Don Caston designed the 60 toys in this book for the parents he met through his work at the Handicapped Education and Aids Research Unit at the City of London Polytechnic, for them to make themselves and use in play with their children. Although intended for children whose physical handicaps make it difficult for them to grasp and manipulate manufactured toys, these toys are so flexible in construction that they would give just as much pleasure to children without handicaps. Many of them are put together by threading shaped pieces through a dowel, and by making the holes larger or smaller, the task will become easier or more difficult according to the abilities of the child.
Don Caston’s chief aim was to make developmental toys that would be fun to play with and that meant something to the child: not simply abstract blocks and shapes, but readily recognisable objects like ships, fish, flowers and even food. Ranging in ability level from infancy to the 10-12 age group, the toys will help develop mobility, manipulative skills, problem-solving, counting and reading, and they will also teach the child about everyday things like the phases of the moon, ripening fruit, parts of the body, colour and texture. Competitive games are included to encourage communication and social skills.
The author has included detailed instructions and diagrams for each toy, so that even parents with no carpentry skills at all will be able to make them. Only glue, nails and screws are used in construction, and the most basic tools and materials like cheap off-cuts of wood and oddments from around the house, and the author explains how to turn your kitchen table into a very serviceable workshop. A final smoothing of the surfaces and brightly coloured paints provide the finishing touch to toys that have proved to have an immediate appeal to all children.
Easy To Make Toys for Your Handicapped Child is published in the highly-acclaimed Human Horizons Series, written by the leading experts, and now established as the pre-eminent list for people with disabilities, the elderly and the afflicted, and those who care for them.
Don Caston acquired worldwide recognition for his work at the Handicapped Education and Aids Unit at the City of London Polytechnic.