Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Toy Story

It's a toy story post day!
These are pictures of toys that were adapted by the super fab preschool teacher, Yvonne Locke. I knew I had to take pics and blog about toy mods when I saw her awesome goody toy bag! I love these toys because they are typical toys found at any Toys R Us with simple and fast adaptions. The first thing you need to grab is texture! I suggest the APH texture paper collection (last picture). I don't think you can really see all the texture on the paper but it's there and you can cut and stick it on in a snap! The toys that I have taken pictures of work on spatial skills, bilateral hand skills, matching, etc. And it's all PLAY! These are just a few toy ideas. I think that once you see these ideas the light bulb will be going off in your head!!

The piggy banks:
 On the left is mine without texture. It's a good toy even without the tactile modification. On the right is Yvonne's adaption. She added the texture to each coin and that's it. Now for kiddos with total blindness a new dimension has been added. We always want to keep their fingers engaged and getting them into a variety of textures. 

Old school ring stacker:
Again, Yvonne cut some textures (velcro--both sides of the hook and loop), ridged paper, and rough texture and hot glued them to the ring stacker. Yvonne likes the matchy match so she kept it all the same. The other thing that great about Yvonne's matchy match is that the texture is embedded. There's no contrast and it really works because there's no visual clutter or contrast competition. 

Pool noodle stringing:
Cut pool noodles (summer is coming, think Dollar Tree!!) and make them into big loops. Grab a rope and make a good knot at the end and viola! Great stringing activity. You can of course also add different textures to each pool noodle and do patterns!
The red canister is an old oatmeal container with a red cardstock (or use fabric) and hot glue it on. 

Pop up toy:
Okay I'll be honest, I am not entirely sure the name of this toy but you all know what I mean. Again, Yvonne added color corresponding textures. Notice that the textures are on top (of the pop up) and then down below at the knobs. It also supports matching skills. There's no visual clutter and the texture samples are big enough for little hands to explore. 

APH All-in-one Board with race track by Yvonne Locke:
This is an all-in-one board. The awesome thing that Yvonne did was add race tracks. The race tracks work for tracking skills, direction development. The student practice tracking the track (notice the bump dot notches as place markers). She also took a race track and put velcro down the center of it. She attaches different shapes that the student has to find. Genius!
Here's the link for the All-in-one board from APH:

APH All-in-one Board, Dry Erase Side:
Yvonne uses this with these little magnetic pieces for tracking. You can mix it up and have them find each piece. Super fun!
APH Textured Paper Collection:

Always remember:
-Avoid visual clutter!! If you aren't sure about what it looks like to NOT have visual clutter, refer back to Yvonne's toys. Look how the texture is clean with the toy. The goal of adding texture to toys to to target the hands and fingers. We need those tiny fingers and hands to be able to discriminate between textures regardless of their future reading modes. Yes, a few pieces of contrast or highlighting is helpful (think CVI especially) but let's target the tactual readiness!
-Expect things to fall apart or not work out. It's okay to glue things over and over. The hot glue gun (I have an industrial one) is my best friend. 
-Go to garage sales! The classic toys are always there. I find almost all of my preschool toys from sales. 

Please remember that all pics and posts are copyrighted. The toys were all from Yvonne Locke, Preschool Teacher for Children with Vision Impairments. She is an amazing teacher so please give credit where credit is due. 

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