Toys Aid in Growth and Development

Toys are an essential part of learning and development for children with cerebral palsy. Selecting toys geared towards learning greatly improves the child’s growth and development.

When choosing a toy, parents will need to consider their child’s current stage of development. Knowing the stages of development can help with finding an appropriate toy.

The developmental milestone checklist serves as a guide so that parents can determine what toys would be most helpful at the current stage of development. Parents need to understand that every child is different.  Children with disabilities will reach milestones at different times.

development chart

Selecting a Toy

The National Lekotek Center is a nonprofit organization that provides services to improve the lives of children with special needs. This organization has worked with Toys”R”Us for more than two decades to develop the Toys”R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids. This guide has helped many families in selecting a developmentally appropriate toy for their child.

The toys are not categorized by disability or age. Toys are labeled with symbols based on different skills such as auditory, language, social, and creativity. Adding symbols to the toys allows parents to quickly find what is most beneficial for their child’s growth and development. Click here to view Toys”R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids.

Ask yourself these questions when selecting a toy for your child:

  • Does the toy respond to movement to engage your child?
  • Can the toy be used in a variety of positions such as side-lying or on a wheelchair?
  • Does it reflect your child’s interests and age?
  • Will your child be an active participant during use?

Benefits of Careful Toy Selection

The benefits of selecting a toy that will enhance your child’s life is priceless. You will notice the changes in your child. In the beginning, the changes will be small, but in time you will see the advantages of having spent the time to select a toy.

Benefits of Playing with Toys:

  • Increased motor skills
  • Learn social skills
  • Reaching milestones
  • Improved language skills

For example, a toy that helps develop gross motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and visual tracking skills is Grip n Roll Balls. They are perfect for being used inside and outside of the home. The textured surface of this toy provides enhanced tactile stimulation during play.

If you are a parent and you have more questions about finding the right toy for your child this holiday season, please contact Cerebral Palsy Guide at 407-900-0066.