Others prefer deep pressure or “fidget
toys” to work off excess input.
Toy Recommendations: A trampo-
line (indoor or outdoor), sensory table
(water or sand), zip line, and swings are
fantastic possibilities for sensory play.
The Peanut Ball is a seat/toy on which
a child can bounce, balance, stretch,
or just about anything he can imag-
ine! For children who love textures and
seek tactile input to calm themselves,
Twiddle Pup is the perfect (adorable!)
Skill Area: social skills/imaginative play
These are toys that encourage creativity
and peer interaction.
Why it’s important: These skills help facilitate positive friendships and the abilities necessary to sustain them.
Toy Recommendations: Blocks, play
Skill Area: Visual Perception
kitchens, dress-up clothing, and board
games (cooperative and competitive) will
help to encourage these skills. The Social
Skill Board Games Set is a winner.
These are toys that encourage children
to make sense of what they see. This is
different from visual acuity, which is the
physical act of seeing.
Why it’s important: Visual perception
skills are foundational for reading, writing, and everyday living.
Toy Recommendations: Puzzles, sorting toys, and memory games all help
with learning in this area. Spot it! is a
great game to play with the whole family.
Skill Area: Executive Function
These are toys that encourage planning,
sequencing, problem-solving, and organizational skills.
Why it’s important: These are the skills
that assist in goal-setting and the ability
to initiate a project and bring it to completion. They are invaluable in school
and the workplace.
Toy Recommendations: Blokus, Rever-si, and Rush Hour are all excellent games
that reinforce these valuable skills. Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run is a great
problem-solving toy and was named
Specialty Toy of the Year for 2016. Also
consider Pinblock, a new building toy
that motivates children to plan and create their own projects.
For children of all ages and abilities,
there’s something delightful about the
way learning happens “by accident”
when they’re having fun!
Jill Genn is mom to two wonderful
daughters and proud recipient of a master’s degree in special education. Her 15-
year homeschooling journey—which has
been powerfully supported by prayer, her
“homeschool principal” husband, and
many boxes of marshmallow “Peeps”—
will end this spring as her youngest graduates high school. Still adoring all things
homeschool, Jill now works for The Old
Schoolhouse, and also as an independent
homeschool consultant to Pennsylvania
families starting their own educational
Is your student dealing with...
Comprehension and Spelling Issues, Dyslexia,
ADHD, Autism Spectrum, Dysgraphia, or ESL?
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PURE & SIMPLE
While toys and games can support therapy goals, their primary purpose is play.