Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
I have made two purchases thus far at Kidscope Toys in the past few months for educational toys that my eleven year-old nonverbal son Matthew can utilize during the twice weekly Floortime sessions that take place in the home.
Matthew seems to have a favorite item from each purchase as well. I have taken photos of many products and placed them on our pecs wall for Matthew to choose at the start of each session.
The Kidscope Toys website is easy to utiliz and well organized with the following sections - fine motor, gross motor, construction, language, daily living skills, sensory, pretend, sale items, clearance, playroom, books, games and puzzles, puppets and cause and effect.
I browse through the areas and place items I am interested into my wishlist after I login. This makes shopping much easier as I can move items to the shopping cart and save other products for future reference and show the therapist during a session.
The shipping is free for orders over $100. The shipping for both of my orders was just $7.99. They also have a full money back guarantee for thirty days on the product. This does not include the shipping cost. They are located in Colorado. I have received the packages in under one week. The last order was placed on 9/4/07 and received on 9/8/07. This is quick service. They utilize UPS. You can also contact them at 1-866-914-4245. Their operators are available on weekends since I did call once.
The Child Development Specialist (CDS) who provides the Floortime therapy for Matthew has liked the items I have purchased. I like that I can check out their site anytime and find something suitable for my son, which is not an easy thing to do in relation to a nonverbal child on the autism spectrum. There is also the option to email a page to a friend, so you can share items of interest with relatives who can then start a wishlist of educational toys to get for the holiday season.
We have the Catch N Stick Monster Mitts that sell for $9.95. These are brightly colored foam mitts with velcro that keeps the green and orange tennis ball in place on the mitt. This makes it easy to store in our storage containers in the playroom. The child and adult can slide their hand under the yellow strap behind the mitt to keep it on and then toss the ball back and forth. It is an interesting tactile experience to pull the ball off the mitt and then the sound is noticeable to the child as well.
"Children with autism can simultaneously strengthen gross motor skills and coordination while increasing awareness of others around them."
Pop toobs were a big hit with Matthew. There are eight in the set that sell for $8.99. This is a good deal since I paid $10.99 in late May. These bendable toobs come in orange, pink, green and yellow. It is a great sensory experience and is enjoyed for long periods of time by my son. "Pulling with a partner often leads to purposeful eye contact as the proprioceptive sensory needs are met."
Matthew's therapist interlocks these toobs and places rings around his arm, which is similar to the photo at their website. He loves to pull the toobs and stretch them out, but has some difficulty in getting them back to shape. This would make a fun outside toy for a group of kids. There are many ways to epxlore these toobs. The price cannot be beat. Clinics and therapists should stock up on this item. I have kept the plastic bag these were shipped in and it works on storing them with ease.
Monkeying Around is a neat game that works on turn taking and comes with a plastic carrying and storage case. I have decided to keep the palm tree in the standing position so time is not wasted putting it together each session. This is made of soft foam that is suited for indoor and outdoor play. There are four rings to toss onto the tree.
"Great game to stimulate focus and attention, turn taking, development of motor and spatial skills in any young child, and in particular for those children with special needs or autism." Matthew has not shown as much interest in this game, but with some enthusiasm you can engage him with tossing the ring. PThis has won the Parenting Magazine's Mom-Tested! Award. This would be ideal for a group of kids in a classroom setting or also for social skills groups.
This past month I purchased Stacrobats Game, which is no longer available at their site. Matthew has really enjoyed stacking these colored pieces. There are a total of thirty-three pieces in all. The plastic stand is black with the pieces being red, organge, green, blue and yellow. The recommended age for this game starts at five and can be played with 1-4 players. I paid $17.95 and found it listed at amazon.
The number of stacrobats for each player depends on the number of players. The first player with none remaining wins. This is an easy game for kids of all age ranges along the spectrum to engage with other children and adults. These are also good items for therapists to utilize at schools and in their clinics. "Practice hand-eye coordination while having big-top fun with the Stacrobats balancing game."
Veggie Tales Flip 'N Find Matching Card Game was purchased for $5.95. This is for two to four players that consists of thirty-two cards. Matthew has a few of the Veggie Tales videos and I wanted a variety of matching activities for his enjoyment.
I have the Veggie Tales Seek And Match Board Game still in my wishlist from my last visit at their website. I am considering getting the trampoline as it is very similar to one we had for several years that was given to use as a holiday gift. Matthew is really seeking out deep pressure for several weeks now. He smacks the palms of his hands all over the walls and likes to swing the plug around from the Kenmore vaccuum. The other option is a strong punching bag.
I suggest getting a tangle toy for a stocking stuffer this holiday season. They are lots of fun at a cheap price. Many years ago when Matthew was in Early Intervention we had one of those musical mats you step on. I am curious to see if Matthew would be interested in this Musical Hands Mat. This has been placed in my wish list as a possible Christmas gift for him, although we might need this sooner to stop the pounding on the walls!
There are many wonderful products at Kidscope Toys that families, therapists and teachers can purchase for children on the autism spectrum for the holiday season, birthdays, social skills groups, therapy sessions and summer play.
Stocking Stuffers for the child on the Autism Spectrum
Toys R Us Differently Abled Toy Guide
Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.