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."