The great thing about toys is that the pull us into the moment. Once we get involved with a toy, our full attention is taken up with play and exploration. Anything that does that can’t help but be beneficial. Our Color Sorting Board was, obviously, designed and created for children, yet provides superb cognitive stimulation; and whereas it may not be a stage-appropriate activity for most of us, it is certainly appropriate for anyone who gets enjoyment from it. Enjoyment translates immediately to quality of life. Another good example of activity that we can rightly call a toy for Alzheimer’s patients is the the Brainpaths, which provides excellent brain stimulation by tracing a groove in the disk with the fingers. The nerves in the fingers send a signal directly to the brain. (More» about Brainpaths)
Fidget toys have gotten very popular lately and are a good choice. The Tangle Aromatherapy (pictured) is a perfect example of a fidgit toy. Fidget toy is, in some ways, another word for manipulative, though the latter term includes a wider range of possibilities. Our Lock Box, for example, is not a fidget toy, but I would consider it a manipulative.
Toys that provide appropriate sensory and cognitive stimulation for adults with dementia are usually fun toys for children as well. This offers an excellent opportunity to encourage interaction between children and elders.
A favorite toy for Alzheimer’s patients is the Playable Art Ball which we refer to as a manipulative. The Playablle Art Ball is a more “sophisticated” case of a fidgit toy. There are more manipulatives in the list of toys below.
Purple Angel Ambassador
Dementia Friendly America