Toys for Kids with Disabilities

Toys are instrumental for learning and development – and kids love ’em! These resources to help you locate toys that are specially developed for kids with physical, cognitive, and sensory impairments; resources to tell you how to adapt conventional toys for kids with disabilities; and resources to help you select off-the-shelf toys that are best suited for your child.
Adapted Toys
This Infinitec guide to Internet resources about toys for children with disabilities includes informational and corporate websites.
Differently Abled
This section of the / Toys ‘R Us website is based on the company’s useful guide to selecting off-the-shelf toys for kids with differing abilities. Here you can search for toys that promote auditory, language, visual, tactile, gross motor, fine motor, social skills, self-esteem, creativity, and thinking skills. – Toys
This selection of articles from Exceptional Parent magazine includes tips on choosing toys, adapting board games, avoiding toys with latex, an annual toy review, and much more.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education’s “Toys and Accessories for Children with Disabilities
A list of companies that manufacture or distribute toys and accessories for children with disabilities. E-mail addresses and links are provided.
Guide to Toys for Children Who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Produced by Toy Manufacturers of America, Inc. and the American Foundation for the Blind, this is an excellent guide to choosing off-the-shelf toys that are appropriate for kids who are blind or visually impaired.
Increasing Capabilities Access Network (ICAN)’s “Adapted Toys”
This fact sheet provides a brief overview of toys for children with different types of disabilities, and lists catalog resources.
Let’s Play! Project
A model demonstration project at the University at Buffalo Center for Assistive Technology, the Let’s Play Project looks to provide families of children with disabilities with ways to play through the use of assistive technology. This excellent web site features informative, illustrated sections on the role of play, families, assistive technology, success stories, and resources. The web site includes fact sheets on toy characteristics, adapting toys, favorite electronic and non-electronic toys, and toy catalogs for children with special needs. There is also an excellent resource guide with links to web sites, vendors, and more. Also listed under Assistive Technology for Kids.
National Lekotek Center
Information about a national organization that “provides family play centers and toy lending libraries that give children with special needs access to play that brings both joy and learning into their lives.” Includes information about the program’s philosophy and services, a list of Lekotek centers around the country, and related links.
National Lekotek Center’s “Top 10 Things to Consider When Buying Toys for Children With Disabilities”
This short KidSource article offers good tips for shoppers from Lekotek, a national non-profit network of play centers, toy lending libraries and computer play programs.
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio
The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio reviews children’s toys and media. When we last checked in November 2001, the site was undergoing a redesign and a new area for children with special needs was in the works.
Simple Technology Encourages Independence in Play and Communication for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
This excellent article by Catherine Burke focuses on the importance of play in the development of young children and simple technology modifications that can be made to facilitate it.
Toys and Adaptive Play
Tips from parents, from Special Child Magazine.
Toys, Glorious Toys!
Great ideas and resources, particularly for kids with visual and/or multiple disabilities, from See/Hear.
Wisconsin First Step’s “Toy Catalogue Listing for Children with Special Needs”
An extensive list of catalogs of companies that manufacture or distribute toys for children with disabilities.
Related Subjects
Assistive Technology for Kids
Just for Parents (and Service Providers)
Toy Story – How to Select and Buy Adaptive Toys
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