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Tips for buying toys

Prepared by the National Lekotek Center

The National Lekotek Center suggests asking yourself questions when choosing developmentally appropriate toys for a child with special needs. Click below to find a list of questions the play experts recommend.

Trust us for safety

Safe play tips for children with special needs

Click here to review a list of tips created by Toys"R"Us, Inc. with guidance from leading safety and special needs organizations.

We've created safe play tips with guidance from leading safety and special needs organizations to make playtime a positive, memorable learning experience. Use these tips to help minimize risks among children with special needs.


 

What is the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids?

For more than 20 years, Toys"R"Us, Inc. has offered the Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, a one-of-a-kind resource that offers toy recommendations based on research from the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization that evaluates all toys in the Guide. For years, the Guide has provided parents and caregivers with toys that aid in the development of children who have physical, cognitive or development disabilities.

What do the symbols represent?

Because all kids are unique, regardless of ability, toys are not categorized by disability nor by age. Instead, symbols are assigned to each toy based on different skills. In this way, the Guide helps parents choose toys that build or reinforce a variety of skill sets. All toys featured in this online resource have been designated with two or more symbols.

How are toys selected for inclusion in the Guide?

Toys"R"Us collaborated with the National Lekotek Center to identify items that help with the development of children with physical, cognitive or developmental disabilities. The organization reviewed hundreds of products to select those with exceptional qualities. Toys featured in the Guide are suitable for children of varying skills and abilities. Learn more about the National Lekotek Center by visiting Lekotek.org.


 
A tablet with this web page on the screen

Looking for skill-appropriate apps?

Kids of all ages and abilities use their mobile devices to play games and develop skills. Using the symbols from the Guide, we've handpicked a few apps that are just right for children with specific needs

Dr. Panda's Restaurant

Dr. Panda Ltd.

creativity, self esteem, social skills, and thinking

Ten delicious, international dishes and 8 animal guests serve to provide the perfect recipe for fun and learning. Kids cook their way to food recognition and ingredient identification to create meals, while feeding their social and emotional skills!

Sago Mini Friends

Sago Sago

creativity, social skills, thinking, and visual

Each Mini friend's house introduces an interactive experience that helps children prepare for future play dates as they share, take turns, learn patience and develop empathy. Features 5 friends and 10 activities for plenty of pretend-play opportunities!

Super WHY!

PBS Kids

auditory, language, thinking, and visiual

Alphabet Power. Spectacular Spelling. Wonder Words. Story Saver. Kids play with the main characters from the hit PBS TV series with interactive games that teach essential literacy skills. Vivid colors provide visual stimulation while the Learning Rewards, music and sounds offer pleasant auditory input.

Wheels on the Bus

Duck Duck Moose, Inc.

auditory, fine motor, language, thinking, visual

Kids practice vocalizations and verbalizations by signing along, while being introduced to instrument sounds. Hand-eye coordination and isolated finger movements come on board as players spin the bus's wheels, pop the bubbles and open/close the doors!


In partnership with

Lekotek - The building blocks of inclusion