. Art can be an effective form of expression. Giving freedom to create also enriches essential life skills such as collaboration, communication and cognition. Get your pencils sharpened and the paint brushes cleaned, because we are sharing some of our favorite ideas for kids (and adults!) to create and express. Here are some play tips for enjoying a day of play the artsy way. Source: Chicago Special Parent, Winter 2016

Music is Magical for Developing Kids

Posted on February 16, 2016

AblePlay loves play so much that it is even in our name, and it is what we live and breathe every day of the year. Play can take many shapes, and this blog will share a different type of play: playing music! To feel the power of music, put on a catchy tune and just wait to see how many people start dancing. Old, young, boys, girls, it does not matter who you are; everyone loves music! By helping with development across the board, music can continue to be important to children as they grow from infancy to adolescence.

8 Great Games to Get Children with Special Needs Active & Moving

Posted on February 9, 2016

We love any game that will “active8” and motivate kids to get up and get movin’! Getting kids active while they are young can ensure a healthy childhood, which can lead to a fit and healthy adulthood. Movement can be so marvelous because it staves off obesity, encourages balanced energy levels, improves concentration, promotes cardiovascular health, and supports emotional well being. A good toy can have kids running, jumping, hopping, and screaming (for joy) all in a single game! Introducing the “Active 8”: Eight toys that can keep kids active and happy. Source: Friendship Circle Special Needs Resource Blog, February 2016

Polar Puzzles

Posted on January 27, 2016

Old Man Winter is here! It is hard to steer clear from the cold, hard fact that for some children, winter means wishing the snow would go far, far away, and for others it means withing there was more snow for play! Our top 10 Polar Puzzles list includes some great puzzles as well as puzzling toys to keep kids' brains working during the cold months of the year.

Local Non-Profit Director Champions Play for Children with Disabilities in Italy

Posted on January 27, 2016

Director at the National Lekotek Center is keynote speaker for European conference on special needs education. Jean Bailey, Director at the National Lekotek Center, was one of 3 keynote speakers during a January conference—COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action LUDI—aimed at the creation of novel and autonomous field of research and intervention on play for children with disabilities in Europe.

The Taming of the Toys

Posted on January 26, 2016

From the moment you open the doors, all you see is chaos. Blocks are strewn about to the left, trains thrown off the tracks to the right, a toy plane swings from a ceiling fan above, and those popular plastic blocks are stabbing your feet with every agonizing step. Yet in the middle of this GI Joe warzone, you will often find one or more smiling children, happily engaged in the chaos that can be playtime. While playtime can seem chaotic at first glance, it doesn't have to be! Here are our tips. Source: Parenting Special Needs, January/February 2016

Happy Anniversary Bananagrams: Why We Love Word Games

Posted on January 12, 2016

Words are all the rage for every age! During early childhood, the focus is on introducing different sounds for babies to vocalize. Elementary school age branches out to spelling small words such as C-A-T or M-O-M. But as kids develop and advance into adulthood, writing and words become ingrained pillars of our lives, whether it is writing papers, sending emails, reading books, or completing a crossword puzzle. There is one category of games that exists around this pillar, and it is a category diverse and versatile enough to be played at every age. It is the aptly named category of word games, and for them: words are everything.

55 Easy Items to Include in a Sensory Table at Home or School

Posted on January 5, 2016

Through seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling, our senses are how we experience the world around us. Sensory tables work to engage these senses. While there is no wrong way to make a sensory table, here are some suggestions to make yours optimal for the sensory interests of your child. Source: Friendship Circle Special Needs Resource Blog, January 2016

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