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Caution: artists at work.


THE ABILITY TO CREATE a final product not only brings great pleasure, but also offers opportunities for making choices and for self-expression. It is through the creative process that learning about colors, shapes and spatial relationships can occur. Many hours of play may revolve around creating something for oneself, a favorite person or a special occasion.

Imprimagic[R] allows a youngster to choose from six printing plates to create a drawing. A printing plate is inserted into a holder with a piece of plate and paper in place. Tape may be added to keep the paper from sliding. The design is created by rubbing a crayon over paper. The original rubbing block is glued to a dowel rod cut to fit inside the frame of th eImprimagic. An additional frame made from stretcher bars is fastened with VELCRO[R] to the top of the Imprimagic, as some youngsters may exert too much pressure and slide the rubbing block off the frame. For added stability, VELCRO may be applied to the bottom of th eImprimagic. Depending on a youngster's needs, the Imprimagic may also be placed on an easel to offer an easier angle for access. A large knob may also be placed on the dowel to offer easier handling.

Spiromatic[R] is another toy that can be used to create unique geometric designs using several colored pens. Although assistance will be needed to insert the pens, the placement and color of the pens may be chosen by the artist. By rotating a plexiglass cylindeR, the gears holding the pens create different patterns. As with the Imprimagic, paper must be inserted into a frame for each design. The attachment of a dowel rod, using a t-shaped plumbing pipe for a handle, provides additional access to rotating the cylinder. For some youngsters, a strap may be attached to the dowel rod, allowing a place to insert their hand during rottion. Adding VELCRO to the base of the frame will also stabilize the device during the design process.

Don't forget to find prominent places to display the masterpieces that these toys will produce!

Alice Wershing is Toy Program Coordinator and Computer Resource Specialist at the Disabled Children's Center in Berkeley, California. The author wishes to thank Helen Miller and Bridgett Perry for their comments and willingness to field test the author's ideas.
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Wershing, Alice
Publication:The Exceptional Parent
Article Type:evaluation
Date:Oct 1, 1990
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