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.


Fun Toys That Also Give Physical Exercise to Kids

December 13, 2012

We are asked, “I’d like to encourage my youngster to move around more without suggesting to them, that they need exercise. What kind of toys do you have that are fun and encourage physical activity?”

Kids who play with other kids tend to be more physically active than are children who do not have friends to play with. If other kids aren’t around, parents should take the lead, and encourage simple activities like dancing, ask for a game of freeze tag in the yard, or take the family to the park to play on the swings or climb a tree. There are hundreds of ways to families, parents and kids to have fun that involve physical activity at the same time.

TAG Toys Easy Stand Dominos Set of 50

Set of 50 Easy Stand Dominos from TAG Toys

As a last resort, where no other kids are around and parents are dragged in different directions by travel or work, there are toys available that children can play with, which encourage physical movement, even if the child is alone during the playtime. Toys like the Stand Up Domino Collection from TAG Toys, encourages walking around, bending over and crawling between domino’s while setting them up for the eventual cascading knock over.

Other toys like TAG Toys Hollow Blocks and Ring Toss Games (Number Ring Toss and Word Ring Toss) also encourage physical activity. These games are entertaining for kids who are all alone, and even more fun when played with friends and family members.

TAG Toys is an environmentally friendly family-run business making wood Toys in the USA. If you are looking for a gift for a girl or a boy TAG Toys has great toys for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Birthdays. Please visit www.TAGToys.com

Ask a question to TAG Toys on Facebook.


Chalk Boards for Kids Play Areas and Recreation Rooms

December 3, 2012

We are asked, “We are redecorating our recreation room to be a play-room for the kids, what kind chalkboards do you have?”

TAG Toys has several different chalkboards, stand-up easels, and dry erase boards that are designed for use by kids in schools & Montessori’s, day care centers as well as in kids own rooms and family recreation areas.

Four Way Table Top Easel by TAG Toys

4-Way Tabletop Easel from TAG Toys

The Four Way Table Top Easel is a desktop solution and has a tray to hold art supplies pencils, paint and other arts and crafts items. This large sturdy table-top easel has a chalkboard and write and wipe surfaces, and can be used with trace and erase tools or by clipping paper to the frame. The art set includes chalk, paint set and brush, plastic overlay and 2 spring clips for holding paper.

For homes where there is more space TAG Toys also has a Traditional Stand-up Art Easel with a large painting area and chalkboard as well as an oversized lower lower tray that helps keep paint supplies, and other arts and crafts materials in one place.

And finally for family rooms where there is very little, or virtually no space available, the TAG Toys Lap Board, a reversible chalkboard/write-and-wipe board can still be used for making drawings, or playing simple family games.

TAG Toys is a family owned business making environmentally friendly, hand-crafted wooden Toys in the USA. Whether you are shopping for girls or boys TAG Toys has gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Birthdays for kids of all ages. Please visit www.TAGToys.com

Join the Conversation, ask TAG Toys a question on Facebook.


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