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Summertime fun!

The weather is getting warmer, and it's time to play outside! There are many toys available from a variety of sources for outdoor play in the backyard or at the beach. These toys offer options for independent and imaginative play, as well as cooperative play with friends and siblings.

"Pool Town Fishing Game" by Animal Fair can be used in the yard, in sand or in water. Plumbing insulation tubing can be used to create a larger handle on the fishing pole. Attaching a hook & loop fastener (such as VELCRO [registered trademark]) to the fish hook, as well as to the fish, can create a fun and challenging game. If you plan to use this in water, the fastener may wear out easily. Standing the fish upright in shallow water will make the fish easier to catch. The hook will also turn forward when pulled.

The "Fisher-Price Sand Kitchen" can be used in sand and water. The set includes a sifter and bowl, beater, muffin tray, knife, spatula, and cookie tray Longer handles may be added to the muffin tray and cookie cutter by using plumbing insulation tubing from a hardware store and inserting a piece of dowel rod, cut to the same length, to add stiffness. VELCRO straps may be glued to the spatula and knife so they can be attached around the youngster's wrist or hand if grasping is difficult. The sifter can be mounted to a dowel rod using plumbing clamp rings, eliminating the need for two-handed operation, as well as providing a stable base for play. The dowel rod is glued into a wood base, using a boring drill bit to create a hole for the dowel. The base can be placed on top of or underneath the sand during play. A similar mounting system can be made for the beater by cutting a cradle out of wood or plastic foam and attaching it to a dowel embedded in a base.

The "Rolling Scoop" by Sunny Park is a great toy for pushing and scooping sand and dirt. The handle can be filled with a wooden piece, allowing the addition of dowels for stability and use of both hands. Longer dowels can be extended vertically to allow an individual to play in the sand while seated in a wheelchair or stroller. The "Sand Drill" is another great toy for playing in sand. It can be mounted using plumbing clamp rings like the "Fisher Price Sand Sifter," and will allow movement in a half-circle for drilling and digging.

Don't forget the sun screen and have a great summer ! Alice Wershing is Toy Program Coordinator and Computer Resource Specialist at the Disabled Children's Center in Berkeley, California. The author wishes to thank Gary Brown for his technical assistance in adapting the "Rolling Scoop," and Mary Lester for her guidance in developing this article.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Wershing, Alice
Publication:The Exceptional Parent
Date:Jul 1, 1990
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