TOYS FOR OUR CHILDRENFor more information, please contactBetty Tucker, Director of DevelopmentUAMS Psychiatric Research Institute4301 W. Markham St., #554Little Rock, AR 72205
BATucker@uams.edu or (501) 526-8134
Play is more than mere "Entertainment!" It is theway children learn to understand and make senseof the world. Play promotes creativity and problem-solving abilities and helps children form relationshipsand develop social skills. Clinicians useplay in therapy to modify behavior and teach cognitiveand interpersonal skills.Toys facilitate and enrich play and help childrenacquire skills. In clinical settings, toys are used astools to educate, model behavioral change, andpromote self-regulation and self-soothing behaviors.In 2011 a local entrepreneur established the "Toysfor Our Children Fund" to purchase toys for theChild Diagnostic Unit, an inpatient unit for childrenbetween the ages of two and twelve at thePsychiatric Research Institute. The fund is used topurchase toys for day to day use on the unit, asgifts for children hospitalized on birthdays andholidays, and as "take home" gifts for children beingdischarged from the unit. Toys are carefullyselected for their therapeutic value and includesuch things as:
Kimochi plush dolls to encourage children to express their feelings in a comfortable way. Thesedolls have pockets stuffed with pillows bearing thename of an expression or emotion on one side anda face expressing the same emotion on the otherside.
MP3 players to provide music which can be relaxing and soothing as well as self-regulating.An estimated $7,500 is required to provide toys forthe approximately one hundred children treated atthe Child Diagnostic Unit each year.
With your help and your contributions, we can
provide "Toys for Our Children."