2010 Disability Toy Ratings from Lekotek and Toys R US

Dec 07, 2010
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When the gift-giving season rolls back around, relatives of every description start looking for toys that will make a memorable and lasting impact on a child’s development.  It is always true that relatives who don’t see the child on a daily basis are not sure what type of toy might make the best gift any particular year, since children grow and develop between times we visit with them, and their interests can change so rapidly. It is especially true for families who are looking for the best gift for a child with a disability.

Fortunately, Lekotek and Toys R US have worked together to create an online toy buying guide for families

The free online guide helps the gift giver think through a number of intriguing questions during the process of decision-making. Some of the questions suggested are:

  • Does the toy have multi-sensory appeal?
  • What is the method of activation for the toy?
  • On what types of surfaces can the toy be used?
  • What are the opportunities for successfully using the toy?
  • Does the toy allow for choice-making and creativity in its use?
  • Is the toy adjustable?
  • What is the potential for active participation in play, offered by the toy.

The Guide for Differently Enabled Kids suggests that shoppers consider the type of outcome they would like to have from the toy, and then make a choice among a number of suggested toys that offer a child a chance to build skills in specific areas.

For example, the “Skill-building toy finder index” located at the back of the guide places every toy into one or another skill-building category to help families choose toys that are appropriate for the specific interests and needs of the child.

Groupings utilized by the guide are:

  • Auditory (Hearing, Listening)
  • Language (Speaking, Reading, Writing)
  • Visual (Seeing, Perceiving)
  • Tactile (Skin Awareness of Touch & Texture)
  • Gross Motor (Large Muscle Movement)
  • Fine Motor (Grasping, Hand-Eye Coordination)
  • Social Skills (Relationships, Interaction)
  • Self Esteem (Self-Respect, Personal Satisfaction)
  • Creativity (Imagination, Arts, Music)
  • Thinking (Color Matching, Counting, Cause & Effect)

A person would use the guide by reading the introductory information in the front of the guide, and then turning to the reference section on pages 55 to 60 of the guide. The reference section shows all of the recommended toys that fall into each of the 10 skill-building categories, above.

The Lakotek/ Toys R US guide will help gift givers find an array of exciting toys to entertain and teach children across a wide range of ages, abilities and interests.


Lekotek Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible for all children. See Lekotek.org

Toys R US is a for profit company that works closely with nonprofit organizations to provide guidance on toy selection for children with disabilities based upon their abilities, talents, skills and interests.

Author: Tanya