Disclosure: Hasbro provided us with a complimentary ToyBox Tools.
ToyBox Tools are designed to help children enjoy playtime in a way that’s fun, inclusive, and comfortable, at their own pace.
I remember when Norrin was going through the evaluation process. The doctor handed Norrin a toy car. Instead of “driving” the car and/or making “vroom vroom” sounds, Norrin, held the toy car close to his eyes and started spinning its wheels. And the doctor said, “I see he has no pretend play skills.”
Pretty hard to imagine a kid with no play skills. It’s the kind of thing many parents take for granted. Nearly 10 years after Norrin’s autism diagnosis, play skills are something we still continue to work on.
Developed by Hasbro and in collaboration with The Autism Project, ToyBox Tools is a collection of resources for parents, teachers, and caregivers to help them engage children of all abilities in the joy of play.
The program offers a series of wait cards, countdown timers, play-mats and playbooks with step-by-step instructions on how to play with select Hasbro brands, and recently added new resources based on beloved brands My Little Pony, Transformers, and Baby Alive.
The tools are designed to help children enjoy playtime in a way that’s fun, inclusive, and comfortable, at their own pace.
Hasbro’s fundamental mission is to bring joy and play to children and their families around the world. But for some children, play can be challenging. 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.
I’ll admit, sometimes it’s hard for me to figure out how to explain things to Norrin in a way he’ll understand. That’s why I love the idea of ToyBox Tools. The materials are simple and easy to understand. It’s a great tool for siblings who want to play but may not know how to make the connection.
Hasbro is a toy brand I grew up with. And I love that I’ve been able to share my love for Hasbro toys with Norrin. For Hasbro to recognize the difficulties some children have with play and work to make play more accessible is a very special thing. ToyBox Tools is the kind of resource I wish had existed in the early years of autism. Because I know it will be life changing for so many kids and families. My hope is that ToyBox Tools will soon be available in Spanish and other languages.
For more information and/or to download your ToyBox Tools visit: https://toyboxtools.hasbro.com/en-us and/or http://www.theautismproject.org/asd-resources/how-to.