Thursday, 27 August 2015

Smiler plays with (toy) fire

I wrote here about how it can be difficult to find toys for Smiler - the mix of his learning difficulties and his sensory needs and his strength and his size make it complicated.  At the age of 14 he gets the most enjoyment from toys aimed at toddlers, but having been at that stage for maybe four or five years now, it is becoming tricky to find anything new!  Hopefully that might go some way towards explaining my excitement in finding a whole group of toys he hadn't shown the slightest interest in before.  

These wooden toys, manufactured under the brand name of Grimm, are available from a range of places, including where I got these - a family focused UK based website called Little Acorns to Mighty Oaks.  Great range, speedy delivery, and (importantly to me) not charging daft amounts.  Their range of Grimm toys is extensive, and I found myself wanting pretty much all of it - not just for Smiler, to myself.  Take a look, and let me knew if you do too - Mr absolutely does not get it!  {Not a sponsored post or anything like that by the way, the toys are just that great, and the online store just that impressive!}

Anyway, I wanted to share these photos of Smiler playing with one of his new toys from Little Acorns.  This was the one that he had chosen from the website (on a particularly taxing day when he (and I) desperately needed distracting) and as soon as I handed it to him, a piece at a time, I knew he'd remembered - "fames! Fames ummy, fames!" [Flames! Flames mummy, flames!]
But did he want to fit the pieces together to make a single multi-coloured flicker of fire?  Of course not, that would be boring.  Instead he made himself a beard, and then a beak ...
"Ud ... ud me" [bird ... bird me]

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Have a quick sniff, maybe a crafty lick when no one's watching - actually not a problem, as the dyes used are non toxic - then instantly transform them into the snapping mouths of crocodiles, playing together.

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 And ears.  The face there, that's because he was he was vocalising - loudly - I can only imagine he was checking whether the new ears were working...

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Feeding the orange crocodile, and sliding the littlest flames in underneath the tower . . . As you can see, these beautiful wooden shapes have already brought Smiler a lot of joy, and they're so lovely to touch, so deliciously more-ish-ly tactile, that we've all been joining in - I've had to remind Petal and Noah several times to let Smiler have them back!  There are not many things - be they games or toys or even conversations - that all three will sit together and enjoy, but these seem to have hit the spot!

I actually got a few others at the same time (because I couldn't bear not to) from the same series, and there are a few more I'm trying to work out how to slip into the house unnoticed, but if you're struggling to find something different for a young person like Smiler, then I would seriously recommend you go and check them out!  Even as an adult I'm a bit tempted to get one for myself - rearranging it on my windowsill every so often as a piece of abstract art I guess!  They are just that beautiful.

Have you struggled to find toys that suit your child?  Have you come across any gems that you think I should check out?  Any and all suggestions gratefully received!

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