Whether you call it Autism Awareness or Autism Acceptance like one of my good friends, April is a great month to learn more about autism and how to make our world more supportive to those families living with it. That’s one reason we’ve long supported Creative Kidstuff’s partnership with St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development to identify some of the best playthings for kids with autism. And it is on their special month-long Autism Awareness Celebration Sale page that I discovered a toy that could help kids on and off the autistic spectrum learn and understand more about their moods.
My Mood Memo from CMP favorite eco-toy brand Plan Toys, includes 24 colored rubber tree wood discs, each with one of 12 emotions painted on them.
It was designed to be played as a memory matching game or a color-identifying game, though I love how the discs can be used to teach kids to better read different facial expressions and what moods those expressions convey. Is the face happy? Sad? Bored? Worried?
St. David’s Center has identified this toy as one of several at Creative Kidstuff that can help kids with autism in terms of social engagement and interaction, but I think it’s a great toy to teach all kids about facial expressions and moods.
I almost think of it like the toy complement to Dr. Seuss’s excellent board book, My Many Colored Days, coming in handy for toddlers and preschoolers when Mommy is having a particularly tough day and could really use a hug.
You’ll find My Mood Memo by Plan Toys on sale at Creative Kidstuff, along with loads of other toys for kids on the autistic spectrum. Toys are grouped into six categories based on the special needs of the child, from sensory motor development to creative thinking.