Toys R Us has released the 2012 edition of the Toys R Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids®, an easy-to-use toy selection resource for those who know, love and shop for children with special needs.
Published annually, this complimentary guide is available now in Toys R Us® and Babies R Us® stores nationwide and online, in both English and Spanish, at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled.
This year, mom, TV host and philanthropist Nancy O’Dell appears on the cover alongside Saskia Vogt, a 4-year-old girl with Down syndrome.
“I have a strong personal connection and commitment to the special needs community, so I am proud to partner with Toys“R”Us in supporting this valuable resource,” said O’Dell. “Growing up, my best buddy was my Aunt Ellen, who was born with Down syndrome. Because of my memories of her, to this day, she remains my inspiration for promoting inclusion for individuals of all abilities. In raising awareness of the Toys R Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, I hope to help moms, dads, aunts, uncles, siblings and friends of differently-abled kids create magical play moments like those I shared with my own Aunt Ellen.”
O’Dell has long served as an advocate for those affected by physical, cognitive and emotional challenges through her involvement in charitable organizations like Best Buddies, as well as Muscular Dystrophy Association and National Down Syndrome Society. Now, with the launch of the 2012 edition of the Guide in Toys R Us stores nationwide and through her partnership with Toys R Us, O’Dell has yet another avenue through which she is able to support differently abled individuals.
History of the Toys R Us Guide
For nearly two decades, the Guide has served as a trusted resource for family, friends and caregivers of children with special needs, providing a carefully selected assortment of toys that can help kids explore new worlds and achieve personal victories. Each of the nearly 100 toys featured in the 64-page resource has been selected in partnership with National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible to children of all abilities.
Each item featured helps children with physical and cognitive disabilities develop critical skills through the power of play, including fine and gross motor, visual, language, creativity and more. In addition to toy recommendations, parents will also find value in the Guide’s “Top Ten Tips for Buying Toys,” prepared by the National Lekotek Center, as well as “Safe Play Tips for Children with Special Needs,” which were created with guidance from leading safety and special needs organizations to help avoid playtime injuries.
“The Toys R Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids is a labor of love for the Toys“R”Us family that we’re proud to have provided to our customers for nearly two decades. We’re so excited to share the 2012 edition,” said Sloane Lucas, director of corporate philanthropy for Toys“R”Us. The organization assigns at least two skill-building icons to each toy that appears in the Guide. These color-coded symbols help users easily identify toys most suitable for the child they’re shopping for by signifying the specific benefits of each item.