The success of my Instagram account (@toy_ideas) led me to realize that there is a great need for more information about toys and the value of play. My goal is to help parents and youth professionals alike understand what separates good toys from not-so-good toys and highlight some of my favorites. Here, you’ll learn how and why I select certain products, and I’ll work to alert you to any new toys hitting the market soon that deserve your attention. I’ll also be featuring many small and emerging brands with great ideas and fantastic products that you may not have otherwise gotten to see.
If you’re wondering who I am or why toys are such an interest of mine, it’s important to mention that I am a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. For those who might not be sure what that means exactly, no worries – Pediatric OTs work with children of all ages, with a range of disabilities and in various settings. Through play, children learn and acquire all kinds of important developmental skills. Some children have a hard time playing, and with that have a harder time acquiring those developmental skills on their own. As an OT, I work to guide children in their play in order to practice and further develop specific, targeted skills that we all need and use everyday.
To engage children in play effectively and promote child development, I have spent quite some time searching for and buying toys that I thought would be beneficial. Many times, I’ve had to look a little harder because quality toys were not always at arms length. I created my Instagram account in July of 2015 to bring attention to the wonderful toys out there and encourage all parents and caregivers with children of all abilities to buy better toys, because how and with what our children play really does matter.
Cheers to playing!