Friday, January 25, 2013

The Perfect Toy for a Child with Special Needs

from Lisa of Differently the Same:
As a mother of a child with special needs, I’m always on the lookout for toys that will help my daughter.  This past Christmas as I was pushing my cart full of gifts through Toys ‘R Us, I stumbled upon one of the best toys for fine motor and cognitive development.  It’s called the Super Sorting Pie.  It comes with a colorful assortment of fruit, a pie divided up into sections and tweezers.  This activity is great because the tweezers are a bit of a challenge to pinch together, making it the perfect strengthening activity for those little hands.  It also teaches color and fruit recognition and can be used for introducing math concepts.  Math for my daughter has proved to be difficult since it is so abstract for her. When I find a toy like this that turns counting, making patterns, adding and subtracting into a grand game, it’s the ideal gift for my girl.
I know that my daughter, Megan has a tendency to get a little…..out-of-sorts, if you will, when new concepts are introduced which manifest themselves as a challenge.  Avoidance behaviors rear their ugly head and teaching her anything becomes next to impossible.  However, we all know, the more fun you make learning, the more engaged and willing children become.
It was extremely exciting watching Megan Christmas morning tear the Super Sorting Pie box right open!  She was more than eager to play with this terrific toy that would secretly teach her important concepts. Over the last month we have made countless pies together. Without any help from me, I have watched her successfully sort the fruit.  We’ve counted the fruit.  We’ve matched the colors.  We’ve learned how to pinch those tweezers real hard, giving her the tight grip needed on those little fruits so that she can pick them up and transfer them into the pie victoriously!
Megan is a girly girl and loves to pretend she is cooking.  ”Baking a pie”, in this case, a Super Sorting Pie, is pure entertainment in her recipe book for learning. You know what’s fabulous about this? She has no idea there is anything being taught because she is having such a pleasant time doing it!  As a result, no avoidance behaviors!  And no avoidance behaviors means she is open to what is being introduced.  Learning is happening!
It’s a win-win situation!
Smiles for all.

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