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Woozy Guide for Special Needs Toys

Woozy Moo Special Needs Toys

Finding good quality special needs toys is hard cookies!  Parents, time and time again, have told us how major toy stores are very limiting, but no fear(!), Woozy Moo is here!  We’ve worked around the clock to bring you toys that are awesome.  We’ve also divided the toys into categories based on the focus area they help to develop (e.g., auditory, cognition, etc.).  In this way, it helps Moo-sters see which toys are fun for them!

Cognition
Communication
Motor
Tactile
Visual
Multi-sensory   
 
 

There are hundreds of special needs toy guides out there, and all of them are great! However, we noticed some don't talk about certain topics, so we decided to share our thoughts with you below with our Moo'ing Tips for all you Moo-sters!

 

Mooing Tip 1: The Many Powers of Cause-and-Effect Toys

Cause-and-effect toys work well in teaching, well, cause-and-effect :P)  Kidding, we’ve noticed (along with many experts in the field) that cause-and-effect toys really help kids in all areas of their lives.  For example, these toys are great for emotional development because it shows that if Moo-sters do ABC, XYZ will happen.  Thus, it really helps teach Moo-sters emotional regulation. 

Cause-and-effect toys can also really help kids on the autism spectrum including autism, Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and PDD-NOS.  Cause-and-effect toys essentially make us question why and how did something happen and the connections between the two.  This, in turn, causes Moo-sters to potentially make a verbal or social reaction.

 

Mooing Tip 2:  If You Have No Clue, Multi-Sensory Toys are the Best!

Sometimes we want to hit two birds with one stone (Please note we do not promote violence against animals.  That is a no-no.  We are just using this phrase, boys and girls, as an analogy.), and multi-sensory toys are great for that.  As the name implies, these toys help develop multiple sensory skills: visual, taste, motor/motion, touch/tactile, smell, and/or auditory.  It saves money too!  You don’t have to buy zillions of toys that develop separate skills! 

 

Mooing Tip 3: Social/Communication Skills

Don’t forget that verbal communication is not the only form of communication. We all communicate differently.  One fellow Moo-ster may communicate through music and others with construction sets.  So just remember to be extra aware, inquisitive, and as they say, “read between the lines.”

 

Mooing Tip 4: Don't Solely Focus on Key Challenge Area

Remember that challenges in one skill area doesn't mean that Moo-sters should just solely focus on that area. For example, if a Moo-ster has visual impairments, strengthening other sensory skills can make the Moo-ster even more awesome!

 

Mooing Tip 5: Don’t Play Alone!!

No one likes to play alone, so don’t forget to play with your little ones.  We all know it helps with bonding, but special needs toys coupled with parents can be the IT factor!  How so you ask?  Well, say you play with one of our cause-and-effect toys, you can ask your little ones questions like “Why does this do this?”  Open-ended toys like building blocks and construction sets, in general, are great for this.  You promote fun and provide for a learning experience.  BAM, yet again, you hit a bird with two (or three, or four) stones!  You are now a pro!

 

Mooing Tip 6: Learning When to Step In: Independence and Frustration

Although we promote collaborative play between parents and kids, sometimes it’s good for the little ones to play by themselves and learn independence.  However, there will be times when a little Moo-ster will get frustrated with a toy/game.  When and/or should you step in?  In teaching independence, we believe it is okay for other Moo-sters to give small guidance at first, but we believe there should be some room for discovery, learning, and fun.  A lot of toys, especially in the special needs category, are developed for exploration, so you wouldn't want to spoil the fun and give away all the clues would you?  We always use this analogy:  you don’t mind your friend telling you the general theme of the movie, but you wouldn't want them to spoil the whole plot of it.  So don’t spoil the fun too much for other Moo-sters!

 

Mooing Tip 7: No Toy Hate! 

This might be another “duh” tip, but children with special needs are children too. Yes, there are toys out there that help build certain skills and all that jazz, but remember, playing with toys is supposed to be fun.  Woozy Moo believes we should end all discrimination in the toy world, so do let your little ones play with all types of toys and not those that are just labeled as “special needs” all the time.