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Fun and imagination should be accessible for everyone. That's why Hearthsong loves making and curating toys meant for children of every ability to enjoy.
In this blog, we've rounded up our favorite picks for both disability-inclusive and therapeutic toys.
Toys that are disability-inclusive allow for children of any and all abilities to interact with the toy or see great representations of themselves.
Therapeutic toys are perfect for play therapy, a popular method of counseling allowing children to express their emotions and thoughts through play.
Play is a great way for children of many backgrounds to communicate their needs and thoughts. The Association for Play Therapy defines play therapy as, “the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.”
Sans the fancy words, it means using play to solve kids' problems, big or small. The University of North Texas says the best toys for play therapy should do the following:
While any toy can be beneficial for play therapy, therapeutic toys are the best of both worlds!
There are many sensory, cognitive, and physical issues addressed with using a therapeutic toy. Children with conditions like autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and many others can discover wonderful ways to engage with the world through therapeutic toys.
For physical and cognitive benefits, children can experience a calming effect thanks to therapeutic toys. Anger, anxiety, and other big feelings can be soothed with toys that help them regulate their emotions.
For children struggling with motor skills or other physical abilities, certain therapeutic toys can help build and enhance skills like upper body strength, balance, coordination, and more.
Sensory play encourages children to interact with the world through their senses. Brain development, problem-solving, and better motor skills are just some of the benefits pretend play has to offer.
Like many ride-on toys, swings may be used to help hip mobility and positioning, build strength, and develop new motor patterns.
Our 24-Inch Colorburst Swing is a lightweight, yet sturdy swing that comes in three colors. It has a weight maximum of 250 lbs. and is perfect for one adventurous rider.
The swing is also recognized for it's awesome play-tential! Here's high praise from one verified review:
“…an amazing purchase my granddaughter [who] was born blind and she love motion of all sorts….[Her] therapist loves it. She said that it would be great for other children that are born with all kinds of different challenges.”
Every kid can reach new heights thanks to our Amazing Feats Kids Stilts! This product helps kids build balance, coordination, and strength. Comfy foam-covered handles provide a cushy place to rest their arms and support a natural, upright posture.
A verified review from a Physical Therapist highlights some of its best features:
“These stilts with the rocker bottom are much easier to change for height variations between students. The kids like to change the hand grip height themselves! The rocker bottom helps early learners since they don't have to have a precise part of the stilt touch the floor for balance.”
Need something to help soothe your child after a tough day? Our Lightweight Rocking Floor Hammock is the perfect spot to relax!
For children who are easily overstimulated and need to regulate their emotions, the hammock is the perfect cool-down spot. See this brief review for an example:
“My grandson is on the autism spectrum and this is very calming for him.”
“This toy is so great for my 15 [year-old] child with special needs . She can [jump and bounce] and it is extremely durable!”
“I purchased these for children at my school to use in the gym! What fun they are all having riding, rolling and just pulling them around and pretending with them! Our school is for children on [the] autism spectrum from infants to second grade! We have had such fun! Durable and safe!”
Pretend play through dolls and accessories may improve language skills and fine motor skills from switching the dolls' outfits.
Have a child who often has hospital stays? Or you need to comfort them during their first hospital visit? Or maybe they use a wheelchair part or full time?
Tikiri's inclusive and super soft Hospital Doll and Accessories comes dressed in a hospital gown and with medical accessories to aid in her speedy recovery. The Tikiri Wheel Chair is the perfect additional accessory for the Hospital Doll and beyond. The wheels are made from wood and can roll on any surface!
We'd love to hear from you! Tag us with your favorite picks (@hearthsong_toys) and don't forget to leave a review.