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We all know how important it is for children to play, it’s not just for fun, but the way they learn and interact with the world around them, but when your child has a disability even this simple pleasure isn’t always so straight forward, and nothing makes this more apparent than Christmas.

Toys seem to be on every shelf, twinkling and blinking merrily, urging you to buy them, but when your child has a disability it’s difficult to know if even specialist toys – which often come with a disability price tag – will be engaging or enjoyable for your child, or end up being an expensive mistake.

At Newlife this is something we understand. As a result we have worked hard to create of a range of Play Therapy Pods which allow you to ‘try before you buy’. These are designed to meet a child’s age, physical and learning abilities – and the best bit is that you can loan each pod for 12 weeks so you can see for yourself which toys your child really responds to most. This way you can decide what to go out and buy for your child, reassured that they will respond to it.

What’s in a Play Therapy Pod?

There is a huge range of different toys packed into each pod and all of them have been thoughtfully and carefully compiled by a play therapist to help meet specific needs.

What are the different types of play therapy pods?

The Sensory Pod is packed with toys which are suitable from birth and will stimulate each of the senses to help aid overall development.

The Adventure Pod range is suitable from the age of 18 months and offers five different themes: Multi-Sensory Adventure, Under the Sea Adventure, Space Adventure, Travel Adventure and Animal Adventure.

Discover Pods are suitable from the age of three and offer Visual Discovery, Discovering Textures, Discovering Sounds, Discovering Interaction and Discovering Communication.

The Explorer Pod range is suitable from the age of five and offers Visual Exploration, Exploring Sounds, Exploring Sounds, Exploring Textures, Exploring Interaction and Exploring Communication.

What’s the benefit of the pods?

Not only does your child benefit from learning such things as cause and effect from playing, family feedback tells us the right toys can even encourage children to reach out for an object or even play with a sibling or parents for the first time.  Specialist toys can also help a child relax and distract them from pain, as well as helping parents gain a better understanding of their child’s need and allows the family to spend quality time together through play.

In fact, 87% of families have told us that the specialist toys actively improved their relationship with their child and 72% of parents recognised a significant improvement in their child’s practical skills and abilities – such as hand-eye coordination.

Are the pods safe?

Each pod and the toys are deep cleaned and refurbished before it is sent out to you.

How much does this cost?

This is a completely free service!

How do I collect the Play Therapy Pod?

Newlife takes care of all this. When the type you have requested is available, Newlife will arrange to have the Play Therapy Pod delivered to your home and then collected at a convenient time when the loan is up.

How many Play Therapy Pod Loans can I have?

At the end of each loan you can apply for another Play Therapy Pod so you can try out the toys in that one too!

How can I find out if I’m eligible for a Play Therapy Pod loan?

Your child or young person (up to the age of 19) must be a permanent resident in the UK and have a significant physical, behavioural or learning disability which affects their daily life.

Where can I find out more information?

Just visit:

How can I apply for a Play Therapy Pod?

Just visit:

I still want to speak to someone about the Play Therapy Pods – how can I do that?

You can contact the Child and Family Support Service on 0800 902 0095 or you can email them at