Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Toys Faith Enjoys

It can be hard for us to find toys that Faith likes to play with, especially for longer periods of time. There are very few toys we have found that she can play with entirely on her own. When she was three her early interventionist introduced us to the world of adaptive toys - or toys that are adapted so that kids with disabilities can play with them.

We bought her three adaptive animal toys, plugged her button switches into them and when she pushed the button it would cause the animal to move and make a noise. She had a drumming bunny, a kitty cat and a duck. Oh yeah, and an adaptive toy coffee maker that I think Rob liked more than she did! These toys were great for teaching her cause and effect but she got bored of them pretty quickly. We haven't invested much money into adaptive toys because they are so expensive plus we don't know for sure if when we buy them for her she's even going to like them.

One adaptive toy we did buy her recently for her birthday was an adaptive PlayStation controller. Of course, it's daddy's dream to play PlayStation with his daughter. And of course leave it up to Rob (or as we sometimes call him, Techno Bob) to figure out a way to hook up the controller with our PlayStation 3 instead of the PlayStation 2, which it is designed for.

We find it works best when we hook up Faith's button switches to the controller then it's kind of like driving her chair. Say she's playing her Cars game, she can hit one button to make it drive to the left, one button to make it go right and another button to drive it forward. We've also played Wheel of Fortune with her which is lots of fun. She hits a certain button to spin the wheel, another to buy a vowel and so on. She guesses the letters but we help her solve!

Some non adaptive toys we have found that she likes includes:

Candyland - I love playing this with her! If I hold the deck of cards up for her, she can draw one, look at it and tell me the number and the color of the squares. She has a little trouble identifying the little pictures with the pink squares so she just calls them all ice cream cones. Faith is a little competitive though and likes to win!

Hi-Ho Cherry-O - Another board game that she can somewhat play if I help her. She can spin the spinner on her own and tell me what it lands on. But the cherries are so tiny so I usually put them on and take them off of the tree for her. She does like counting the cherries when we take them in and out of the bucket. She's good at this one too and usually beats me.

A Keyboard - Rob had an extra keyboard laying around so he let Faith have it as a toy. She loves it! She sits at the table and pretends she's typing in stories and rhymes. She also pretends she's going to different websites. She does great with opening her hands on the keyboard which is great to see.

Potato Head Playskool Toy Story Mr. Potato HeadMr. Potato Head - She received this for a Christmas gift two years ago and still loves it. We sit at the table together and she likes to pick out the eyes, nose, arms, etc. and I help her put them on. Then she loves to take it apart and can do pretty good if I hold onto it for her.

Puzzles - She really likes putting together puzzles. Of course, another toy I need to help her with and sometimes we spend an hour doing the same puzzle over and over again! She especially likes her Sesame Street puzzle that has a winter scene on one side and a summer scene on the other. I help position her hands so that she can be the one to press the pieces into place. She's not a traditional puzzle-put-togetherer though as she doesn't necessarily put all the edge pieces together first. She likes to do things in groups like the sky first, then the grass, then each character or color.

Lego - We bought Faith some really pretty Lego with pink and purple pieces included. It came with pieces to build a little house. Her Lego collection grew when Rob bought her an  Indiana Jones Lego set (maybe more for himself than for her). Then she got the ultimate Lego set - Rob's sister had all of their Lego from when she and Rob were kids. She washed all of the pieces and mailed it to us. We have lots of Lego! Me and Rob help Faith push the pieces together - her favorite things to build are high towers and houses. Then she helps take everything apart. Rob especially has built some real Lego masterpieces and is always a little disappointed when Faith wants to take them apart right away.

Blocks - She has a traditional set of wooden blocks that have letters and numbers on them. She really likes to stack them up and make high towers. She loves to knock them down and crash blocks everywhere! I try to get her to knock them down on her own. She gets so excited that her arms tighten up and she can't quite reach. I kept telling her I know she can do it and after a few tries she usually does without me having to move it closer. Since she's been learning her numbers and letters, we've also been using the blocks for that too.

V Tech - V.Smile Rock & Sing Musical CarRock and Sing Musical Car - (made by VTech) This is probably her favorite toy ever. She received it for Christmas from her Auntie Joh when she was just 14 months old. This is one toy she could play with all on her own, and she still plays with it! When she was a baby and toddler she would lay on the floor and sort of curve her body around the car. There is a handle on it so she would grab it and push it back and forth and it would make music and sounds. A couple of years ago Rob accidentally stepped on it and broke the handle off. We looked into getting her a new one but it cost like over $100 on Amazon because the toy is no longer being made. Thankfully, he was able to fix it with Duct tape!

And of course there is her Baby Allie, her books, DVDs, her PSP (PlayStation Portable) that she likes too. Next, I would love to get her an iPad - which probably won't be for a while. I got that idea from another blog I read about a girl named Caleigh who has CP and uses an iPad. It would be a portable version of the touchscreen computer she uses at school. And I'm sure mom and dad would have fun with it too!

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