Archives for posts with tag: Imaginative play

As Elizabeth was little as deep in the throes of her sensory issues (SPD), it was hard to engage her in any activities for too long.

She became overloaded quickly.

She became frustrated even more quickly.

She would meltdown, and the activity would be over.

At the time, I did not realize the things I could do to help her, so I can see how my asking her to move this item or that one, could make her frustrated related to her Dyspraxia.

And I can see how my talking a lot, or having too many things going on at one time could overload her.

And I can clearly see, as is the courtesy of hindsight, how I could have better handled to meltdowns.

But with time comes wisdom…or well, wisdom from reading and learning and experience. But wisdom none the less.

So because it was hard to engage her for long, imaginative play( pretend) was pretty hard for her to engage in for long. And it makes sense, really, if the actual world was hard enough to navigate, then how in the world would adding the work of pretend be a good thing.

But it was hard because this kind of pretend play is fun. I LOVED playing with my kids. Imagining we were on trips, building block castles and I got to be king ( I think it was simply because I was older), that that darn Barbie was having a party and traveling in her really cool sports car to get her friends. You get the idea.

But one day, one pretty spring day, months after we had started our therapy for Sensory Issues, when we had our sensory diet in place, she wanted to play tea party with my Dad. We were outside on the driveway. I went inside to get the cups and pretend cookies. It was, hands down the best tea party ever.

So when I saw this Cupcake Set, this special spring day came to mind immediately. What a wonderful tool to promote imaginative play and creativity. Or if your child is not ready for that the Cupcake Set by Green Toys will allow you to make learning how to count, color identification and strengthening those fine motor skills FUN! 

The 5 cupcakes come on their own cupcake stand. So it looks pretty, but there is more to this toy than just looking good.

The thing I liked about most about the Cupcake Set is how easy the pieces are to manipulate. By pieces I mean the cupcakes, icing and liners. There are 5 of each and can be mixed and matched.

The icing and cupcakes come in three colors. White, yellow and pink.

I also like how you can use the Cupcake Set to count with your child, separate and work by color.

The Cupcake Set is simple, but in the simplicity it would be so easy to work into therapy time with your child. It is not loud, overwhelming in color or work to use it. I think that the cupcake set, would be a nice, calm addition to anyone’s collection of “therapy” toys. I know young Elizabeth would have loved this set!

Something else to know and this is a shout out to our oldest, planet saving, daughter, Emily, is that the toy is made of recycled materials! And since the Cupcake Set by Green Toys encourages pretend eating, it is BPA. PVC and phthalates free. And dishwasher safe in the event they meet with some actual food or tea.

So if this sound like something your child would like, please take a look on our site.

I wish everyone a peaceful week. And know we are one week closer to Spring!

Michele

Author of I Believe In You: A Mother ad Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”

One of my favorite things to do with my children, when they were younger, was to build things. I think I loved it so much because it was time spent just sitting with my kids, no T.V. on. Nothing but us just talking and building. What we were building did not matter and if I am being truthful, sometimes it was an unidentifiable thing we created, but the fun was being together.

Emily loved play dough and clay to create things.

Michael was more of a Lego kind of man.

And for our beautiful Elizabeth, due to her sensory processing disorder, she did not have a favorite but we were always encouraging her to participate in all of the above. Sometimes she did and it was great and other times she did not wish to participate and we tried to understand.

So when I came across these learning blocks, I immediately knew who my go to person was for help to tell you about them. And it is my beautiful 11 year old son, Michael.

He is my side kick and my assistant for toy reviews. What follows is a combination of his thoughts and mine about the building blocks called: Elemenosqueeze

They are alphabet blocks but so different from any you will find.

First off their colors are not in the primary realm of red, blue, yellow and green, but come in orange, moss green, pink and red. So this is something that, right away, caught my eye. Partially because the colors are different but mostly because the colors are soothing. It is a nice change from the traditional color options in most children’s toys.

The Elemenosqueeze blocks come in interesting shapes. Not just square, triangle or rectangle but in curved ones like a bridge, long ones like pillars and ones with rounded corners. So the building will be easy with these choices and allow for more creative play. 

But aside from that, on each alphabet block there is a letter, hence the name, as well as a raised imprint of a word that starts with the letter and an animal image. Thus, the Elemenosqueeze blocks help with letter, animal and color identification while promoting fine motor skills and imagination through building. 

Nice! Right? I think they feel nice in your hand and come with a zippered carrying case to take them with you. The only thing I have to say is that the case requires the blocks to be put in in a certain way to get the zipper to close. So to be realistic, it might be a good idea to take them out of the container they came in and put them in something that will allow your child to throw them in. It would just make it easier. Also, the letter “X” has an imprint of a fish on it with its ribs elevated. So just know I think they are going for X-ray here. But you may have to explain it to your children.

But other than that, the Elemenosqueeze is a perfect addition to the toy chest or the classroom, especially for sensory seekers! 

Now here comes Michael.

He opens the bags and takes out some of the blocks. He immediately squeezes them and when they make a noise, he looks up at me and smiles. “Listen to this!” he says. “I love that they do this!” So the sound made is a high point in 11 year old land.

And because he is a chewer, think shirts, pillow cases and the like, he reads they are PABA free and puts one in his mouth. He is immediately happy with the fact that these can become “chewies” and continues to work with the Elemenosqueeze as he happily chews on the moss green pillar.

His final thought is actually a question “How cool is this?” And it refers to the fact that the b toys building blocks, when filled with water make some “really nice squirt guns!” “Mom, seriously these would be so fun in a pool”.

I then told him to squirt the remaining water out of the rectangle. Which he did in an unhappy fashion.

Michael gave the blocks a great rating on the fun scale!

Add the Elemenosqueeze building blocks to your sensory diet, bathtime fun, and/or  the sensory table today.

Ohh, and they were also rated Best Baby Toy of 2011. So there’s that too! 

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele

%d bloggers like this: