Toy Month at Bridges – Adapting Toys, Accessing Play

Toy Month at Bridges – Adapting Toys, Accessing Play

All the month of December,  Bridges is celebrating the power of play for individuals with special needs.

The destination for Toy Month is our Adapting Toys and Accessing Play page.  Look for links to relevant blog posts, resources and products for tips, tricks and strategies.


big mack accessible toy accessing play

“Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.”
Kenneth R. Ginsburg in Pediatrics January 2007, American Academy of Pediatrics


In recent decades, cognitive scientists, educators, psychologists and others have been delving into the value of play.  Communication, socialization, motor and coordination, perception and discernment – practically any category of foundational skill, research has pointed to play as essential to their reinforcement and development. 

But for individuals with a physical, cognitive and sensory challenge, it may be difficult to engage in play without some tools and planning.

We’ll be looking at:

  • How to adapt battery operated toys yourself.
  • How to know if a plug-in toy or appliance can work with a Powerlink.
  • Lots of ideas on how to use these adapted toys and appliances in a variety of different ways, to get the most mileage out of them.
  • What’s a SLAT for? And how can it enhance activities?
  • How to combine different technologies together like symbolized materials or a tablet or iPod touch to get more out of toys.
  • Different modes of alternative access to toys, including switches, iPads (touch), joysticks and even eye gaze.

We recognize that these tools, like all assistive technology, are an investment in both time and money But your investment will pay off in versatility and utility.  

Look for ideas and resources on how to maximize your tools for the richest variety of activities, to make play possible and inviting for anyone.

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  • Bogdan Pospielovsky
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