Helping Children Who Have Developmental Disabilities Learn How To Play

Thanks to Hasbro for sponsoring this post and creating this amazing resource for families.

The importance of play is something I feel passionately about, and something I’ve written about numerous times before here on the blog. Play helps children develop a number of skills such as learning to cope with their emotions, learning to share, and developing their communication skills. As important as play is though, and as simple as it might seem to some, play is not something that comes naturally to all children. Some children, especially those with developmental disabilities and specifically those on the Autism Spectrum, may find play challenging.

I remember when Lucas was younger his “play” time consisted of gathering toys or lining them up. There was no playing, and that was one of the red flags that the developmental pediatrician noticed when evaluating him before diagnosing him with Autism at the age of two and a half. Still to this day, even though his social skills have developed and he no longer spends his time lining things up, he doesn’t really “play”.  He still loves to gather toys and sometimes he participates in what looks like imaginative play but, in reality, the majority of his “play” is just acting out things he has seen other kids do or things he has seen on television or YouTube.

While some children may always have trouble with this skill, many just need a bit of help learning how to play. For children with developmental disabilities, play isn’t always accessible out of the box. More often, countless toys are relegated to the back of the closet or the donation bin. Even more importantly, the joy and benefits that play can bring — the connection to peers, siblings and other generations — may be lost. Hasbro saw this happening and wanted to help so they created ToyBox Tools in collaboration with The Autism Project, to help make play more accessible to children with developmental disabilities. ToyBox Tools is a collection of resources for parents, teachers, and caregivers to help them engage children in the joy of play using some beloved Hasbro brands, including My Little Pony, Transformers, Playskool, Baby Alive, and Hasbro Gaming.

Through the ToyBox Tools website, visitors can browse the tools online, and then download and print them for use at home or in the classroom. The tools help with three different levels of play, from basic play to expanding play to social play. The tools encourage positive behavior during (or through) playtime. Resources include:

  • Playbooks with step-by-step instructions on how to play with select Hasbro toys and games
  • Wait cards to teach children the skill of waiting while others are taking a turn
  • Countdown timers to help support the passage of time and number of turns
  • Playmats that serve as a fun and useful backdrops for play
  • First/then boards and sequencing cards that help children with multi-step tasks
  • Break cards children can use to indicate that they need a break during playtime

I really love this resource that Hasbro and The Autism Project have created and it’s one that I wish had existed when Lucas was younger. These supportive play tools provide a kind of structure that is critical to the way certain children manipulate concepts to understand play and the instructional videos, printable materials and play-mats are designed to help families, caregivers and teachers unlock the power of play, and to make play more fun and enjoyable at a child’s own pace.

Hasbro toys can be purchased at HasbroToyShop.com, but the ToyBox Tools resources found at Hasbro ToyBox Tools are free for parents to download and use.

(PIN IT)

Stocking Stuffer & Gift Ideas For Boys From Hasbro

You probably know Hasbro makes great games but did you also know that they make some amazing toys, too? Jacob is all about super heroes lately and a lot of the toys on his Christmas list were made by Hasbro and I didn’t even know it! Check out these stocking stuffer and gift ideas from Hasbro!

Stocking Stuffers
  • MARVEL THE AVENGERS 3.75″ HEROES ASSORTMENT: The Ultimate Super Hero action collection features IRON MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THOR, HULK, BLACK WIDOW and HAWKEYE.  Kids and collectors will want to assemble the whole team from Hasbro’s line of THE AVENGERS 3.75″ Action Figures.
  • ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS Mystery Bags: For the ultimate Holiday surprise, pick up ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS Mystery Bags, which offer two figures from the collection in each bag.

For the Movie Buff
  • THE AVENGERS HERO MASKS: Every Super Hero needs an awesome mask! Now kids (and parents!) can pretend to be Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with these masks based on the blockbuster hit, The Avengers.  Choose from IRON MAN, HULK, THOR AND CAPTAIN AMERICA!
  • THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN HERO FX GLOVE: Kids will feel like SPIDER-MAN when they put on this fun electronic role-play glove.  Sensors in the “web shooting compartment” will sense motion and respond with web shooting sound effects.

Kid at Heart
  • TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS ACTION FIGURES:  The TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS DELUXE Assortment features Transformers characters and designs from throughout the history of the TRANSFORMERS brand.  The assortment includes OPTIMUS PRIME, JAZZ and SHOCKWAVE.
  • TRANSFORMERS KRE-O allows builders to construct both the robot and vehicle mode of their favorite Transformers characters with the same set of bricks!

You can find more gift ideas from Hasbro in their Gift Guide here.

(Disclosure: Hasbro sent me gifts for my boys from the Gift Guide but thoughts are my own.)

Marvel’s The Avengers Hero Mask Review & Giveaway

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Do you have a little Super Hero in your life? Hasbro’s Hero Masks would make the perfect gift! We received the Captain America Hero Mask to review. The mask itself is made of a hard plastic like material so it’s sturdy and not going to get easily broken by the little guys. The inside part of the mask has a rubbery goggle like eyepiece so it’s comfortable to wear. The adjustable straps that go around the back of the head are made with quality velcro and make the mask one size fits all for children of all ages. The boys love wearing their mask as they play and it’s funny to go watch them check themselves out in the mirror when they are wearing it to see what they look like as Captain America.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a Hero Mask from Hasbro

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me which Super Hero is your child/grandchild’s favorite

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Like Hasbro Game Night on Facebook

4) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

Giveaway ends November 20, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US 18+ only.

(Disclosure: We received a mask to review but all thoughts are my own. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.)

Fun With Hasbro Games


Courtesy of Hasbro Games:

We’re kicking off the month of September with some exciting news! To help you and your family prepare for National Family Game Night on Wednesday, September 28, we’re launching the first-ever GREAT GAMES TRADE-IN! And to make room for brand spankin’ new games, we’ve teamed up with Recyclebank to help families across the country responsibly dispose of their old, worn-out!

GREAT GAMES TRADE-IN

Is your game of Sorry! looking, well, a little sorry? Or maybe the Cavity Sam in your game of Operation looks like he needs to take a trip to the ER. Whether you’re missing some money in your Monopoly game or letter tiles from the Scrabble game, it may be time to replace that worn and well-loved game with a brand new one. Luckily for you and your family, the Great Games Trade-In is here to make recycling and upgrading games as easy as can be! Throughout the month of September, visit FamilyGameNight.com to print up to $83 in coupons, as well as prepaid shipping labels to easily recycle your old games. You’ll learn how to recycle your old, worn-out games with Recyclebank to make plenty of room in your freshly cleaned game closet for brand spankin’ new games! The 22 Great Games Trade-In coupon offers can be redeemed at mass merchandise retailers nationwide through October 9. And with all of these savings, you’ll even have extra spending money for treats and decorations for your big National Family Game Night celebration!

NATIONAL FAMILY GAME NIGHT

Want to put those brand new games from the Great Games Trade-In to use? National Family Game Night is the perfect occasion! On September 28, we invite you to join families across the nation to unplug and unwind as you spend quality time together playing a new game. Between the pressures and demands of work, school and activities, it can be hard to find time to reconnect as a family. Hasbro wants to help everyone in America create this special and important time, and is supplying great savings on new games to ensure this year’s National Family Game Night is a success in every home!

GAME CLOSET ORGANIZATION TIPS

All you really need for a successful Family Game Night are good friends and family and your favorite games! But if getting to your games or finding the one everyone is dying to play is derailing the fun in your house, it might be time for a game closet makeover. Alison Deyette, a lifestyle expert and author of the blog “Ali on the Go,” shares a few tips to ensure you’re prepared for Family Game Night fun time and time again.

1.     Store Games in an Easily Accessible Location: Keep all your games in one place, such as a closet or storage ottoman. If you don’t have the closet space for a designated area for family games, consider storing your games near the TV in an ottoman with a lift-off top, or in a large trunk or storage bin. That way, it’s easy to get to a game when the family is looking for something to do together, or when your favorite show is over.

2.     Assign Shelves in the Game Closet: Designate each shelf in the family game closet for a particular game category. With separate shelves for word games, party games and active games without a box, everyone knows where each game goes and clean up is quick and easy! Consider keeping games for the little ones on lower shelves so they can grab them on their own for spontaneous play at any time.

3.     Store Games Side by Side: To ensure games are easy to see and grab from the shelf, store board game boxes side by side vertically, similarly to books on a bookshelf. This way, every game is easily accessible and you don’t have to worry about trying to pry one game from the middle or bottom of a stack.

4.     Find a Place for Small Game Pieces: Want to ensure you never lose those Scrabble tiles or Monopoly houses again? Use plastic tote boxes to store smaller playing items like these, as well as dice, timers and pawns. You can also use a fishing tackle box to keep all the tiny pieces separated and safe between Family Game Nights.

5.     Create a Binder to Store Game Directions: Place the directions from each game in a clear sheet protector. Alphabetize the sheets by the name of the game so directions are easy to find when you need a reminder about who goes first in The Game of Life or how much money each player starts with in Monopoly.

6.     Find Time in Your Busy Schedule for Family Game Night: Plan ahead to make sure you’re completely organized before everyone sits down at the table for Family Game Night. Make all of the treats the day before and place everything in personalized goodie bags to ensure each guest is accounted for. Also, determine which games you’re going to play ahead of time and set everything out the night before to increase everyone’s excitement for the big night!

(Disclosure: This is NOT a compensated post, I just wanted to share it.)

Supercharge Your Gift Card and Cash Too with Hasbro

Hasbro is rewarding consumers who spend $20 or more in gift cards (or cash) on select Hasbro toys and games with one of more than twenty FREE Hasbro toys and games valued at $10 or more.  The promotion began on 12/25/10 and runs through 1/31/11.  No matter what your kids are into, they’re sure to love receiving a little something extra from one of these popular Hasbro brands:

– BEYBLADE
– FurReal Friends
– G.I. Joe
– Hasbro Card Games
– Iron Man 2
– Littlest Pet Shop
– My Little Pony
– NERF
– Spider-Man
– STAR WARS
– Strawberry Shortcake
– Tonka
– Tonka CHUCK & Friends
– Transformers
– Weebles

So don’t miss out!  To participate in “Supercharge Your Gift Card and Cash Too” or to receive more details, please visit  Hasbro.com/supercharge

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post but I have received items from Hasbro in the past.)