Homemade toys for Children with multiple Disabilities

We started translating our website ‘vinkennest.nl’. So far, I haven’t translate everything, and if you find any mistakes or if you have suggestions to improve this website, feel free to let me know!.

Our son Daan has Cerebral Palsy due to Birth Asphyxia. The type of Cerebral palsy Daan suffers from is called Quadriplegia, which means it affects the muscles in his whole body. This causes him to be very limited in his ways of play. We already created a lot of toys or made adaptations to existing toys in order for Daan to be able to play more independently.

When I create new things, I will put it on the website. It is my intention to give people ideas to start creating toys on their own.

Some of my creations are for sale.

e-book

Hopefully the pictures and information about the toys on this website will inspire you to make toys by yourself. If you want more information about how to make the toys you can buy our e-book. In this book there are over thirty big toys, each with a technical description on how to make it yourself. It identifies the tools and materials you need. In addition, the book provides a construction drawing for each toy. In the book there are also a lot of tips and ideas about how to play with a disabled child. The main concept is that you can play very well with materials that are either available at home, or easily acquired.

For more information about this e-book, click here
.

For toys we found on the Internet to play on-line, click here

New on the site:
Whirligig toy
Casters
Fidget spinners
Beans bath
Hedgehog with clothespins
Touch cylinders
Mill standard
Christmas decoration
One hand seesaw
punchball
Standard made of a broken chair
Big balloon with rice
Elastic on wheelchairtable
Drying rack for socks
Turning wheel lights

Movie by Daan from 2010 (in Dutch)
Daan was 9 then years old






I also write a newsletter when I have something to say, this appears only in Dutch. (once a year).

Write down your e-mail address
when you like to become the newsletter!
Subscribe Unsubscribe
Hosting door YMLP.com
Click here to read old newsletters.



Links: Click here for links to other sites.


On this site you will find photo's from things I made for my son and I made a short description by each photo.
You can always send me an email for questions or more photo's, click here to send me an email.



Try turn mill

In the beginning Daan only played when he lied on his back. To give him something else then the normal 'baby-gym' we made this turn mill (to try). We would increase the time he could hold a thing in his hand. On this mill you can pull of the little toys easily, so he could take every time an other thing (when the first thing felled down). Blink blink and hard colors were favored.

When he was older, the toy fold down to easy.



Music- and sense-mill

Because of above turn mill was a nice toy, we made two of them. One with music made by aluminum pipes in different lengths. The other one is for feeling, with materials from the nature (our garden), like nuts, beans, completed with some colorful stuff.

later on we used this mills to stimulate his left arm and let him roll over by using his right arm on the left site.

He played hours a day with this toy.




Authm-mill

Here you see the mill with autumn stuff while Daan is staying in his 'stay-table'. This was a bit difficult for Daan, he played more with this mill when he lies on the floor.

For a movie of Daan playing with this toy when he is 16 years old, click here



Home changed chair

Before Daan became an special chair, we changed an old wooden chair for Daan. On this way he could sit for a while.
On the next photo's you can see how we changed the little chair.




Building a custom seat

To support the head, we have created three boards to each other on a pole. We decorated the inside with a piece of cloth.

As support for his body, we used a square Styrofoam box. (This used to be the package of floor tiles). Using a knife, we adjusted the size of the Styrofoam little by little, to create just about enough support and yet enough freedom to move.

We placed a spacer, made of wood, between his legs. We used a wooden board made as a footrest.



Custom chair as a whole

Here you see the chair completely. It consists of two parts, so it can be stacked high, or can stand low on the floor with a table in front of it.

To prevent that he bends forward, we have small strap tied under his armpits.



Hole board and CD-rods

This picture shows two toys he played with a lot while he was lying on the floor.

The toy on the left is of Sensis. It is a board that can be positioned variably, straight or inclined. The toys are hanging two by two on a string through the holes. So if you pull one toy, the other toy goes up. Daan thought this was very nice, although he did not notice that the two toys had worked together. While Daan was playing, the strings very often tangled up.

The right toy consists of two round wooden bars horizontally placed on a wooden stand. I put some CDs and other material on these wooden bars. We have made this toy because Daan never opens his hands in time to be able to get a grip on toys on dangling strings. The toys were always pushed away. These wooden bars with CDs are not so wobbly and thus more easy to grasp. If he manages to pull down a stick, he gets a "reward": the CDs slide down and eventually fall off.



Baby gym

This is a normal baby gym. In the middle a number of figures are hanging on strings.

We have made two additional horizontal elastic hanging options, on wich we tied a few toys directly. The idea is again (as in the above toy) that it is easier to get a grip on things. The things that are attached to the elatiek don't wobble as much as the things on strings. So he can easily catch the toys and pull them towards himself (the reward is that he can put them in his mouth or that things will move and make noise).



Drying rack for socks

This is a ready-made drying rack for socks (or similar), for sale at Blokker 1.50 euros. It is for sale in two different sizes. A bunch of little clothespin are attached to it. On these clothespins you can hang all sorts of stuff (pieces of shiny paper, a balloon, teething ring, etc.)

This rack is especially suitable for children who do not really grasp but reach out and touch things. The rack moves even by the slightest touch and stimulates to have another go.

Our Daan is to strong for it nowadays: He grabs it and pulls it towards him. The plastic hooks are not stong enough to hold it so it falls down partly.

For a movie of this toy click here



Switch on the mat

The special pressure-sensitive switch that we bought from Barry Emons (play materials adapted for the disabled) was always pushed aside by Daan because he doesn't press it, but pushes against it.

Therefore, we stuck the switch on an anti-slip mat. We did cut this anti-slip mat in the right size for his chair.

The toy in the picture is also purchased from Barry Emons and is fantastic. As long aas Daan presses the switch, the ball is transported via a staircase. From there it rolls down through a funnel. The balls are transparent with a shining image inside that keeps moving. We used this toy very often to make Daan look right in front of him, so that he would lift his head.

Nowadays we fix the switch on his table with velcro. And the toy is still fun for the big boy he is right now.

For a movie of this toy click here



Toys for a switch

The above switch can be connected with a plug to several toys. You can buy these toys at Barry Emons, but we discovered that regular toys are easy to rebuild so they can be controlled by this switch.

The toys in the picture are a disco ball and a disc. These toys make lights which are moving around in different paterns. Because Daan can't hold these things himsselve, I have created a standard. The toys can be hung into this standard.

The toys you can use to rebuild for this switch, have to have an own on/of switch wich you must push into the on or off position. Whitin this toy there must be enough room for a build-in switch. (this built-in switch is a built in plug for a miniheadset, which we use as a switch)

Besides the toys in the picture we've also used a beacon, a ventilator and a barking and walking dog.




computer mouse board

From the moment Daan really understood action-reaction, we made him play with an adapted switch. The next step was to use the computer. Through Sensis we found a website. On this website we found games which wear great for the possibillities of Daan. These games were easy to control: pressing the left mousebutton. On the website you can determine the level itsself. The most simple level makes something move as soon as you click the mouse button(for example a ball starts bouncing). This level can be boosted so that it takes 3 times or 5 times to push the mouse button before something interesting happens. An even higher level is that you are only allowed to push the mousse button when you see something is happening. (this is still to difficult for Daan.)

When Daan pushes the mouse butten, it often happens that he moves the mouse away from him in stead of pressing the mouse button. He also often accidently pushes the right button (which blocks the game.). To solve this problem I have made an wooden board which fits exactly on th table of his chair. In this wooden board I cut out the exact form of the mouse so the mouse fits in perfectly and cant move. Under the right mousebutton we put a match so Daan won't be able to press it. It works perfectly!




Computer software

Daan likes action-reaction games the most. Esspecially the games with funny sounds and moving things.On the internet we found several games for him to play. It has to be software in which one push of the button can provoke an anction. It is very important that you don't have to move the mouse around to achieve your goal. (there are a lot of one button games, but for most of them you have to be able to move the mouse in a certain direction.

I also made computergames for Daan myself. Those are reading books. Daan can turn the pages himself.. I also made a game with pictures and sounds of farm animals and also the songs from the DVD 'Singing with Peer and Jolanda'.

Click here for a list of the software we use for Daan (software on the internet, but also a CD-Rom you can order).



DVD Songs for children

In 2005, I made a DVD in collaboration with the toddler rehabilitation of the St Maartenskliniek in Nijmegen. On this DVD there are songs for toddlers and preschoolers, supported by gestures.

All the children who visited the toddler rehabilitation in 2005 received a DVD. I sell them on this website, as well.

Click here for more information on this DVD. Here you can find a brief preview of the DVD and reactions of parents who bought it.



DVD Songs for children 2

Meanwhile, we have created a second DVD whith the name: "Singing with Peerke and Jolanda 2".

This DVD has been set up in the same way as the first. There are 32 songs on the DVD and the duration is 46 minutes.

We have used as many new gestures as possible on this DVD (a total of 174 gestures are used of which 117 are new. The first DVD contains 119 gestures).

Klick here for more information about this DVD.



Picto cards

Because of Daan likes my DVDs with nursery rhymes so much, and watched very often, it seemed to me a great ideau to do more with the pictograms that are shown before each song. Our reasoning is: if he watches the DVD with this great attention, there would be a good chance that he will make the connections between the pictograms and the songs.

Therefore I made a set of cards with all the pictograms. Each song has his own card with a pictogram on it. I laminated the cards and now we use them with Daan to let him choose which song we can sing with him.

Click here for more information of these cards.



Button to ask for help

As a communications tool, we have made a button which Daan can use to ask for help. The switch says 'mum' when you press it. With this button Daan can call someone (so he does not have to grumble to express that something is going on).

We wanted a reasonably small and cheap button. This is what we found, but it still proved too difficult for Daan yet to press. Therefore I made a wooden modification so he can push the button more easily.

Later on we made a similar kind of modification for a wireless doorbell. Now he knows the principle of a button he can also call us when we are in another room. ( We make the decision over which button he can use). Furthermore, I also created a structure which he can use to press the button when he is playing on his back.

For more info click here.



Board for buttons

Lately, we've been using the two buttons more frequently to allow Daan to make choices. We use this for different purposes, like sometimes he must press the button for 'another bite' of food. For a while, we have worked with one button for 'Yes' and the other 'No'. Nowadays, we often use the switches in tandem with the computer. With one button, he can show different toys on the computer (one by one), with the other button he can chooses (The button says' Yes that! ").

After he uses the switches to make the decision, the switches have to be taken off the table. Because otherwise he might press the buttons accidentally while he is playing with his toy and that will be confusing for him. To place the switches easily on and off the blade, I made a small board where we put the switches. Now we can easlily switch between 'buttons-on-the-table' and 'buttons-off-the-table'. And when we put the buttons back on the table, they automaticially go to the right place.

This board is connected with strings to the blade, and sticks to the bottom of the blade with a small pease of Velcro. While Daan is playing with his chosen toy, the buttons can be left dangling on the board. When he is ready with playing, we can put the buttons simply back on the right position.



Elastic on wheelchairtable

Most of the time I use velcro to prevent dropping toys off the wheelchair table. Sometimes it doesnot work, because they don't stay on with the velcro. I found a solution to use elastic. We use big elastics of the postmen. At the standing edge of the table (look at the picture) I did drill some holes and put the elastic in (with a bead on the outside). At the other side I put some hooks (of keycords). There are other hooks which open easlily so you can hook the toy on.(like the ones you use climbing a mountain). If you put 2 elastics on it, it is easy to pull and let go. (Some toys lightup when they are moving or make noise when you shake).

When it is not possible toe put the hook on the toy, it is mostly possible to put a little rope onto it and put that on the hooks. the pictures shows very good this solution.



Toy with CD's on an elastic cord

This toy is made with a thick elastic cord that I bought at a sailing boat supplies shop. The outer bead has an extreme big hole so that the elastic cord can go back and forth thrue the hole. This is necesary because the knots in the elastic cord do not get stuck otherwise.

Daan likes to hit it, but also likes to pull on it and let ig go. He also consciously reaches for the discs to spin them. Actually I had planned to make this toy on a wooden stand but for now it is an elastic cord that I have to fix on the toys-bar that's with his wheelchair.

In the mean time I have made a lot of toys using elastic cords like this. The possibillities are endless.

For a movie of this toy click here



Rotating cylinder

This structure has three play capabilities.
They are explained one-by-one.

This toy can by used in both the sitting position and the supine position. It is a rotating cylinder that makes a sound, and it gives a nice visual effect when you turn it.

This toy is made from a lemonade can. There are little pebbles in it, and these make the noise. The tin is covered with a colored piece of paper. Then it has a glittery tape wound over it. I made wooden braces with a slit in them, so the cylinder can be put in either low or high. Low suits him when he is playing in his chair. Or optionally, a little higher in order to stimulate him into further lifting his hand(s). And finally, quite high for when he plays lying on his back.

For a movie of this toy click here



Curtain of beer caps

For this toy, I used the top of my son's standing table as a board. One side of the board has Velcro on it, the other side is a whiteboard. I used the structure of the toy I described above. On that structure I attached a couple of slats. Now the board can stand upright (it wobbles a bit but won't fall).

For this toy I used the whiteboard side of the board to make a curtain of beer caps. Then we hung the strings with beer caps from the string.(I doubled up the beer caps with the string between them). This curtain makes a nice sound and the strings are easy to grip.



Velcro board

When I use the top of my son's standing table on the other side, it is a board with Velcro on it. Now I can attach toys to the board using Velcro.

We made this structure especially for our son, because he likes to grip and pull things apart. We had noticed this with other toys. In this case I have attached little pieces of wood to each other and wrapped them in a glittery adhesive tape. At the back, I attached a small piece of Velcro with a staple gun. Daan could now grip the glittery cubes and pull them apart. He can easily take the cubes because they are not dangling on a string. Normaly we hang al the toys on strings.

For this he needs to use force and it gives a nice ripping sound. When he pulls the toy apart succesfully, it has the adventage that he can hold the toy in his hand. That gives him the opurtunity to look at the toy and to put it in his mouth.

The other toys on the board are feel and rattle toys that we put some Velcro on (a little bag with coins, a little bag with a scourer and a a bracelet with a bell attached to it).

To see a picture of this toy, you can look on the website http://www.vinkennest.nl. You have to search on 'Klittenband bord'.



Big balloon with rice

We are always searching for new toys that Daan can use while he is lying on the ground. This is nice for him if he is too tired for his chair, standing table or walk aid. A simple toy that he likes a lot is a “huge balloon” (on sale in toyshops, a normal balloon will also suffice but this one is stronger). Fill it up with something that rattles and hang it on a rope above his head, so he can hit it.

I put rice in the balloon, it gives a nice sound in a tightly inflated balloon. But you can also put a bell or macaroni worms (watch out: don’t use stones because they are too sharp and the balloon might pop).

Here the balloon hangs off the child’s chair of his sister Lotte. It is also fun to hang it off the ceiling, it will swing back and forth a lot.



Standard made of a broken chair

When a chair in our house broke, I got an amazing idea. The frame of the chair is perfect for a standard to hold toys for Daan so he can play with them. I span a few ropes on the standard and hang toys on it. The nice thing about this standard is that he “lies in it” but can still freely look around.

So if you can ever find a chair that has the same kind of frame on a garage sale, it will be very easy to make a toy-standard out of it.




Punchball

Here we have the same standard we used earlier, only now we have put a punchball in between the two legs. A punchball is a large strong balloon with an eye on top where elastic is put. These punchballs are on sale in toyshops (a few euro’s a whole bag). Because the balloon hangs on both sides it will give a different effect than the balloon we hanged on a single rope. This balloon will spin on its axes if you hit it from below. This time I put some beads in, those roll around nicely. The upside of elastic is that Daan can hold it and pull it down and when he lets it go there is also a nice effect.




Christmas decoration

Our neighbors were married for 50 years. In holland it is usual then to make flowers of gold paper / foil. After the party, these flowers were all thrown away. I found that a shame of the beautiful shiny and cracking paper. So I took the iron threads from the flowers and then i had a lot of little square papers. I tied the square papers to a rope so it became a decoration

The paper I have used is often for sale around Christmas time. So, thats the reason I named it a "Christmas decoration". I hung it on the playing standard. Daan likes it, it glitters, it cracks and he can grab it. And if he stops it in his mouth, that's not a big problem, because it's sturdy and it's possible to get wet.



Paper roll on rope

This game we made for Daan for his birthday. We took a large mailing tube but you can also use a large PVC pipe (plastic used by plumbers).

Decorate the tube with shiny paper, put a rope through it and hang it up on both sides above the bed where the child is laying. By doing this on both sides, you create a different effect than when you attach it only on 1 point.

Daan is able to hit the roll, he pulls the roll towards him and he loves to shake the roll. And this way you have another different game to play with.

For the movie, click here.



Mill standard

This toy is actually a standard with an iron ring on threads. Different toys can be hanged on the ring. Think of bubbles, feelings, glittering (plastic) christmas bells, etc. The toys can be gripped and twisted. The standard ensures that the toys turn back automatically.

On this picture there are hang wooden beads with ropes on the ring. If Daan is playing very wellt, the threads are going quickley into knot. So the threads at the bottom of the ring need to be kept short.




Whirligig toy

This is a toy that is easy to make. The base is a round wooden disk with a hole in the middle that is hung with four strings on an upright post. I bought the wooden animals on the disk separately and I drilled a hole at the bottom of each. I deliberately made the holes larger than the sticks they put on so they can be removed (by Daan or by me to change them from time to time/when needed).

The intention of the toy is to make the disc spin, eventually by using the strings. Then it first spins one side and then the other way. In the beginning, Daan did not understand this and tried to pull the pole. Then the whole toy fell. To prevent this, I drilled a hole in the bottom plate so that I could fix the toy with a bolt on his wheelchair tray. Daan turned out to be too strong, because then he broke the toy just above the base. So I strengthened the post with a metal tube and added an extra bottom plate to make it more solid.

In the meantime, Daan understands perfectly well and you can see that on the video ...

For the movie, click here.



Touch cylinders

This is a touch-play, which means it has been made to deal with more experiences with the touch senses. So feeling different materials, with hands or mouth.

This is a bin with small wooden sticks provided with different materials. The sticks can be taken out of the bin and the childs can play with it or can bring it to the mouth to feel how the touch is. I have chosen as many different materials as possible, so there are things that feel hard, or soft, or ribbly. In addition, they are different in color so it's also nice to watch.

Materials: red felt, blue glossy paper, coarse and fine abrasive paper, rubber and iron wire, cotton, bollet fabric, ribbon cardboard, anti slip grinder, grinding pad (both sides) and rope.

The box is made of a double wine box in which I drilled holes with a seven-hole drill. The sticks are made of a broomstick and are sunk for half in the bin. Underneath the box I stuck Velcro tape so it can be secured to the wheelchair table or the standing table.

For a movie of this toy click here



Plastic bottle game (Nutri drink bottles)

This games is made with 4 (small) empty plastic bottles. Best to find bottles which can be grasped by the child easily. (For Daan, this is not easy to do). The goal of this game is to pull the bottle, grasp the bottle or push the bottle over.

The bottles are fixed on a plank with an elastic. On the elastic are big beats, but you could also make big knots in the elastic, just so it is easier to grasp. When the bottles are all fallen, to pull the bottles up right again, the child can pull the elastic cord, (or somebody else can do that for the child).

Every bottle makes a different sound when you shake it. You can fill each bottle with something that makes a noise; like little shells, beats, dried beans etc.

For a movie of this toy click here



Hedgehog with clothespins

With this toy, Daan can try to grab the clothespins. In practice, this is too difficult for him, but he can push or pull them off. And then they fall to the ground. He likes this effect and it is also a nice exercise.

I did not make a new standard for this hedgehog. I can use a standard I made before for another toy. Both toys can be taken out of the standard easily.

For a movie of this toy click here



Casters

I copied this toy from another handicapped boy. He had a shelf on his wheelchair tray with four different coloured swivel wheels. This toy was hand made and the casters were for sale at the hardware store.

At home I went looking for casters on the internet, but I couldn't find any nice color wheels. At a local hardware store, I found 'design' castors in four colors.

For Daan I put two on a board because he can only play with his right hand and in this way we keep enough space on his wheelchair tray for other toys or communication buttons.

The wheels can rotate around their axis but they can also rotate in their entirety. They are very nice for children who like 'fidgeting'. And the toy makes almost no sound, so also useful in places where you want to make as little noise as possible.

For a movie of this toy click here



Wooden mill with rings

This wooden mill has long and short sticks with colored beads at the end. There is a wooden ring on every stick. The rings will make a nice ratteling noice when the mill is turning around.

Normaly i don't buy very much but for this toy I did. The materials are: a long wooden stick of two meters of length and wooden curtain rings. I bought them in an construction market. I bought the beads in a specialty shop for disabled people because I couldn't find them anywhere else.

The wooden circle in the middle was made by my neighbor, with a lathe machine.

It is possible to play with this toy while lying next to it or playing with it while sitting in a chair. For Daan this toy is much more difficult than the wheel with beads that is made on the other side of this stellage.



Beans bath

An old little baby bath is very usefull as a 'beans bath'. This is just another kind of ball pit.

When Daan was very young he could lie sidewards in the beans bath. This was nice for him because he could put his right hand in the beans. (We had to pay close attention because he tried to put the beans in his mouth).

When he sits, it gives also nice playing possibilities. You can play hide and seek with hands and feet. And it is also nice to play together with a little brother or sister.

We used a lot off black eye beans.



Beans bath on swing board

I've made a 'swing board' for Daan and a 'beans bath' (see photo's above). This picture is a combination of both. It is good for training his head ballance. For Daan it was to difficult.



Swing board

This is a swing to lay on. Daan can lie on the board (on a blanket or mattress) while it swings. It gives a special feeling and Daan likes it very much.

On the photo, you see a long pillow filled with little styrofoam balls. We made this pillow ourselves, with the same length as Daan.

On the normally elongated board we screwed a hook in every corner to hang it on a swing standard with long ropes.
On the other side of the ropes, I used big musketon hooks. This makes it easy to swap the swing board with another swing.



Infant car seat swing

We changed an old infant car seat so that it can be used as a swing.
The only things we have changed are two holes in the backrest of the infant car seat. We have done the rope in the existing slots at the feet.

The advantage of an infant car seat is that there are straps present to secure the child. Daan likes it very much, the faster the better.



Wheel with beads


We took a wheel from a children's bike and added beads to the spokes. These beads are special beads you can buy at the bicycle shop. The beads have an opening on one side so you can put them on the spokes without removing the spokes. (By-the-way: you can also buy one of these wheels at the bicycle shop).

We temporarily hung it on two ropes between the frame of a swing, but it is also possible to mount the wheel on a wooden frame. Daan loves to spin the wheel and see and hear the beads rattle

Click here for more possibilities with this wheel.



Feet bath

Daan loves it to stamp his feet in a bath with water. Especially when it is hot in the summer. This is a simple baby bath, which is available in various shapes (round, square). Usually it's only two layers high and that is just right. There is enough water to really splash and the soft edge is perfect for his legs.

We bought two of it, so he can play happily at his grandparents whithout he become to hot.



Hammock

In a hammock, Daan only likes it when he can play with something. When he was still a baby, sometimes I fixed a little toy to the hammock itself with a clothespin, but that is no longer adequate.

Then I found something new. A thread stretched between the two eyes where the hammock hangs on, in our case thus between the one and the other side of the standard. Very useful. I can hang changing toys on this thread. On the picture there are two plastic chining Christmas balls and a pair of bead chains from this toy hanging on the thread.



Bells mill

I made this toy based on a description from the e-book Toys for Disabled People.


Daan was very enthusiastic, he played with it a lot during the entire holiday. It's fun to watch, it sounds nice with all the bells and most importantly it runs super easy. This is because the wheel turns on the axle of a rollerskate wheel!

Daan can play with it lying down, but also seated. The yellow buttons I added because otherwise I was afraid he could not turn it around as he would not be able to hold on, but that was not really necessary.

For a movie of this toy click here



Marbles mill

I also made this toy based on a description of the e-book Toys for Disabled People.

Daan is very enthusiastic, the marbles make a somewhat louder, harder noise and it's nice to see how the marbles jump around. The wheel again runs smoothly because we have used a roller skate wheel but this wheel does not turn as long because by turning it, the marbles fall down and thus slow down the rotation.

Daan can play with it lying down, but also seated.

For a movie of this toy click here



Turning wheel lights

I made this toy for Daan's birthday using a method that I have used before. I used the wheel of a roller skate. This wheel ensures that the toy is running well with little resistance. So it can keep moving for longer.

On the front I made a 'wheel led lighting'. The fun of this bike led lighting is that it starts to flash automatically when moving and that is, of course, very fun for Daan. There was still one problem to solve, this LED illumination only work in the dark. So we plastered the light-sensitive sensor with duct tape.

On the other side of the toy, I made a block of wood with his name on it. Now it is "reasonably balanced" and thus continues for longer..




Fidget spinners

The once popular craze of spinners is over now. As a result, these spinners are now a bargain and they are very suitable for manufacturing in wooden toys. The caps in the middle are very easy to flip off and then you have a nice hole with which you can fix the spinner onto a bolt. I have chosen three upright boards so that the spinners turn nicely at eye-height. The motivation is to look ahead and of course a good exercise in lifting the hands.

The spinners spin very easily, you just have to touch them and they start to spin. The middle one in Daan's toy is a somewhat sturdier version, which is heavier and therefore runs much longer. The outer two are lighter in weight and can also give light. These can be recharged with a cable and can be turned on and off with a very small switch (with a fingernail). The advantage of the lights is that they give off beautiful changing patterns as they spin. The disadvantage (for Daan) is that they keep flashing all the time, even if they don't spin. That is why Daan is no longer interested in touching it, they are already blinking and that's fun enough to look at ...

For a movie of this toy click here



Bamboo hanger


This is a small wooden hanger with thin bamboo rods of various lengths attached to it. The bamboo rods are on a wire strung with colored wooden beads interspersed throughout. It makes a nice soft sound when you hit it.

This toy can be hung on a baby gym if you want to lie underneath it, but can also be attached on the ceiling or suspended on a stand to play with it while seated. Here it hangs from the flexible arm of a floor lamp.




Wind chime

This is a normal large bamboo wind chime. I have added a few beads because it had fallen apart, but actually the important part is the sound. Such a wind chime (large or small) has a very specific pleasing sound, and is therefore very suitable as a toy.

Here it hangs on a hook in our kitchen where there is no longer a stove. But it can also be hung on a bracket on the wall or on the ceiling (hang it securely, because this is a pretty heavy wind chime).




Pitch block

I also made this toy based on a description from the e-book Toys for Disabled People.

It's a wooden wheel with an axle that lies in two grooves thereby allowing the wheel to roll back and forth. The wheel is painted in different colors to give it a nice visual effect as it rolls. The holes in the toy ensure that you can see these colors at the bottom as well.

I have painted the wheel red with white on one side and on red, white and black on the other side. I gave both sides a different color for a little more variety.

For Daan this is still a difficult toy because the disk really needs to be pushed or pulled in a particular direction to start rolling.

For a movie of this toy click here



Jumping dolls

I also made this toy based on a description from the e-book Toys for Disabled People.

This toy has four loose dolls wich are not fixed and bounce up when you push the front button. Because of the weight of the wooden dolls they will fall down back in their hole and then the buttons pop up again. If you press hard, the dolls will be launched and fly out of their hole.

Personally I felt that it was hard to make this toy because of the difficult technique. I even needed my neighbor's column drill to make the deep holes for the dols. Also, adjusting the iron hinges inside of the box was difficult. But... it has become a very nice toy. In the beginning it was a real challenge for Daan because it obligad him push the buttons very precisely. Now that he is sixteen, he can do it very well. The dolls fly out of the holes and he likes it when we have to look for the missing dolls.

For a movie of this toy click here



Turntable

I also made this toy based on a description from the e-book Toys for Disabled People.

This turntable is a round shelf that spins very easily. I attached a big piece of velcro on top of the shelf. Now it is possible to attach all kind of materials on the spinning board, they only need velcro. Depending on your child's interests and possibilities, that may be e.g. rattling or glittering things. But you can, for example, also attach picture cards on the shelf so your child can turn the shelf and designate what he wants to have or to do. (A picture card can help to communicate).

It is easy to make this toy, but you have to have a wheel from a roller-skate (you can buy maybe one on ebay) and a big piece of velcro.




Adjustable Table Stand

This table stand consists of three parts. The standing parts are fixed on the wheelchair's side with table clips and the wooden stick in the middle can be inserted easily (loose or fastened).

Tillte toys and different materials can be hung on the stick. The the stick can be placed at different heights, depending on the child's ability and the amount of the toy. We have made a few sticks so we can save them for another time (we do not always have to fix all the strings again). So we can reuse the stick with toys on it.

For a movie of this toy click here



One handed seesaw

This seesaw is specially made for one handed use.

Daan uses only his right hand and he normaly cant play with a seesaw because he can only push it down on the right-hand side. And afther that, he can't do anything more with it. This seesaw is heavier on the left than the right, so that it always automatically falls back to the left.

I covered the top with felt so that I can stick any desired toy (with velcro tape) to the seesaw. I make sure that the left side is always heavier than the right side. The board has a hinge screwed to the frame (that's, again, attached with velcro to the work/play surface).

I've created a blueprint from this toy, that you get in addition when you buy my e-book .

For a movie of this toy click here



Square box

When Daan is sitting on my lap he is playing with everything that is for hand on the table in front. Thats how I discovered his interest in playing with a square box. He puts his hand on top of the box, nearby the edge on the front (he is not able to grab the box). When he tries to pull the box towards him it suddenly flips over. Especially that for him unexpected movement of the box is what he really likes. I will replace the box in front of him and then it starts all over again.

The problem was that he could not do this game independent so that’s how I came up on the follow idea:
I made a small hole in 2 sides opposite to each other, so that I could put a round wooden stick through it. I wrapped an elastic band at the end of the stick so it stays in place. On the tail-end I screwed an eye screw and fix it to his wheelchair tray with an elastic band.

Now it is a bit harder for him to flip the box because it is fixed but it is still a nice game.



Shiny square box

This is one of the rare toys which even though it doesn’t make any sound, Daan still loves to play with it. It is very easy to make. What you need is a small square box, strong hologram paper (or other bright shiny paper) and a few strong thick round elastics (often used at boats/yachts) and sticky tape. And you need a stand to hang the elastic on.

I decorated the box with the hologram-paper (cut the paper at the edges for an easier fold), fold around the box and fix with sticky tape. You cut the last pieces of paper at the exact same size as the box, so it doesn’t go over the edge. If you cover the edges with sticky tape, it will be stronger. Make 2 holes in the corner (you could use a big needle, or knitting needle). Put the elastic through the holes, (I stuck the elastic with sticky tape on a knitting needle and could pull it this way through the holes).

When Daan pulls the elastic, the box starts turning and this gives a very nice effect. He can pull the elastic and let go of it, or “hammer” on the elastic and this will also make the box turn.

After a while, I have made a lot of toys like this one, all the same principal using an elastic, but every time with different materials, shapes etc.

For a movie of this toy click here



Carousel with bells

I used four bells for this carousel. These bells are tuned and normaly used to make music by shaking the bells with your hands. Each bell makes a different sound. I removed the clappers from the bells and I hung a wooden bead on a wire. The bead hangs so that it hit the bells when they spin. Because of the different sound of each bell, it sounds a little like music.

I put the bells on a shelf where a roller skate wheel is underneath. The wheel makes it spin easily.

For this toy I made two possible possitions. It can be used on the way you see it on the picture, but it is also possible to put it more vertically, For the latter, I put another bead (the blue one) in a different position. If Daan plays with the toy in the vertical position, he sits more upright.

For a movie of this toy click here



Wind spinner

Last year we bought a nice wind spinner. It is a shining circle that spins with minimal wind. Because of the mirroring effect, it is nice to look at. If the sun shines, you will see beautiful reflections on the walls and floor. We bought the wind spinner for Daan, but if we hung it in the garden, he would not see it often. If we hung it inside the house, then it will never spin automatically and it would also shine less. We solved this problem by hanging it outside his window. Now Daan can see the wind spinner when he is in his room. He likes it very much to look at it. Of course he can also see it when he is outside and then he can play with it by touching it with his hand (like you see on the picture).

I realy don't know if this kind of wind spinner is for sale anymore. But on the Internet there are a lot of wind spinners you can chose from.




Gong dolls

We have hired this toy several times at the 'toy hire' because Daan could play with it very nicely. We didn't expect that Daan could play with this toy at all but by trying it, we saw that he could !

That was the reason for me to reproducing this toy. It looks nice and Daan could easily play with it on his own. He hits the little seesaw under the doll, the doll jumps up and if he hits hard enough the doll touches the gong above and then the gong makes a beautiful gong-sound. Then the head keeps bouncing on the spring that serves as a neck.

The toy is maked of a few little slats, newly bought wooden sticks, three spokes of a bicycle, two little pieces of a broomstick, two big wooden beads, two springs and a littel Tibetan gong. Lastly I painted it and there it is.



Beads carousel

This toy consist of a lot of different things that can spin. The idea is that Daan has more variety to play with. Most of his toys give the same action and responce. Now I have chosen consciously for big beads that don't produce sound, things that produce sound, things that spins easily, and things that spin with difficulty. I also addes things that he can grasp and almost don't spin. In this way I hope that Daan can play for a longer time with the same toy.

The toy is made of a metal tube on a stand. I made very big beads with big holes around it. I fixed beads on other other beads and bells with screws and nails. I chose for a lot of different colours and shapes.

I also made an elongated wooden shelf that I painted in five different colours.

For a movie of this toy click here



Sling

The description of this toy can be found in the E-book Homemade toys for Children with multiple Disabilities.

This swing toy is made of a piece of broomstick above a bar which I fastened two little wooden cones onto. The wooden cones are from a bowling game that I purchased through a second hand sales website (I saw it several times on there). The swing rocks to a smooth screw bolt and thus continue to moves with a big range of movement.

The sling even repeatedly goes upside down, but Daan, he moves only slightly from left to right (For the photo I gave him a big 'pendulum'). Daan really enjoys watching it, but it will also be nice to get him moving by himself ...

For a movie of this toy click here



Stand holder from baby Crib canopy veil

Nowadays, Daan plays sometimes on his bed in his play / bedroom (which is downstairs now, since we have rebuilt our house). His bed is pretty narrow, so we don't have enough space for toys in his bed. We also don't want to add anything to the wall or to the ceiling yet, because we don't know how we want it exactly.

As a simple temporary solution, I've taken the stand holder of the baby Crib canopy veil, out of the shed. This works satisfactorily as a 'toy standard'. It has the right height and the round shape at the top allows us to hang three toys at the same time.

He most likes a big balloon filled with rice, but (I don't know how he does), he always manages to shape the balloon into the round shape of the stand holder and then he cannot touch it anymore.



Bead curtain

This bead curtain brightens up the wall with colors and Daan also loves to play with it. He hits it with his hands, sometimes he picks up a few strings to rattle it. It shimmers nicely and it also makes a nice soft sound.
I have seen this type of curtain in various places. This one was bought at a gadget shop and only cost 5 euros. In our house it's hanging above the raised play mat. We just fixed it into the plinth of the ceiling with two brackets.

After playing with it, it will take some time to disassemble the strings, but that does work.



Starry sky

This 'starry sky' hangs above Daan's bed and the color of the stars changes very slowly all the time, so it remains fascinating to watch. The stars are positioned in the same places that they occur in our night sky. We made this thas way so that we could make the holes for the lamps on a variety of ways and now it is also fascinating for ourselves. We have sawn the plank in the form of a cloud.

The 'starry sky' is over 2 meters long and 1.30 cm wide. The plate that the stars are made on is 7mm thick. The plate is reinforced at the top with two slats. The slats are fixed on the narrow side with four countersunk screws, this is to prevent sagging. The The entire structure is attached to the ceiling with four chains. The lighting is produced by a lamp with a color turntable that shines in 100 glass fibers. These glass fibers are embedded in plastic pouches in the cloud. The cloud is painted in dark midnight blue.

I have also made a work description of this which you will receive as an addition to the e-book if you order this product.



eBook

This Website shows a lot of toys made by me from a book: 'Making Toys For Children With Multiple Disabilities'. This book is twenty years old, but it contains lots of great ideas about games and toys for disabled children. Several readers of my site have been asking me if the book is still for sale. Unfortunately, this is not the case. But here’s the good news: I have been granted permission to produce it in electronic version, and the complete eBook is now avalaible!

It contains many tips and ideas about how you and your disabled child can play together using simple household materials. In addition it provides more than thirty descriptions on how to make your own toys, complete with information about the materials and tools needed. Moreover, each toy comes with a constructional drawing. The book also provides detailed descriptions of ways to fasten existing toys – to the wall, to a stand or table for example -- so that playthings will become more manageable for disabled children.

In this book there are over thirty big toys, each with a technical description on how to make it yourself. The main concept is that you can play very well with materials that are either available at home, or easily acquired.

For more information click here.
.



Spectacle cord

If Daan is not comfortable, wants attention or gets bored, then he takes off his glasses and then it falls on the floor. As a result, his glasses are often broken. We have tried several times with an ordinary spectacle cord, but it hangs down next to his face and Daan will play with the cord. So it doesn't help him to keep his glasses on.

Now we have found the solution! A spectacle cord that is pushed into the back of his glasses. He does not see the cord, neither does he feel it and yet his glasses stick when he takes them off. My experience is that these cords are very hard to find in normal shops. But after explaining specifically what I was looking for and mentioning that other opticians sell them, our optician just took a book "from the shelf" with lots of different cords. With various beautiful motifs and thick and thin bands. Really quite a lot of choices. On the internet I found several places, these cords are made of neoprene and are mainly used in sailing and surfing.

Wilt u op de hoogte gehouden worden van de wijzigingen op deze pagina?

Vul uw e-mail adres in
om onze nieuwsbrief te ontvangen!
Inschrijven Uitschrijven
Hosting door YMLP.com
Terug