Cockburn Toy Library unveils new collection of therapeutic toys
The Cockburn Toy Library unveiled their new collection of gross motor skills-focussed toys with support from local therapists at a ’Stay and Play’ session on Wednesday 11 March.
Therapy Focus Cockburn therapist, Dimuthu Samaraweera, was on hand to demonstrate toys to parents and children, explaining how each toy can be used to help children practice skills such as balance, coordination, muscle strength and weight shifting and communication skills.
“Gross motor skills are need to move and coordinate a person’s arms, legs and torso,” she said.
“As children grow older, their muscles become larger and stronger which allows them to perform more complex physical movements such as climbing playground equipment, kicking a ball with friends and swimming.”
Dimuthu Samaraweera enjoyed sharing her therapeutic knowledge with Toy Library members, including how to incorporate communication into play.
“These kinds of toys have the additional benefit of getting children to work on their attention and instruction following skills,” she said.
“I demonstrated to parents which toys are good for working on specific goals and how they can best support their child from day to day through play.”
The Cockburn Toy Library is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers who are mostly members. A large selection of toys, dress-ups, games and puzzles are available for members and their families to borrow or enjoy onsite.
Cockburn Toy Library Committee Member, Katie Beason, said that the toys were purchased with the help of a Variety grant.
“Specialist toys such as these which focus on gross motor skills are very expensive to buy and we couldn’t have purchased them for our members without these grants,” she said.
“We’re delighted to be able to have these toys available to our local community and having a trained therapist on hand to show parents how to best utilise them is an absolute bonus.”
Memberships to the Cockburn Toy Library start at $75 per year. It is located at the Meerilinga Children and Family Centre in Coolbellup and runs on Tuesdays and Sunday from 9:30 – 11:30am and on Thursdays from 2:30 – 4:30pm.
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