Toys“R”Us Releases Annual Shopping Guide for Families with Differently-Abled Kids

2013 Edition Features 25 Skill-Building Apps, Top 10 Tips for Buying Toys, and More

August 26, 2013 | Toy Industry Association (TIA) member Toys“R”Us has published its annual complimentary shopping guide for parents, caregivers and other gift-givers in search of appropriate toys for children with special needs. The 2013 Toys ‘R’ Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids is now available in Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores across the nation and online, in both English and Spanish, at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled.

Published in partnership with the National Lekotek Center, a non-profit organization that makes play accessible for children of all abilities, the 68-page 2013 edition of the Guide contains nearly 100 trusted toy recommendations for children with physical, cognitive or developmental disabilities. At least two symbols are assigned to each featured toy so that parents can find playthings that promote and reinforce critical skills – from auditory and tactile to social and self-esteem. National Lekotek Center’s “Top Ten Tips for Buying Toys” is once again included in the publication to help shoppers ask pertinent questions before they make toy purchases for their loved ones.

The larger guide also includes for the first time an App Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, created in partnership with Wynsum Arts, a social enterprise dedicated to making mobile technology accessible to children of all abilities.  The App Guide contains a selection of 25 apps identified to help children with special needs develop key skills.

“At Toys“R”Us, we understand the undeniable joy of watching a child overcome obstacles and experience victories through the magic of play, whether they’re learning to catch and throw a ball, role-playing through dress-up, playing a board game with siblings or learning the ABCs on their very first tablet,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman of the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, in a press release. “Building on our mission to help parents make informed toy-buying decisions with the Guide, we are pleased to introduce a complimentary Toys“R”Us App Guide for Differently-Abled Kids.”

This year’s cover features 2012 all-around gymnastics gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas alongside Special Olympics Young Athletes Isabella Caesar and Samuel Lopez.  Douglas credits the “influence of positive play” on her success as a gymnast.

“Having started gymnastics at a very young age, with cartwheels in the backyard and splits on the couch, I came to understand the importance of teamwork and the influence that positive play can have on a child,” said Douglas. “My experience at the 2012 Olympic Games was very special, and through my support of this year’s Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, I’m so excited to help children of all abilities have their own magical moments.”

The Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund recently pledged $1 million to become a Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games (June 14-21, 2014) and Presenting Sponsor of the first-ever Young Athletes Festival, which will provide kids and families with the opportunity to partake in the Young Athletes program, free health screenings, family seminars, and more.

The Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids has been published annually since 1994. It can be viewed online at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled.