Adaptive toys on loan at Oak Bay library

Greater Victoria Public Library launches Skill Builders for all children

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.

 

Just Posted

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Victoria city council seeks authority to tax empty homes

Council is asking the province for the authority to invoke a vacancy tax

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes says municipality will re-group after Rowing Canada decision

Haynes said he is “quite disappointed” but also respects choice of North Cowichan as national centre

Saanich police dog tracks dangerous driver after car ditched in Oak Bay

Man may face charges of dangerous driving and mischief

Backyardigans, Max & Ruby stage shows add to Family Day in Sidney

Bodine Hall shows make room for kids to sing, dance, enjoy Family Day weekend

VIDEO: Excessive speed on the Malahat captured by dash cam footage

Poster calls driving ‘dangerous, obnoxious and disrespectful’

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Most Read