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					 Insight magazine online exclusive
Issue 36, November/December 2011

Toys to encourage mobility and
communication!
In this series of articles we help you find toys that encourage your
child's development. We set our toy reviewers the task of choosing
toys that children with sight problems can enjoy. This article
introduces some fantastic toys which encourage mobility and
communication

Once a child starts to become more mobile, new opportunities for
exploration and exercise become available and it is sometimes
hard work to keep up with them. They begin to move with more
confidence - first by crawling, then holding an adult's hand or
object for support and finally getting up and down by themselves.
A safe, interactive and interesting environment helps children to
learn and develop curiosity, coordination, physical ability and
communication skills.

Pattern Blocks Walker (I'm Toy)
The Pattern Blocks Walker comes complete with 46 colourful
wooden blocks of varying shapes and sizes to create imaginative
buildings and towers. Children can explore different fun activities
including a mirror, rattle, bell and different textures. Chunky and
good for small hands. Children will learn colour and pattern
recognition and stacking the blocks will encourage fine motor
skills.

Approximate price: £49.99
Age range: from 12 months
Our reviewers said: Great for aiding mobility skills by improving
stability and building confidence in emerging gross motor skills.
Opportunities for tactile variety such as "find the cube with the bell
or mirror". Encourages counting and numeracy skills as well as
colour, size and shape matching.

Rapping Kangaroo (Wonderworld)
Rapping Kangaroo is a colourful push along toy from Wonderworld
which is made from high quality rubber wood and soft material.
When pushed, the Kangaroo nods his head up and down and
makes a clapping noise. Suitable from 18 months, this fun toy
helps children to explore and discover the world around them.

Approximate price: £18.99
Age range: from 18 months
Our reviewers said: This toy can help children gain confidence
and a sense of independence in terms of movement. It could be a
good way of introducing the use of a cane for support. This toy
produces clicking sounds as it moves along allowing children to
track its movement and is brightly coloured for added visual
interest.

Lil Snoopy (Fisher Price)
The perfect first puppy for little walkers. When pulled along,
Snoopy turns his head, wiggles his ears, barks and wags his tail,
helping your child learn about cause and effect - when I pull, the
puppy barks. Pretending to take Lil’ Snoopy for a walk—grasping
the leash and pulling him along—will help develop fine and gross
motor skills as well as helping to encourage imaginative play.

Approximate price: £7
Age range: from 18 months
Our reviewers said: Pull toys encourage children to practice
walking, enhancing gross motor skills and building confidence.
Newly mobile children love to bring something of theirs along
wherever they go!

Peppa Pig Trike (Mookie Toys)
This trike is a contemporary fun trike with colourful Peppa Pig
graphics and character plaque. It has a sturdy tubular frame and
wide, blow moulded wheels for extra stability. There is an
integrated rear bucket for storing and transporting things. It also
has a removable parent handle for extra safety when needed.

Approximate price: £34.99
Age range: from 18 months
Our reviewers said: Ride-on toys can help children to develop
physical skills including improving balance, coordination and
increased control over steering and pedalling. It is also a good way
of finding out about obstacles! The bucket is a useful addition for
children who love to carry their favourite objects around with them.
Crawl and Learn Bright Lights Ball (VTech)
Interactive magically moving ball… catch it if you can! Built-in
motor activates to make the ball roll around, promoting crawling.
Limited controlled movement means that the ball stops within
reach. Press the chunky buttons to hear fun music and animal
sound effects. Transparent colourful buttons give a fantastic light-
up effect along with the spinning disk on the top. Ladybird key
turns the disk and activates fun responses

Approximate price: £14.99
Age range: from 6 months
Our reviewers said: This is great to grab the interest of babies
and encourage them to make these early attempts to reach out to
the world. It promotes curiosity in sights and sounds and also
introduces animals, numbers, counting and colours which an adult
can draw attention to in interactive play.

Zoo Talkers Animal Sounds Zoo (Fisher Price)
This fun zoo brings animals to life in a special way like never
before. Featuring four habitats including Grasslands, Arctic, Jungle
and Water, there are exciting activities for play on both sides. As
tots place a Zoo Talker animal onto a pawprint, they will activate
each animal's own unique sound and name. The playset comes
with lion, polar bear and gorilla figures and Zoo Keeper Zack, and
additional animals can be added at any time to unlock new sounds
too!

Approximate price: £40
Age range: from 12 months
Our reviewers said: Themed playsets help children develop their
imagination and communication. The use of bright colours helps
distinguish different items and animal noises help reinforce
identity. Playing alongside adults, children start to learn the
language of movement - up, down, in, out, fast, slow.

First Friends Safari Vehicle (Tolo)
The First Friends are ready to go on Safari! Comes with a First
Friends Safari Boy. Press his head when he's sitting in the driving
seat and watch the lights flash and the Safari Vehicle speed along!
The vehicle also has space in the back for two more First Friends
to go along on the Safari. The vehicle can be free-wheeled and
has an on/off switch.

Approximate price: £35.00
Age range: from 12 months
Our reviewers said: Flashing lights and sounds make it easy to
locate. This toy encourages movement, stimulates imaginative
play and improves spatial awareness as children locate the vehicle
in the space around them. It also helps children to develop fine
finger control.

More help when choosing toys
RNIB and The British Toy and Hobby Association have produced
an information leaflet about toys and play for children who are
blind and partially sighted. The Toys and play leaflet provides
information on choosing the right toys, creating a play
environment, growing through different types of play and tips for
extending your child's play environment.
Also see our guide: 'An introduction to Treasure Baskets' and
find out how to create your own 'treasure basket'! For further
information visit: www.rnib.org.uk/ earlyyearslearning

Availability
Toys are available from amazon.co.uk, argos.co.uk and other high
street retailers unless otherwise stated. These toys are not
available to buy from the RNIB shop. Refer to manufacturers
websites for stockists.


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  website, please contact insightmagazine@rnib.org.uk

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