AblePlay Blog

The Holiday Helper That Isn't an Elf:

Posted on December 15, 2015

How to use the 2015 Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids

While no one will dispute the fact that socks are fun, practical and a great way keep feet warm, maybe they are best left off your holiday shopping lists. For all parents, and especially parents of kids with special needs, finding just the right gift can sometimes be a challenge. Due to a shared love of toys, the National Lekotek Center has partnered with Toys“R”Us since 1995 to create the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, because Lekotek and Toys“R”Us both believe in the mission of #ToysForAll. From the front cover to the back cover and all the colorful pages in between, this Guide is full of useful tips.

Here are just a few ideas on how to use the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids:

Gifts That Make Memories

Posted on December 9, 2015

Even with all the wonder during the holidays, most kids will tell you that some of their favorite memories have to do with the presents they received and usually that means...TOYS! Lekotek agrees with the kids. As an authority on toys and play for 35 years, we are recalling five memorable toys that are sue to bring joy this holiday season. Source: Parenting Special Needs, November/December, 2015

18 Favorite Fidgets for a Child with Special Needs this Holiday Season

Posted on December 9, 2015

Fall flies by in the blink of an eye, and unfortunately for this eye-catching season of changing colors, there are some times when you just can’t get outside to enjoy the falling leaves and fresh air before Old Man Winter comes knocking.When that’s the case, it is best to look towards the fun and friendly toys called fidgets. Here are some fidget suggestions for you. Source: Friendship Circle Special Needs Resource Blog, December 2015

Top 10 Tips for Buying Toys

Posted on December 1, 2015

Selecting a toy for a child who has a disability? Here are the questions the play experts at the National Lekotek Center ask when choosing developmentally appropriate toys for kids with special needs.

How to Play on Thanksgiving Day

Posted on November 24, 2015

Here are some ways to play that you can gobble up during this autumn holiday. Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated mostly in the United States and Canada, and it generally is celebrated with copious amounts of food, family, and football. This Thanksgiving, we have put together a list of festive ways to play:

Lekotek and NAPPA Celebrate 10 Year Anniversary

Posted on November 24, 2015

For the past 10 years, the National Lekotek Center has joined together with the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) in their combined mission to get attention for the toys that they believe deserve recognition. Here is a bit about our partnership and why our collaboration has been such a success.

Fall Fidgets: Top 10 Products

Posted on November 18, 2015

Fall is a time for playing in the leaves and enjoying the cool breeze and warmth of the sunshine before winter weather hits. Unfortunately, there are some times when you just can’t get outside to enjoy the changing colors and fresh air. Here are a few fidget toys that can help kids maintain focus and attention without disruption. These fidgets are great for school, car rides and bad weather.

Where is the Checkout?

Posted on October 28, 2015

You have unleashed your inner Sherlock Holmes during your search; every button has been clicked, every page has been visited, but it’s still not there. Where is the checkout? Every part of your brain says it should be there, up in the corner or down at the bottom, but your eyes cannot find it. After all, how can there be a website full of toys that does not have a shopping cart? It seems inconceivable! Welcome to a website full of toys that does not have a “check out”.

Light Up the Night 2015

Posted on October 27, 2015

At Lekotek, toys are in our name. "Lek" is Swedish for toys and "tek" means library. The toys displayed before you as centerpieces at the 6th Annual Ambassador Ball are a selection of some of the new toys we are most excited about. All of these toys have been graciously donated to Lekotek by our partnering organization, Toys“R”Us, to celebrate our fundraiser and help “Light Up the Night.”

After dinner and dancing is over, all of the centerpiece toys are set to go into our lending libraries, where they are eagerly anticipated with open arms by the children Lekotek serves. Once in our inventory, these toys will be available for family play sessions and will be checked out by families to take home for the month, enabling children to use the toys to reach their fullest potential through play.

We wanted to share them with you before we share them with our families, so you can get a glimpse into the toys we are most excited about, and hopefully you can get excited too!

You are Invited to Chicago Toy & Game Fair

Posted on October 27, 2015

The National Lekotek Center is proud to collaborate with the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) -- the premier destination for a hands-on experience of the hottest toys and games of the holiday season - -to host a special event for families who have children with special needs. The Lekotek Super Power Sensory Hour will take place from 9am-10am on Saturday, November 21st and Sunday, November 22nd. ChiTAG will take place at the Navy Pier Festival Hall. For questions not answered by the flyer, contact Ahren Hoffman at 773-528-5766 ext.401 or