The National Lekotek Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting play for children of all abilities. Lekotek believes play is the way kids learn, develop skills and reach milestones. The Lekotek mission is to make the world of play accessible to all children, especially those who have special needs.
Toys and play empower children to reach their potential and increase inclusion within their families and communities. Lekotek has a network of 17 affiliates across the United States dedicated to working with children by utilizing toys and play to grow, learn and thrive.
Lekotek has combined experience working with kids and families, child development expertise and knowledge of toys and play products to develop AblePlay—a national outreach to provide information and evaluations on the developmental potential of toys and play.
AblePlayTM is a toy rating system and website that provides comprehensive information on toys and play products for children of all abilities. AblePlay was created so parents, friends, family members, educators, therapists and others can make the best decisions when purchasing products for children in their lives, especially children with special needs.
Parents often look at current toys and wonder, “Is this toy appropriate for my child?” Getting “inside the box,” and understanding the features and benefits of toys as they align with the abilities and skill development goals of a particular child are huge challenges. Even professionals serving children with special needs often lack the time and ability to search for the best toys and play products. AblePlay does the research during the comprehensive product evaluation and relates this information to skill development.
AblePlay has designed an easy to understand rating system that focuses on the developmental areas of physical, sensory, communicative, cognitive, and social/emotional skills of a toy or play product. Every toy is rated on a scale of 1-5 and every play product (“Great Finds”) receives checkmarks in these key categories. Visitors can also search by specific skills and disabilities.
AblePlay offers a comprehensive product evaluation. The product information on AblePlay.org captures the key benefits of each toy or play product ("Great Find"). Included in this profile are developmental skills that can be promoted, creative play ideas and ways the product can be adapted to broaden its use and play value.