Posts Tagged ‘switch adapted play’

Website for US and Canada

This week the new website for US and Canada went live and you can find it at http://www.special-needs-toys.com Just like our UK web shop the new site is focused on special needs toys and switch adapted play.

Clickable image of the US flag that links to Excitim's website for US citizensClickable image of the Canadian flag that links to Excitim's website for Canadian citizensSome folks may be asking why a UK based company would be thinking about a website for US and Canada. The answer is simple; when two parents Kara Melissa and Stacy Warden blogged about the toys they bought from us lots of parents and professionals living in the US and Canada got in touch and some also bought adapted toys.

Many of the parents and professional told us they search the web looking for new and different toys for their children and many said they liked the variety they found in our UK web shop. I have to say it’s very satisfying to get comments like that because I know how much effort goes into keep the catalogue fresh. (My activity tracker told me we walked 11.6 miles up and down the aisles at one toy exhibition: unbelievable!)

So, in part, the website for US and Canada is about opening a window to highlight the adapted toys we produce in the UK and partly about informing parents and professionals about us and what we do. We also have a plan to identify an individual or organisation willing to work with us.

Working with us

We would very much like to hear from individuals or organisations who would act as a local stockist and distributor of our switch adapted toys. We see that as the way forward and very much hope we can get something set-up in the not too distant future. Interested? Get in touch with us via the email form on the Contact Us page of the new website. Or if you would like to discuss it in person call me on Skype at excitimltd.

Domino Train switch adapted toy

Image showing the switch adapted Domino Train toy

Domino Train switch adapted toy

Domino Train is a super new fun toy in our catalogue of switch adapted special needs toys. One of the reasons I like it is because it’s a train and all boys, including big boys, like trains – it’s part of our DNA.

Other reasons are it’s bright and colourful, it sounds its bell as it chugs along and it has a bright green light on the front. Good enough reasons anyway but the best thing is that Domino Train leaves a trail of coloured up-standing domino tiles behind it. Now that’s interesting and not something you’ll not find very often. Normally you would say the main interest would come from the train itself; it is good but I think the line of domino bricks creates the possibility for good cognitive training and development. I’m sure lots of parents and professionals will latch onto this feature of the Domino Train.

Watch this short – 20 second – video of Domino Train on our YouTube Channel.

Learning with Domino Train

Here are four simple ideas that you could introduce when playing with Domino Train:

  1. developing cause and effect skills: making the Domino Train chug along using the switch
  2. numeracy: asking the child to make a trail of X dominoes
  3. colour recognition: asking the child to make a trail that contains a certain number of yellow tiles.
  4. eye co-ordination: asking the child to knock the dominoes down using the Domino Train or another toy

I’m sure clever parents and professionals will think of lots more ideas. Share them with us via our Contact Us page and I’ll post them to this blog. If you find these ideas about using toys to help develop cognitive understanding you may like to have a read of this posting about the Benefits of Switch Adapted Play (parts 1 and 2)

Rolling the Switch Dice

Noah and his Dad playing Shoots and Ladders using Switch Dice

Noah and his Dad playing Shoots and Ladders using Switch Dice

Recently I blogged about using Switch Dice for playing board games and said I would be sending out samples for review.

Just to recap, Switch Dice is a switch accessible electronic dice. Pressing the switch causes the bright red LEDs to flash and show the number of spaces the player should move in the game.

Stacy Warden, living in Colorado, was one of the first to get one and try it out. She writes a blog – Noah’s Miracle – about her son Noah. He is six years old and was born with a cerebral palsy condition.

The Warden family love playing board games. And, as Noah uses a switch with his other toys, it seemed reasonable to think he would be able to use it to ‘role’ the dice when it was his turn to play. All that’s needed is to plug a switch (any 3.5mm) into the front of Switch Dice and press it to make Switch Dice ‘roll’.

Very simple but for many kids with CP getting actively involved in game play, rather than watching others take their turn, can be difficult if not impossible. I believe Switch Dice has the potential to remove that barrier.

The picture shows Noah and his Dad playing Shoots and Ladders (I think we know the games as Snakes and Ladders in the UK)

Getting Noah involved and participating in the family fun was Stacy’s goal. Read her blog posting Rolling the Dice to see how it worked out.

She also has a lot to say about two other switch adapted toys: Domino Train and Rally Racer and a new app-controlled communication toy Toy-Fi Teddy that lets users swap messages through their phone and tablet.

Noah’s Miracle is a good read – I encourage you to bookmark it and sign-up for regular updates.

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