The National Lekotek Center has been a trusted resource since 2006 for companies in the toy industry to identify and communicate the value of their products from a child development perspective. As a nonprofit dedicated to making play accessible to all children and promoting the benefits of toys and play, the Lekotek mission has included partnering with companies that offer products that help children grow, develop, learn and thrive.
Lekotek has a national network of affiliates that offer a range of services focused on children with special needs. The cornerstone of Lekotek is the individual family play session where a certified Family Play Specialist works with children to reach developmental goals and promote inclusion within the family.
The AblePlay Lifetime Rating is designed to give caregivers and professionals a snapshot of a toy or play products appropriateness for children of all abilities. The AblePlay Product Evaluation is a review process which provides unparalleled information about a product and its ability to help children with skill development. Evaluations are conducted by professionals who have backgrounds in special education, early childhood education, or related therapeutic disciplines and have been previously certified by the National Lekotek Center. A major part of the evaluation process involves using the toys or play products with children of all abilities that participate in the Lekotek family play sessions.
Important Disclosure: AblePlay receives compensation from all manufacturers who submit products for evaluation. The purchase of a Product Evaluation does not guarantee that the manufacturer’s product will receive an AblePlay Seal of Approval.
The National Lekotek Center has extensive expertise in developing customized communication and collateral materials to help companies craft messages involving the value and skill development potential of their products. Because of Lekotek’s extensive experience working with toys as tools to enhance child development, they are able to bring a unique perspective to how a toy or play product might be utilized in helping children grow, develop, learn and thrive. Some of the communication vehicles Lekotek has developed for clients include:
- Parent Guides
- Activity Guides
- Curricula/Lesson Plans
- Skill Development Charts
Customized content marketing is a resource for companies to reach, develop relationships and spark conversations with families, professionals and educators using the internet in search of play products. Lekotek is able to position products, relate them to developmental skills, and give consumers reasons to purchase. One great example can be found here. Areas that Lekotek has contributed to with clients include:
- Social Media
Lekotek offers many opportunities to collaborate and consult with companies to help connect products to skill development for children of all abilities through various projects:
- Press Releases
- Retailer Alerts
- Sell Sheets/One Sheets
- Retail Shelf Talkers
Lekotek looks forward to exploring with toy manufacturers innovative ways to connect products to skill development for children of all abilities. Consulting services involve overlaying Lekotek’s understanding of child development as well as the special needs market in line with the strategies and objectives of the company. This consultation can lay the groundwork for companies to begin to assemble a plan and identify ways to implement that plan as organizations explore innovative ways to convey the value of their products and the importance of play.
- Product & Concept Development
- Product Line Review
Lekotek regularly compiles research on the children with special needs and the child development markets—tracking trends, interests, news and initiatives that relate to toys and play products. Lekotek has also assisted companies in their market research efforts including:
- Focus Groups
- Customized Product Feedback