Every human is different. It's what gives our world colour. Differences in the way we look, origin, age and religion enrich the diversity in our life. Little children still approach others with a complete lack of prejudice. With increasing age, though, they become more wary of “strangers”. Through play, it is possible to foster interaction and to learn to be tolerant.
Toys can also provide support to people with particular circumstances. Those with special needs require toys that place greater demands on quality and the potential to promote learning. Clear shapes and contrasts, a particular feel, simplified game structures – the needs are different depending on the disability. Stimulation of the senses, strengthening of motor skills or offering moments of relaxation can have a positive impact on the quality of life of people both with mental and with physical disabilities. Games for dementia patients can, for example, awake memories stored in the long-term memory and create material for conversation.
The “Be You!” trend supports people with special needs and promotes tolerance.
Mattel has already been creating Barbies with different skin and hair colours, in different sizes and with different body shapes for a number of years. The diversity of the Barbie Fashionista dolls reflects the world that children see around themselves today. The range now includes a Barbie in a wheelchair and one with a prosthetic leg. The dolls are supposed, above all, to appeal to children who live with a disability and give them a toy that looks just like them. This opportunity to identify can mean a lot to children with disabilities.
Countless acoustic and visual stimuli make it more difficult for children to concentrate and keep their attention on the important things. The Sense & Focus – 4 seasons path from Chicco stimulates sensory development and concentration in children from the age of 6 months using light and sound. The product was developed together with educators and neuropsychiatrists. By using different materials, light pulses, natural sounds and music, the path offers stimuli that aim to focus and retain the child’s attention. It is also suitable for babies who have ADHS or autism. Parents have the option to set up the stimuli according to the individual needs of their child and to modify them to suit.
Feel and Race from HABA education follows simple rules. The game board has fewer fields and each player has only two figures. That makes the game much shorter! The playing figures are easy to grasp and, thanks to the recessed fields, cannot fall over. In addition, the heads of the playing figures are shaped differently so that visually impaired players can recognise their pieces by touch. This means that the game is also suitable for people with reduced fine motor skills and poor concentration.
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