Toys for Our Children: UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute


For more information, please contact

Betty Tucker, Director of Development

UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute

4301 W. Markham St., #554

Little Rock, AR 72205 or (501) 526-8134

Play is more than mere "Entertainment!" It is the

way children learn to understand and make sense

of the world. Play promotes creativity and problem-

solving abilities and helps children form relationships

and develop social skills. Clinicians use

play in therapy to modify behavior and teach cognitive

and interpersonal skills.

Toys facilitate and enrich play and help children

acquire skills. In clinical settings, toys are used as

tools to educate, model behavioral change, and

promote self-regulation and self-soothing behaviors.

In 2011 a local entrepreneur established the "Toys

for Our Children Fund" to purchase toys for the

Child Diagnostic Unit, an inpatient unit for children

between the ages of two and twelve at the

Psychiatric Research Institute. The fund is used to

purchase toys for day to day use on the unit, as

gifts for children hospitalized on birthdays and

holidays, and as "take home" gifts for children being

discharged from the unit. Toys are carefully

selected for their therapeutic value and include

such things as:


Kimochi plush dolls to encourage children to

express their feelings in a comfortable way. These

dolls have pockets stuffed with pillows bearing the

name of an expression or emotion on one side and

a face expressing the same emotion on the other



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 for

the approximately one hundred children treated at

the Child Diagnostic Unit each year.

With your help and your contributions, we can

provide "Toys for Our Children."