Transcript Document

How We Play!
Toys as the Tools of Play
Let’s Play! Projects
University at Buffalo
Center for Assistive Technology
Susan Mistrett
[email protected]
Let’s Play! Projects
• US Dept of Education funding since 1995
• Focus on play needs of families with children
with disabilities
• Provide research & education to parents,
caregivers and professionals who work with
these families
• Collaborate with play organizations + toy
manufacturers to design toys with Universal
Design features
Sensory Characteristics
Increasing Access
Role of Toys for
Children with Disabilities
Toys may be even more necessary
• Provide access to play
• Guide the play activity itself
• Children may need increased variety for
sustained interest
• Familiar toys promote increased +
expanded use
Toy Design……Increased
“Off-the-shelf” Options
• Safety regulations for toys for young
children resulted in better design
• Electronic components increase
accessibility in many toys
• Use of Universal Design Principles;
for play right out of the box!
Let’s Explore
Toy Characteristics
Toy Features to Consider
What toy
influence toy choice?
What Does the Toy “Do?”
What are its sensory
• visual: lights, colors, movement
• sound: intensity, quality, length
• touch: texture, firmness, vibration
What Does the Child
Do To Make It Work?
• How does the toy turn on/off?
– if it is activated by a knob, switch,
button, is it easy to see/reach, grasp?
– Are there multiple areas? Parts?
• Is it difficult to do?
• Given the abilities of the child, is this
toy accessible enough to be fun?
Physical Features
• What is its size/shape; does this
effect where it can be used?
• Is it portable?
• Can it be used on a table or
• Is it safe for the child?
Switch Toy Features
Same considerations as any toy
• Sensory
• Physical access
• Physical attributes
• Plus one more – movement!
Selecting Switch Toys
Toy movement/ directionality
– Stationary
– Horizontal
– Vertical
– 3D- circular
– Random
Toy Characteristics Activity
What can you tell us about the toy?
Adapting Toys
Suggested Materials
Increasing Access
• Increase physical access
– What would make it easier to hold,
shake, grab, release, bat, etc.
– Increase awareness + highlight
access areas
• Modify toy and the position it’s used in
• May substitute different materials
(e.g. switches)
• Increase sensory + cognitive access
• Simplify how it is presented
– Limit the number of:
type & amount of sensory feedback
Make It Easier To Use…
• Stabilize
• Extend/enlarge
Highlight toy areas
• To highlight toy pieces
or access parts, change
the appearance/feel of
these objects by placing
velcro, cotton, sponge,
shelf liner, carpet pieces
etc. on the toy pieces.
• Attach
(keep with reach + visual field)
• box tops, lids
• hula hoops
• trays
Adapt Commercial Toys
Battery operated toys can be used with a
Create “Switch Toys”
Battery Operated:
(AA,C,D cell batteries)
•Plush Toys
•Tape recorders
“Plug-in” Connection:
•Lighted shapes
Access: Selecting Switches
Which are your favorites?
Adaptation Activity
How can the toy be adapted?
Physical Cognitive Sensory