Children with differing abilities are a crucial piece of the fabric of our world, community, and families around us. In celebration of Autism Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight some games and ideas, specifically emphasizing some skills children on the spectrum might be working on to foster interaction and growth. Legacy Toys strives to be a safe place for all children to explore and play.
From communication skills to relationship development, playing games with others works our brain "muscle" in so many ways. Board games can encourage healthy brain development in kids and teens and for older adults playing games improves attention and working memory. Whether we are one year old or ninety-nine, research, and studies show significant emotional and cognitive gains for children, maintaining sharpness and decreasing risk of Alzheimer's in adults and promoting healing and memory of aging adults.
Some of the simplest, fastest, and easy brain-boosting games are commonly referred to as Brainteasers. Brainteasers can be simple or very complicated, but often fun! Brainteasers strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving skills, build lateral thinking and new perspectives, improve cognitive skills like memory and processing speed, and trigger teamwork and communication.
One of the most requested items at Legacy Toys by kids and their caregivers is fidgets! What may have started as a fad a few years back has emerged as one of the most popular and requested items at Legacy Toys. Fidgets have evolved from the fidget spinner to very sophisticated, fun, and useful ways to both play and promote focus. Even more than a cognitive tool, the list of pros for fidgets is continually growing:
Supports calm and relaxation
Aides in physical therapy, wrist and finger strength
Hand strength and dexterity
Strengthens tactile and fine motor skills
Eases arthritic pain by increasing circulation and reducing stiffness
Solution for sensory seekers
A healthy way to use repetitive actions to calm overactive nervous systems
Learning this fall looks different for many families. Some returning to school and others Homeschooling or doing In Home Learning for the first time. If you're doing the later, we know this can be a lot. We're here to help!
Everything is starting to come together. Your child is starting to connect the learning. The learning may be getting harder, but who says it can’t be fun? Have an international night. What part of the world are they studying in History or Geography. Explore what the culture is like there, do they dress differently, try learning some of that language and cook an international meal together. As our kids become more self-sufficient, and schedules can get busy, consider having a family game night each week to connect and have fun.
Do the phrases, “I can’t” or “boring” ring through the home of your 3rd or 4th grader? This age group is becoming self-aware, looking to please friends and others. This age group likes having some control. It may be time to offer more choices to allow them to feel more empowered. Is the shower the battle? The choice might be shower tonight or in the morning? Our children are showing us now how they learn best, are they hands on learners or do better over a book? Use their interests as a learning advantage.