Children at The Hamlet Children's Centre have been testing out a new wheelchair toy prototype on behalf of the toy company 'Toy Like Me'.
'Toy Like Me' make toys that "celebrate the powers of disability representation in toys to boost self esteem and grow open minds."
The toy company based in Norwich approached The Hamlet to see if they could trial the toy with the children that attend our Short Break playschemes. Manager Emily Lown jumped at the chance: "'Toy Like Me' is great because it really aims to encourage the toy industry to better represent disabled children. The staff are all involved in monitoring how the children respond to the toys. All February half term we have been working with Rebecca from 'Toy Like Me' to test them out with the children."
'Toy Like Me' Co-director Rebecca Atkinsons explained: "The wheelchair brief was to create something which was fun, wasn’t a stereotype, nothing to do with hospitals, could be printed cheaply and retail in the UK and be child safety certified. Most importantly I wanted to create a toy which would go fast, be stable and not fall over when you wheel it. Most toy wheelchairs do not stand up to being whizzed, leaving the toy occupant falling out. We have created two toy wheelchairs which we will be testing with a big cardboard ramp. The idea is to see who can get the chairs to go the furthest and there will be prizes for the winner."
The Hamlet Children's Centre featured on BBC Look East news during the February half term, showing some of our children using the toy wheelchair and ramps! Short breaker Summer even got to speak on camera telling everyone about the fun she was having at playscheme.
Visit http://www.toylikeme.org/ to find out more about this fantastic local toy company.