Educational Toys to Help Children With Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities impact the ways in which a child's brain receives, processes, stores, responds to and communicates information, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Because of this, children with learning disabilities often struggle in a variety of areas -- coordination, motor skills, memory, information processing, speech and language development, reading and writing and math skills. While some learning disabilities may not be identified until middle grades, young children often exhibit early warning signs. If learning disabilities are addressed in the early stages, lifelong disabilities can become much more manageable. Children learn best through play, so educational toys like those offered by Discovery Toys provide remarkable opportunities to give children the tools they need to become successful learners despite their disabilities 1.
Dyslexia and Dysgraphia
Dyslexia and Dysgraphia are learning disabilities that affect reading, writing, spelling and composition. Tub Stick-Ups, foam letters that a child can stick to the wall while taking a bath, is perfect for early learners. Children ages 3 to 5 will learn letter recognition, spelling and manual dexterity as they fish for letters with the included fishing pole. The set includes 96 foam letters that can be used in or out of the tub to spell words and phrases of varying lengths. The letters can also be used for tracing and stamping. For ages 5 and older, Memo Spell helps develop basic reading skills and helps improve spelling, memory and visual perception through game play. Letter tiles, picture cards and an included alphabet bookmark help learners engage while building vocabulary and identifying upper- and lower-case letters.
Dyscalculia is difficulty with mathematical concepts including computation, time and money. Discovery Toys offers a variety of math and pre-math oriented toys and games that make learning fun 1. Exact Change is a fun card game that teaches children how to count money and identify different denominations. The dice game, Lumps, teaches basic addition and introduces learners to odds, probability, logic and critical thinking. The Giant Peg Board includes 25 chunky shapes for counting, sorting, stacking, lacing and more. Turn the board over and use rubber bands to create geometric shapes.
Children with dyspraxia have difficulty with fine-motor skills including coordination and manual dexterity. Playful Patterns is a pre-math and pre-reading activity with 132 foam geometric shapes that learners use to create pictures on the included cards. This toy encourages the use of fine-motor dexterity while addressing numerous other areas of learning. The Motor Works set includes three vehicles ready to assemble -- a plane, race car and motorcycle. Complete with screws, battery powered drill, and manual screwdriver, learners will use their fine-motor skill to piece together these movable puzzles. To increase use of manual dexterity, let children use their fingers to turn the screws instead of the drill or screwdriver.
Information Processing Disorders
Children with visual and auditory processing disorders have difficulty telling the difference between similar letters, or anticipating how someone may end a sentence when speaking. They may have trouble with reading, writing, language development and math. Many of the educational toys at Discovery Toys address these difficulties in some way 1. The already mentioned Giant Peg Board and Playful Patterns are both great choices to address information processing disorders. Another good choice would be Sensory Shape Challenge, a set that includes 32 textured geometric foam shapes and matching cards. Multi-leveled play encourages learners to grow from basic shape matching to identifying differences in shape and texture through various methods of play. Finally, Measure Up! Cups are ideal for all learning disabilities. Perfect for stacking, sorting, matching or nesting, the cups are stamped with coordinating, proportional numbers and clock faces. Images on the bottom of each cup are raised and can be used for stamping in clay.
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