In honor of Autism Awareness Month, we have a guest blog by Andie Rich, Director and Education Specialist at Thriving Minds Learning Center, a dedicated provider to children of special needs, including those with autism.
By Andie Rich
Children with autism are spectacular; which means that they need spectacular toys to engage their incredible minds. Enter Playper’s Curious Kingdom! As an educator in the field of Special Education who supports the learning and growth of students with autism, it’s my perspective that Curious Kingdom offers a truly unique toy experience for children on the autism spectrum.
Children on this spectrum thrive when given opportunities for engagement that is multisensory. Curious Kingdom provides the ability to interact with the toy and app in a variety of ways that engage the senses. The process of building the castle provides the tactile and kinesthetic components of touch and movement. Then there is the characters’ colorful components and the auditory input of the app. Finally, there are multiple touch points that allow for the child to take in the information with all of their senses to activate the brain.
On the flip side, there are children with autism who have sensory sensitivities to light, sound, and touch. If this is the case, the child can opt out of the sensory portion of the toy that may be distracting to the child such as not using the app.
The fact that Curious Kingdom’s castle can act as a stand alone toy and doesn’t need the app is a significant advantage. If a child is able to activate the app experience, however, it provides even more depth to the Curious Kingdom characters’ stories and has the bonus of educational activities that take the play one step further.
Like any child, a child with autism will ebb and flow in their interest and ability to interact with others socially. Curious Kingdom allows for the option of a child playing completely independently in imaginary play with the castle and characters. If the child is desiring the company of others, two children can play side by side in parallel play or be fully interactive together with the characters and castle. All modes of play work with Curious Kingdom.
One of the most magical parts of what Playper’s Curious Kingdom offers is how it provides the creative process of open ended play where a child can individualize the play experience. For a child with autism, this means that they decide to play in whatever way feels most natural for them. The child can unlock a world of curiosity with endless possibilities. There is no wrong way to play!
I’m excited and inspired by the world of Playper’s Curious Kingdom and am going to keep an eye on what Playper does next, encouraged that their next offerings will also enrich the lives of all children who play with it, including those with autism. Again, spectacular toys for spectacular minds. We’re here for it and are tuned in for more.