As a Mum and knowing what it’s like to love a child so deeply it makes you want to cry, there can often be times when seeing other children who may be struggling with an illness or disability can really pull my heart strings. For me, when I see other children who are sick or disabled, I immediately imagine that it is Elliott and wonder how I would cope. There are some parents put on this earth that do it so bloody well and I commend them.
When I was approached to support the Toys for Tots with a Disability project, I did not hesitate for one second. I am so thankful that I have a happy and healthy child and so I want to support and spread the word about a wonderful initiative that can improve the lives of so many disabled children and their families.
|A child having fun with a Switch Toy.
Toys of Tots is by project dreamed up by Jen, James, Fiona and Maísa, workmates at an Australian Charity (Cerebral Palsy Alliance) who are passionate about improving the lives of people living with disability. Fiona told the group about a project she was working on to support local libraries in setting up ‘switch toys libraries’ for families living with disability. This idea come from an innovation hub as a way to ensure these amazing toys are as widely available as possible.
So what are switch toys?
Many children with a disability, who have difficulty moving their hands, can’t play without someone else’s help. But there are some brilliant adapted toys available with specialised switches so all children can play and learn. The toys have sockets so that different types of switches can be attached to meet the needs of lots of children with different physical abilities. Watch this short video to see how they work, they’re fantastic!
As we all know, playing isn’t just about having fun, it’s crucial in children’s development, helping them learn social skills, words, language, understand cause and effect and develop fine motor skills. And for children with a disability these toys also help them learn to use switches which they will need in later to help drive their wheelchairs.
For some children, the first time they play with these toys, is the first time they have experienced independent control over something. EVER. But they aren’t cheap. Out of the reach of most families affected by disability.
Toys for Tots
needs your help to raise $10,212 to offer these amazing toys and other specialised switching equipment to hundreds of children through our local community libraries. The toys cost around $250 each and the switches more. This is why most families can’t afford them on top of all the other costs of caring for a child with a disability. So with your support we will be able to provide around 30 switch toys and 10 switches to be used by 100s of children every year.
Every donation counts and will open up a world of new opportunities for children with a disability.
Today I’m linking up with A Parenting Life for Thankful Thursdays