Thursday, June 24, 2010

Review of the Big Toy Book

I contacted the generous people at The Big Toy Book to see if they could donate a toy to Abi's Place (the nonprofit where I work) that I could review for my blog. They responded by sending me the Baby Genius All in One Musical Band, which contains two shakers, a flute, 2 drum sticks, and a tambourine - all within a drum!

This super-cute instrument set is great for all young children, but is especially effective with children who have disabilities. When teaching our children, all of whom have moderate to severe developmental delays, it's often difficult to find toys that are motivating and interesting to them. Most of the toys that do interest them stimulate or calm specific sensory needs. That's what is so great about instruments - most of our children love music, and instruments allow them to make their own music. How does that help the teachers and children? Well, we can teach so many great skills using instruments as the teaching tools. Here are a few:
1. Following one-step directions: bang the drum, blow the flute, shake the tambourine
2. Imitation: the teacher taps the drumstick on the drum and the child imitates that action
3. Communication: for our children, communication usually begins when children are motivated to use their words to ask for things that they want - so they can learn to request music through words, sign language, or pictures

These instruments are so cute, with a child-friendly animal theme. Here's Ryan playing with one of the instruments during our interactive circle time:

Thanks to The Big Toy Book for allowing us to review one of your awesome products! The kids love their new instruments. The Big Toy Book also carries many other toys for children of all ages, including eco-friendly toys, bath toys, board games, baby dolls, action figures, and more!   They also have a great blog with guest bloggers addressing a variety of topics. Additionally, they host regularly-scheduled Twitter parties with really awesome giveaways. This week's Twitter party features Toy Story 3!