Autism and Early Intervention

April 1, 2014

by Larry Mestyanek, Ph.D. – President, TAG Toys, Inc.

Early intervention with an autistic child has proven to be the most promising approach for stimulating normal development. Like all infants and toddlers the primary source for stimulating physical and mental development for an autistic child is through the basic senses of seeing, hearing, touching and movement. The stimulation of these senses is the basis for more advanced learning.

The human brain is the only organ not fully developed at birth. The human brain actually grows as a result of stimulation from the environment. The growth is not an increase in the number of brain cells or the size of the brain but in the formation of dendrites which are extensions from a brain cell that create connections between and among other brain cells. These connections are pathways whereby information is learned and stored in memory. With repeated stimulation these pathways solidify and strengthen. This is the basis of intelligence.

Every infant and in particular the autistic child who cannot yet speak, read or write depends on building sensory sub skills to allow for more complex learning. Developing these sub skills is accomplished first by sensory input from the environment followed by sensory output from the child. The next step is the manipulation of the environment through movement. There is no greater reward (positive reinforcement) for a child than to cause an effect in his or her world. This is why children grasp, push and pull, twist and turn, and mimic observed behavior.

We all have heard the real estate maxim – location, location, location. With learning the maxim is sub skills, sub skills, sub skills.

TAG Toys are specifically designed to target the development of sub skills basic for more advanced leaning. A child is born into a 3 dimensional world and must begin learning in the third dimension. This is why all of the TAG Toys are what we call “manipulatives”. Toys that are played with, handled, touched, moved, “manipulated” and in the process providing the stimulation that causes the brain cell extensions (dendrites) to grow and strengthen.

The products most successful with the autistic child in developmental order are:
 Spin-Around Glitter Drum
 Geo Form Boards
 First Blocks
 Giant Knob Shape Puzzle
 Amazing Tracker
 Maple Shape Sorter
 Shape Sorter with Mirror
 Hide and Seek Teddy Bear Puzzle
 Memory Circles
 Tumble Down Counting Pegs
 Motor Shapes Sequence Board
 Size and Shape Comparison Puzzle
 Watch Me Count! Number Puzzle
 I Can Spell! Alphabet Puzzle
 Lock Box Memory Game
 Locks and Latches Activity Board
 Hobby and Art Table

TAG Toys is an environmentally friendly, family company that proudly hand crafts hundreds of educational toys in the USA, including toys that help children learn to spell and count. Please visit www.TAGToys.com

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Toys that Teach, Entertain and Give Kids Exercise

December 15, 2012

We are asked, “Are there any toys that can simultaneously help teach my kids and also give them physical exercise at the same time?”

Educational games that have physical components are well grounded in multi-sensory learning theory, which suggests that as more relevant dimensions (sight, hearing, tactile, physical involvement) are added to a learning experience the higher the retention of details and the understanding of the material will be.

When a learning experience can be brought to life with a game there is another dimension (fun) that is also introduced. Games like the Number Ring Toss from TAG Toys is an exciting activity that can help teach kids about basic numbers, and help them develop skills with numbers, counting and basic math.

TAG Toys Number Ring Toss

Number Ring Toss from TAG Toys

Ring toss number games are played by adding or subtracting numbers won by tossing the ring over different pegs, and activities like this are easy so everyone in the family can participate. Variations on the game like can be created that allow parents to introduce kids to different mathematical concepts like multiplication and division which can be introduced during ring-toss games as bonus rounds or penalty throws.

TAG Toys is an eco-friendly family-run business making educational Toys for children in the USA. If you are looking for a gifts for babies, toddlers or children TAG Toys has great toys for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Birthdays. Please visit www.TAGToys.com

Ask a question to TAG Toys on Facebook.


Games for The Family During the Holidays

November 30, 2012

We are asked, “What games do you have that the whole family can play together during a holiday gathering?”

The holidays are definitely more fun when the games are brought out of the closet and everyone can let loose a little bit and have some fun.

Ring Toss Word Game from TAG Toys

Word Ring Toss Game from TAG Toys

One of our favorite Games in our TOY Collection is the Ring Word Toss Game.  In this game, each person tries to toss the ring onto a peg to win a letter and build a word.  Players alternate turns, and keep track of words they are building on the included hand-held score boards, with paper or on a chalkboard. The game can be played in teams or as individuals, and difficulty increases as words get longer, and also as the distance between the base, and the throwing line is increased.

Other games in the TAG Toys collection include the Word Discovery Game, Picture Completion Game, and the Number Ring Toss.

TAG Toys is an environmentally friendly, family company that proudly hand crafts hundreds of educational toys in the USA, including puzzles for kids, games for families and activity sets for children of all ages. Please visit http://www.TAGToys.com

Join the Conversation, ask us a question of your own on Facebook.


Math Toys are an Educational Gift for Kids

November 9, 2012

We are told, and then asked,  “You have too many toys, can you tell me what would be a great gift for a four-year old?”

Parents who are looking to really give their youngsters a head start for school can start helping them learn about and appreciate numbers as early as possible. The TAG Toys Math Skills Puzzle is a great tool that helps children make the transition over from simple shapes and color puzzles into something that will benefit them for years to come.

TAG Toys Math Skills Puzzle

Math Skills Puzzle from TAG Toys

The TAG Toys Math Skills Number Puzzle is a math readiness skill combination learning center with a number puzzle, 20 counting beads, a reversible chalkboard, and a connect-the-dot stencil that helps introduce children to  real numbers.

This popular educational puzzle helps children learn to recognize, name and write numbers, and parents can use this to help their child learn to count in sequence and practice solving simple addition and subtraction problems. The TAG Toys Math Skills Number Puzzle is available at specialty children’s toy stores and boutiques nationwide as well as at TAGToys.com

TAG Toys is a family company making hand crafted Toys in the USA such as baby blocks, educational toys for infants, and sorting toys for kids. Please visit www.TAGToys.com


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