Encouraging Play with Hasbro and The Autism Project

Play doesn’t come easily for some children. My son Cooper is a perfect example. He is seven years old, on the spectrum and has never played with a toy typically. Playing is so important for brain development, socialization, imagination, etc. I remember filling out evaluation after evaluation before my son was diagnosed and always checking ‘never’ to ‘does he play?’  It was scary and not something we could not fake.

Even after years of encouraging and practicing play, we can walk through the toy aisle at Target and he will stare blankly at his surroundings. Play does not come naturally to him. It’s something we are working on all the time at school and at home. Around Christmas time, Hasbro reached out to me and wanted to share their ToyBox Tools Resource with me. I was so excited!

They teamed up with The Autism Project to create resource guides for their toys that help parents, teachers and caregivers encourage play. Take a watch as I show you the fun toys that came in our box and the guides that accompany them.

The products can be purchased at HasbroToyShop.com, but the resources are free for parents to download and use at Hasbro ToyBox Tools.

Hasbro’s fundamental mission is to bring joy and play to children and their families around the world. But for some children, play can be challenging. For children with developmental disabilities, play isn’t always accessible out of the box. More often, countless toys are relegated to the back of the closet or the donation bin. Even more importantly, the joy and benefits that play can bring — the connection to peers, siblings and other generations — may be lost.

Believing that they could do more, a passionate group of Hasbro employees from across the company came together to team up with The Autism Project, a longtime philanthropic partner of the Hasbro Children’s Fund, to figure out a way to help. The team learned that many classic Hasbro toys are widely used by teachers and occupational therapists working in the field — and further that those professionals have been creating their own supplemental materials for use alongside traditional toys. These supportive play tools provide a kind of structure that is critical to the way certain children manipulate concepts to understand play.

The ToyBox Tools program was created to provide that structure through a series of tools rooted in evidence-based and emerging best practices. Their instructional videos, printable materials and play-mats are designed to help families, caregivers and teachers unlock the power of play, and to make play more fun and enjoyable at a child’s own pace.

ToyBox Tools recognizes that parents and caregivers know their children best and encourages them to use their judgment in selecting the right product and level for their child.

I would love to gift this awesome box of toys to a family that wants to encourage play. Share a picture on my Facebook post of your autistic child playing. I will choose a winner at random this weekend.

Thank you Hasbro for sending me ToyBox Tools!


Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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  • Zulaia

    January 23, 2018 at 5:08 pm
    Reply

    Hi Kate! Just wanted to say that I've been following your blog for a year now and my story is very similar to yours. I […] Read MoreHi Kate! Just wanted to say that I've been following your blog for a year now and my story is very similar to yours. I love your honesty and the raw emotions that you share good or bad. I get it! I'm a parent of an almost 5 year old with non-verbal autism. It's been a challenge getting him to play with toys/games. He's just not interested. I've tried so many things and just recently introduced him to connect 4. He enjoys playing by himself but we are working on turn taking with his younger brother who is 3. Sometimes we just don't want to share 🙂 I will definitely look into the resources available and other toys we can potentially purchase through Hasbro. Thank you for sharing. Read Less

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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