Toys of the Month

12 December 2013

We know what a challenge it can be to choose just the right toy, when we have so many on offer. To help our library lenders we have recently re-classified many of our toys into a variety of categories. We especially thank Tania and her band of volunteers for the great work they have done in this item re-numbering project.

Just imagine how much time it takes to number a 100 piece puzzle! To add to the numbering challenge, many of our toys and resources have several uses which means that they cannot easily be assigned to one particular category. Blocks, for example, are catalogued under “construction”, but could also be classified under “fine motor”. As well as building activities, blocks also provide wonderful opportunities for language, cognitive and perceptual development.

When members visit the library to choose a toy for practising a specific skill, our staff are available to encourage them to think about the variety of learning opportunities that one resource might provide. To expand on this theme, we’ve chosen some new resources from the library to tell you about, both to promote them and to consider their various uses.

--- mind your mannersMind your Manners: Language Cards are in the self awareness section. They can be used to help children develop their personal interactions and sense of empathy. Each card shows an inappropriate response to a situation on one side and a more appropriate reaction on the other. The cards can also be used to encourage descriptive language, problem solving and visual discrimination. The pictures are clear and there is a ‘tip sheet’ on the many ways to use the cards.

--- Wash and DryThe Wash and Dry toy is in the sensory section. It is a valuable resource for encouraging the early fine motor skills of reaching, grasping, release, placement and transferring hand-to-hand. The ‘washing machine’ is made of soft fabric with different textures and noise-makers on the exterior surfaces. The ‘clothes’ are small fabric squares filled with a crinkly material which makes an interesting sound when scrunched.

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