Adaptive toys on loan at Oak Bay library

Greater Victoria Public Library launches Skill Builders for all children

Rina Hadziev

Rina Hadziev

A new Skill Builders Adaptive Toy collection in the Greater Victoria Public Library will provide families with children who have cognitive, physical, sensory or communicative challenges the opportunity to borrow accessible toys at the Oak Bay branch.

Rina Hadziev, Collections and Technical Services Co-ordinator, is proud of the collection, calling it one of the “more special” in their vast offering. “I like it when we stretch ourselves,” she said. “The focus is really on play. Parents and caregivers and kids playing together has value in itself,” she said.

Each of the light plastic totes holds three to five toys, a fidget and a book or CD.

It has an information sheet of ideas to use the toys and many resources for children with developmental issues. The totes come in three sizes, with the smallest the same as a Stories to Go box, which parents may already know.

“We wanted to have a range of materials. It was more important to us to have the correct material, than have it fit in a specific bin,” she said. “For us, it was about the quality.”

The collection is designed to have parents and caregivers play with kids developing essential auditory, visual, tactile senses as well as fine motor, gross motor, hand-eye co-ordination and even communication skills.

“A lot of these are pre-literacy skills,” Hadziev said.

A Victoria Foundation grant funded the program to fill what Hadziev said they found was “a real gap” when looking at toy lending options in the region.

“The Victoria Foundation just got it. We’re so lucky to have a group like that in town,” she said.

The collection was created with input from the Island Health, Early Intervention Program located at the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health.

“We were fortunate enough to have the chance to see this new collection develop and grow,” said Megan Staniforth, a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Queen Alexandra Centre. “We provided input on the kinds of materials that encourage children’s development through play.”

Alongside the child development quotient, each toy had to fit the criteria of sturdy, washable and simply fun to fit into the lending program.

“We ask that people wipe them down before they return them, but we also wipe them down,” Hadziev said.

Even before the new collection was officially launched last week, 50 of the 74 were routinely on loan.

“There’s not a long wait at this point,” Hadziev said. Like much of the traditional GVPL collection, the Skill Builders collection can be reserved online and picked up and returned at any branch in the GVPL.

“There are kids that need this collection, we developed it with them in mind first,” she said. “(But) our whole intention with this collection is anyone can enjoy it. Every kid can enjoy playing with their parents or caregivers. It’s also a great idea for someone coming for a visit.”

Visit gvpl.ca and search “skill builders” to learn more about the boxes available or see images of each kit.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Colwood Fire Department

Saanich-based St. Luke’s Players community theatre company has been making the most of their opportunities to keep busy during the pandemic, including staging a Christmastime panto of Alice in Wonderland on Zoom. (Courtesy St. Luke’s Players)
Saanich’s St. Luke’s Players: Bringing the stage to the people

Community theatre company holding online auditions Jan. 23-24 for March production

Frank Bourree was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction for his leadership in the business community. (Courtesy of Frank Bourree)
Frank Bourree receives award of distinction from Victoria chamber

Award recognizes positive role model in business community

The Habitat for Humanity Meaning of Home contest is open to students in Grades 5 to 6. (Screenshot/Habitat for Humanity video)
Habitat for Humanity launches national writing contest

Entries accepted from students in Grades 4 to 6 until Feb. 19

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read