For many the idea of Christmas and toys go hand in hand, but for children with disabilities and terminal illness, play isn’t straight forward. High Street toys are often too difficult to for them to use,or they just don’t engage them enough to encourage them to want to play. This leaves them not only missing out on the simple pleasure of playing, but also the chance to develop new skills.
At Newlife we know how important play is – which is why our Christmas Appeal is to raise money for our Play Therapy Pod service which provides boxes of specialist toys on loan for 12 weeks. The service is dedicated to helping children across the UK access toys which are suited to their needs; toys that can spark joy and silliness, which in turn encourages them to try new things.
Play is a crucial part of a child’s development; it’s how they learn about the world around them. It also helps children to develop in key areas, such as motor skills, and can be the catalyst that encourages them to do things they haven’t previously been able to do. The right specialist toys can also distract from pain or help to soothe them through difficult procedures or tests, making it all a little easier.
Specialist toys can also help parents and carers learn more about their children – what they like, what they respond to, which in turn can help families bond. And it’s not only parents and carers, but siblings too, who may never have been able to all play together before.
The specialist toys loan service also helps many families to try out different toys so children can test them out before carers or parents decide to buy similar toys – which can be a huge help as the current cost of living means any error in purchasing specialist toys can prove very expensive due to their cost.
Every child deserves the chance to play, and our Christmas campaign means more children than ever before will have the chance to do just that.
To discover more about children who have been helped by Newlife’s specialist sensory toys – and to donate to help the service provide the gift of play to other children with disabilities and terminal illness – click here