In various different areas of life and markets of business today there is growing inclusivity for those with limb differences. More and more provision is made to accommodate people with limb differences and enable them wherever possible to have the same access to (and experience of) everything from a social event to a tool at work, that the average person might have. We're very happy to say that today the same accommodation is also expanding into the learning and education space, and that more and more children with a disability or limb difference are seen and treated with the same equality by their peers, teachers and other parents. More inclusive play toys are one of the benefits brought by that effort, and they're what we're going to be talking about today.
The benefits of inclusive play toys
We've spoken about inclusive children's books in another blog, and how they play an important role in explaining the abilities, resilience and other positive qualities that disabled children still possess, and inclusive play toys fulfil a similar purpose. From the perspective of a child with a limb difference, seeing toys in shops and owning a toy that is just like them (in the same way that their peers do) can help them feel more included and accepted. At the same time, the presence of inclusive play toys helps children understand that not everyone is the same physically (just as their toys aren't) as well as conveying the sense that it's okay to not be exactly the same as everyone else - whether that's the toys in the toybox or people in the real world.
There are now more inclusive play toys than ever that are promoting inclusivity and this allows more people to find toys that represent them. Some of the great things inclusive play toys can do include:
Making children feel special
Promoting inclusion and acceptance from others
Improving role-play and imagination
Building confidence and self-esteem
To celebrate these great forward steps, ExpHand have put together a list of our three favourite inclusive play toys and the companies that make them, read on to find out what they are. (They could make great Birthday or Christmas gifts too!)
1) A Step Ahead Prosthetics' American Girl Dolls
This company was founded in 2001 by Erik Schaffer and is focused on making prosthetics. However, they have also expanded beyond this into customising American Girl dolls to include prosthetics, with Schaffer’s daughters being his inspiration. This company really recognises the need for toys to be representative of all children. They see how inclusive play toys help limb-different or disabled children feel understood by their families, friends and society at-large, how they can help children without these challenges understand, and more - including a number of potential mental health benefits.
Click here to see some examples of their modifications, they look amazing!
Without doubt the best-known doll on the market, Barbie dolls have been favourites on the playground and in the toybox for decades. Because of their popularity, it is important for them to be representative of their audience, and over that time we've seen the dolls move with the times in a number of ways - from the physical appearance of the dolls to the new skills and jobs that they represent, and more. Today, part of Barbie's latest range includes many more inclusive dolls - such as examples with prosthetics, or which use a wheelchair.
Get your inclusive Barbie today at this link.
3) Vermont Teddy Bear
Of course, not every toy in a child's toybox has a human appearance, and so Vermont Teddy Bear have gone above and beyond for those with limb differences by creating a Limb Loss & Limb Difference Bear. This teddy is great for younger children as there are no small parts. Plus they have customisable limbs and a lifetime guarantee!
Get your inclusive Vermont Teddy Bear today at this link.
Take a look, they are so cute!
There you have it! Our Top 3 inclusive play toys for children! There are so many more options for toys that embrace those with limb differences and we're sure that we're only going to see more in the future - we can't wait!
Do let us know if you purchase any of these inclusive play toys and what you think of them, and likewise let us know of any other Inclusive toy companies out there which we need to check out! We also want to say a big thank you to these companies supporting children with limb differences, and we hope you love the companies (and of course the toys) as much as we do!
Lastly, why not head back to the ExpHand blog archive for even more great articles like this one about limb difference at school, this one answering common questions about prosthetic arms, or this one about upper limb difference terminology?
©2023 by ExpHand Prosthetics