The Pre-school Learning Alliance is a leading educational charity specialising in the early years. The Alliance provides practical support to over 15,000 early years settings and makes a positive contribution to the care and education of over 800,000 young children and their families each year.
Each year the Alliance organises a conference and a series of workshops to illustrate best practise in early years care.
This years programme included four workshops presented by Pat Atkinson from the National Association of Toy & Leisure Libraries. Pat’s workshop was all about "Switched Play".
I had the opportunity to meet with Pat and loan her a series of switched adapted toys to support her workshops. These are Pat’s comments on the event:
In the “Switched Play” workshop at the PLA Inclusion conference I had planned to demonstrate my usual stock of performing animals with pressure switches and a latching & timing box, and a collection of simple radio controlled vehicles with different controllers. The chance to try the Dream-Racer car and performing animals with the games controller added an exciting extra dimension to the event. These new items brought me up to date and showed that hat control is a wonderful addition to the range of switched play options for children with physical impairments. Now I need to refine the head action to reduce the chaos that my car playing creates. Maybe a slower vehicle could be added to the range?
Pat Atkinson, Trainer for the National Association of Toy & Leisure Libraries. March 2008.