Toys


Here are some toys we found especially useful for our kids. They are either easy to hold or very rewarding with sounds, vibrations or lights

Easy to hold 

This toy is called a skwish , and is very easy to grab. It has wooden sticks and beads held together with a tough elastic, some smaller moving beads and a little bell.  You can buy them online from Manhattan Toys

This ball is easy to grab, and thus great for kids with limited fine motor skills - you basically stab at it and have it, so it's very rewarding.

Most toyshops carry this ball, in a variety of colors. It's called an OBall, and also comes in a "footie" version.

 

 

Sounds and music

This "Discovery Ball" made by Leap Frog rolls either on its stand or can be unhooked to roll on the floor. There are three sound settings. On the ABC setting, you get the ABC song when you roll the ball and the name of the letter (not phonic) when you push on a letter. The second setting also gives you the ABC song when rolling the ball and the sound of the letter (phonic) when you push on a letter. The third setting gives you a tune when you roll the ball, and different tunes for each letter you push, most of them relevant to the letter (for example, if you push M you get Mary Had a Little Lamb, and the R gives you Row Row Row your Boat). The sound level can be set to high or low.

Lights and vibrations

 Toys with lights and vibrations can be especially useful if your child has vision or hearing issues. In any case, they are stimulating and rewarding - if you push a button or sort a shape and you get a sound or a light, you get instant feedback that your action was successful.

 Access to toys

Sometimes the toys are not so much the problem, but access to them is. For example, Mr. Determined liked trains very much, but found it hard to sit on the floor and play with them. We bought a table onto which we installed the train tracks, some of the more tricky ones stuck down with some blue-tac or velcro, and it allowed him to stand at the table and play. This also improved his "cruising" (walking along the table while holding on) skills. Here is a picture of the table, with one of our friends using it while standing in his Hart Walker frame:

 

 We often found it easier to lift toys up to standing position, so we created plenty of play space at that level with tables and low shelves.