At Playworks, we're excited about play. We take toys seriously and believe you do too. That's why you're here.
All children learn differently. We offer toys with universal design to maximize sensory awareness as well as gross and fine motor, language, and cognitive development among children with diverse abilities. These toys offer distraction and multi-sensory stimulation, particularly beneficial to special needs children.
At Playworks, we provide toys that encourage children to play, to learn what happens as a result of their actions, and to build skills. To facilitate choosing the best toys for special needs, toys are grouped by category. Finding puzzles that provide an auditory response, a feature appealing to both sighted and visually impaired children, becomes as easy as clicking on Sound Toys and scrolling down to puzzles.
As the mother of a son with learning disabilities, I understand the challenges of finding safe, durable, developmentally appropriate toys and activities that allow a child to be a child - to lose himself in joyful play with toys chosen to reflect his preferences and his abilities and designed to stimulate further success.
How to Use the Toys to Stimulate Play
In selecting toys we consider child appeal first. A toy that does not engage a child neither entertains nor educates. All of our toys invite play and motivate children to master skills.
Consider Tangles. Initially you might think of Tangle Original with Texture as a fidget toy, and you’d be right. Yet give this manipulative to a child and watch as he explores possibilities-turning, twisting, bending, and coiling the interconnected curves, becoming absorbed in the process of discovery. Tangle Original with Texture also offers color and textural distinctions to explore. The links can be pulled apart and pushed together, building finger strength and improving hand-eye coordination. Apart, the links can be sorted and counted; varying numbers of links pushed together invite measuring. Describing all these explorations builds language skills. Studies show improved concentration and spatial relations and problem solving skills after playing with Tangles.
With universal design and appeal, toys build bridges among differently-abled children. Play reduces social isolation among special needs children and increases awareness and appreciation for others. Playworks offers children award winning eco friendly toys, from classic natural wooden toys to green toys made from recycled plastic milk jugs. Age appropriate toys and play activities make for fun and success on the learning journey.
As a member of the Child Life Council, Playworks works closely with child life professionals to provide diversion for hospitalized children. Distraction Toys reduce stress, increase cooperation, and offer much needed fun to children undergoing procedures and coping with illness or injury. Adults find Distraction Toys irresistible too.
In addition to our website, Playworks offers workshops on selecting and using toys for children with disabilities. Our hands-on learning enables special needs programs to make better selections. We invite you to make Playworks your source of toys for special children and to schedule a workshop to explore all the ways these toys reward play and enhance development.
In addition to our website Playworks posts a weekly blog and distributes a monthly E-Newsletter. We invite you to subscribe to both our blog and our E-News (Click here to sign up). Keep track of what’s new, what’s on special, and what seems most compelling when we sit down to write. We’re always eager for feedback and appreciate your comments.
Playworks is a small company, and we pride ourselves on taking time to answer questions and explore with parents and professionals what might best fit the needs of individual children as well as specific situations. Nothing gives us more joy than finding that "perfect fit" between child and toy.