"The ability to take care of everyday personal and social needs clearly improves the quality of life for any child or teenager. It is also important for children's sense of self-esteem and control over their lives. While most milestones in independence will be achieved later for children with Down syndrome than for typically developing children, the evidence suggests that by late teenage and early adult years most young people with Down syndrome do achieve a high level of autonomy in daily personal care.
The ability to occupy oneself in self-satisfying play or leisure activities is clearly important in children's development. If a child is not able to gain pleasure from playing with toys or other activities, he/she is likely to seek out adult attention or, over time, resort to passive entertainment provided by the TV or video machine and will miss out on self-motivated learning experiences. Temperament and attention, as well as mental ability, play a part in children's ability to sustain play. Some children, such as those with limited attention spans, a tendency to be distractible or to be overactive and restless, may be more vulnerable and need more help to learn to occupy themselves.
In fact, research studies indicate that many children with Down syndrome develop good play skills, including representational or pretend play and that their play skills are often as good or better than those of children of similar developmental age, with or without developmental disabilities." - Down syndrome Education Online (www.down-syndrome.org)
Here are some products to help further individual Independence and creative playing:
1 - Wooden Grocery Store and Lemonade Stand (Click HERE to purchase)
- Whatever the season or weather, this wooden play center has the shop for you. You can decide whether to run a store or sell lemonade today! Featuring portable plastic bins for pretend shopping or storage, removable chalkboard signs, a spacious countertop and a reversible fabric awning.
2 - Classic Deluxe Kitchen (Click HERE to purchase)
- Here is a little chef's dream kitchen, with room to prepare, cook, clean and create. This sturdy, durable wooden kitchen includes a stove, refrigerator/freezer, oven, microwave with turntable, and sink. Bright, colorful graphics and an exceptional price make this the most attractive kitchen! Easy to assemble, here is the one perfect place to play with your food!
3 - Toy Shopping Cart (Click HERE to purchase)
- Fun on aisle five! With sturdy metal construction and pivoting front wheels, this kid-size metal shopping cart toy is the perfect addition to your play grocery store. Our mini grocery wagon is easy to maneuver, fun to fill, and built to last for years of pretend play! Food play accessories sold separately.
4 - Let's Play House! (Click HERE to purchase)
- This six-piece play set gives kids all the housekeeping tools they need to keep it clean! Sized just for kids and built to last, the broom, mop, duster, dust pan, and hand brush are comfortable to use and easy to store just hang them from the sturdy cords onto the included stand for neat, compact storage. Part of playing house is keeping things sparkling clean!
5 - Stamp and Sort Wooden Mailbox Set (Click HERE to purchase)
Enjoy the thrill of receiving personal mail every day with this wooden mailbox activity set. With 6 letters and 6 removable stamps, it's fun to sort the mail into the mailbox, then open the door with the wooden key to see what's arrived!
6 - Wooden Project Workbench (Click HERE to purchase)
Keep that little builder busy with this sturdy wooden workbench that's just the right size. Right down to the nuts and bolts, this set includes a functioning vise, tool rack, wooden tools and hardware and a storage shelf. Ideas to spark imagination are included!
7 - Rotisserie and Grill Wooden Barbecue (Click HERE to purchase)
Grill it, slice it, and turn it! Cook up a fantastic feast with this deluxe wooden barbecue play set! The 24-piece set includes specialty grilling favorites like a whole rotisserie chicken that spins on a skewer, a whole fish, sausage, shrimp, and even vegetables for grilling kabobs. Use the kid-friendly wooden basting brush, spatula, tongs, and knife to prepare, flip, grab, and cut the food.
8 - Wooden Make-a-Cake Mixer Set (Click HERE to purchase)
Mix up some delicious pretend-play fun with this realistic wooden mixer. Turn dials to "adjust speed" and use the crank to turn the bowl that fits the mixer. Wooden ingredients include two pats of Butter and a two-part egg, both of which have self stick tabs that can be sliced through with the child-friendly wooden knife.
9 - Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (Click HERE to purchase)
Playtime with Mickey and the gang has never been sweeter! prepare wooden Fudge brownies, two kinds of two-piece cupcakes, and two mickey-shaped cookies, top with 16 fun toppings and frostings, and serve up endless hours of pretend-play deliciousness! the 37-piece set includes a baking tray, Muffin tin, baking cups, oven mitt, placemat, and a wooden spatula and knife to slice and serve treats-- self-stick tabs hold pieces in place and make a satisfying crunch when cut.
10 - Wooden Pantry Products Set (Click HERE to purchase)
Here are some great staples every little chef needs to have in the play kitchen. This 9-piece wooden set of dry goods includes tuna, ketchup, spaghetti, soup, sugar, crackers, salad dressing, mustard and cereal.