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A Pediatric Perspective

Toys Are Tools

Published September 29, 2012 3:59 PM by Cecilia Cruse
 

If you are like me you are always on the lookout for fresh ideas and activities to try with our kiddos with special needs.  I have a wonderful job with the advantage of actually working for a company that sells and even develops products, so of course I might be a bit biased. So it was refreshing to come across a website awhile back that is kind of like a secret shopper of sorts called Toys Are Tools.  Editor and mom Jen Choi states she developed the site after trying (not always successfully) to find toys and activities for her son who apparently had some issues with focus and attention.  The underlying concept of Toys Are Tools is to help other parents (and now therapists and teachers) get a more thorough product review without any paid endorsement from the retailer or the manufacturer.  She often buys a product (or is given a sample with her  guidelines that  this does not guarantee a favorable review) , then has her team of "reviewers" (originally her two sons whom she refers to as #1 and #2 but now expanded to include testers from outside families) to  play with, review and document their findings.  Some of the qualities she is looking at with toy descriptions include:

  • My Body Needs to Move
  • Think Like a Scientist
  • Social Scene Helpers
  • Express Yourself

You can read more about her description categories in her Toolbox Compartments  section.  I make it a point to review her site on a regular basis as she often updates her product contents.  Check out her latest reviews (and sometimes even giveaways!)  here and see if it helps you brainstorm some new treatment ideas!

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