National Lekotek Center

National Lekotek Center National Lekotek Center is a network of affiliate centers that offer therapeutic toy lending and resources to children with disabilities and their families.
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Check out www.lekotek.org for more information! National Lekotek Center is a division of Anixter Center in Chicago. National Lekotek Center is the administrator of a national network of affiliates. Please visit http://lekotek.org/lekotek-sites/lekotek-affiliate-sites for a current list of sites.

Check out www.lekotek.org for more information! National Lekotek Center is a division of Anixter Center in Chicago. National Lekotek Center is the administrator of a national network of affiliates. Please visit http://lekotek.org/lekotek-sites/lekotek-affiliate-sites for a current list of sites.

Exclusively for Lekotek families--early admission (starting at 8 am) to our HUGE Sale tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 9. Come e...
12/08/2017

Exclusively for Lekotek families--early admission (starting at 8 am) to our HUGE Sale tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 9. Come early for the best selection! Details below and at http://bit.ly/2ACoSWB. Cash only. 2032 N. Clybourn, Chicago.

Just for Lekotek Families! We're going to open our HUGE toy sale early--at 8 am, Saturday, 12/9--just for Lekotek famili...
12/07/2017

Just for Lekotek Families! We're going to open our HUGE toy sale early--at 8 am, Saturday, 12/9--just for Lekotek families. Come and be among the first to buy from our great selection!

Are you ready? We’re having a HUGE toys, books, games and puzzles sale (1,000+ items) 9am-3pm, Saturday, Dec. 9, at 2032...
12/06/2017

Are you ready? We’re having a HUGE toys, books, games and puzzles sale (1,000+ items) 9am-3pm, Saturday, Dec. 9, at 2032 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago. Cash only. Free parking in back with entrance to the sale from the back. For more info, go to http://bit.ly/2ACoSWB. Don’t miss it!

Just in time for the holidays!
11/28/2017

Just in time for the holidays!

09/04/2017
NowThis Entertainment

The power and strength in children with all abilities can change the world.

This photographer is helping kids with disabilities unleash their inner superheroes

07/27/2017
Raising Dragons - Activities For Kids

What a great idea!

Letter writing with sprinkles 🖌age 3-5 🖌 Here's a fun way to practice writing letters! All you need are sprinkles and a paintbrush! (Salt or sand work well too!) 👍🏻 This activity was inspired by Modern Preschool!

Get the tray we used here >> http://amzn.to/2xEXPuV (affiliate)

Get more simple sensory STEAM ideas in our new book: 100 Easy STEAM Activities 😍 Get a copy here (aff link): https://amzn.to/2NRQDmJ

For more activities like this >> https://www.raisingdragons.com/category/age-4-5/

Check out this new device by VOCSN. It combines a ventilator, oxygen, suction, cough assist and nebulizer in one light w...
06/28/2017
VOCSN

Check out this new device by VOCSN. It combines a ventilator, oxygen, suction, cough assist and nebulizer in one light weight machine. Life-changing for individuals and families with special needs.

VOCSN integrates 5 separate devices including a ventilator, oxygen concentrator, cough assist, suction, and nebulizer into a multi-function ventilator.

Check out National Lekotek Center's new blog on The Friendship Circle website!
06/28/2017
Five Imaginative Ways to Make Indoor Play Exciting

Check out National Lekotek Center's new blog on The Friendship Circle website!

Whether you're stuck indoors due to weather or because your child is under the weather, get creative and make indoor play just as fun as outdoor.

National Lekotek Center's cover photo
06/22/2017

National Lekotek Center's cover photo

Some really great resources! You know, to read in all your free time! :)
06/20/2017
Friendship Circle of Michigan

Some really great resources! You know, to read in all your free time! :)

Parents, it's time to hit the books! Check out these reads on Autism, Behavior Solutions, Positive School Experience, and Disability Awareness. Already read them? We want to hear your thoughts!

All set at Aspire for their Full Circle Resource Fair! Come say hi!
06/10/2017

All set at Aspire for their Full Circle Resource Fair! Come say hi!

05/31/2017
Ellen Meets a Wonderful Kid Inventor

Can't wait for the full version to launch! #abilityapp #playforall

Twelve-year-old inventor Alex created a life-changing app, and he told Ellen all about it.

"...research shows that children who learn and play in nature are healthier, happier and perform better in school..." #f...
05/26/2017
A CHILD'S RIGHT TO NATURE: Why the City of Austin Created a Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights

"...research shows that children who learn and play in nature are healthier, happier and perform better in school..."

#foodforthought #playforall #playforallabilities #natureplay

Over the last decade, the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) of Austin, Texas, has been a leader in the rapidly expanding grassroots movement of organizations dedicated to getting more kids outside and educating parents, teachers and healthcare providers about the benefits of frequent connection

Check out our latest article in Parenting Special Needs Magazine!
05/17/2017

Check out our latest article in Parenting Special Needs Magazine!

Happy Mother's Day from everyone at Lekotek!
05/14/2017

Happy Mother's Day from everyone at Lekotek!

How does a child’s interaction with media and technology strengthen relationships?♥️
05/12/2017
The Role of Relationships in Children’s Use of Technology - Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning & Children's Media

How does a child’s interaction with media and technology strengthen relationships?
♥️

Technology and digital media are an integral part of many adults’ lives, and the same is true for many children today. Not long ago, the conversation about digital media and early childhood learning focused on whether or not these new technologies should be part of early childhood education, at home...

We all want to feel represented. Even in our toys.
05/06/2017
AblePlay

We all want to feel represented. Even in our toys.

The importance of connecting with your toys cannot be overstated. Children of all abilities must be able to see themselves and their success in whatever toy they choose.
#ableplayforall
#ableplayforallabilities

05/05/2017
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt

Showing off her prosthetic leg! Look at that strut! 😎

WATCH: At a school in England, a 7-year-old girl shows off her new prosthetic "blade" leg -- and this is how her peers react.

Why do you think so many educators and policymakers have come to see play and learning as mutually exclusive?
05/03/2017
What Kids Need From Grown-Ups (But Aren't Getting)

Why do you think so many educators and policymakers have come to see play and learning as mutually exclusive?

Author Erika Christakis mounts a spirited defense of a four-letter word that, she says, isn't used nearly enough in early classrooms: play.

Here's a little Saturday morning treat!
04/29/2017
How Society Kills Your Creativity – In An Award Winning Pixar-Esque Short Film

Here's a little Saturday morning treat!

When it comes to our modern day society, there is no doubt that we are being told how to live and what our lives are supposed to look like. When we are born we have our parents imposing their ideas and beliefs onto us about what is right and what is wrong and then from […]

04/28/2017
The Dodo

Can we please talk about how cute this dog is?

A kid and his first dog are magic 🐶❤️

Happy Earth Day! Do your part :)
04/22/2017

Happy Earth Day! Do your part :)

04/21/2017
Upworthy

We all communicate differently... 😎

Ordering a pizza with a trumpet might be hard, but an instrument is still one way to communicate. (From our friends at The Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Learn more here: cpfchallenge.org)

Food for thought. Let's raise confident girls so they grow up to be empowered women! #gutsygirls
04/18/2017
To raise brave girls, encourage adventure

Food for thought. Let's raise confident girls so they grow up to be empowered women! #gutsygirls

Gutsy girls skateboard, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up -- and grow up to be brave women. Learn how to spark a little productive risk-taking and raise confident girls with stories and advice from firefighter, paraglider and all-around adventurer Caroline...

04/08/2017
InspireMore

Can't stop laughing!

Dad puts baby's morning routine to music and I can't stop laughing! 😂

For more: http://bit.ly/2o3iMXW

Submit your videos for a chance to inspire millions! Send us a Facebook message :)

Valuable Play without Spending a Dime By: Lydia Bryant, CTRSWe’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s priceless.” When we play w...
03/31/2017

Valuable Play without Spending a Dime By: Lydia Bryant, CTRS

We’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s priceless.” When we play with our children, it is priceless. When we watch them move with joy, it’s priceless. When we laugh with them, it’s priceless. While play, joy and laughter are priceless, parents know that paying for it certainly is not. Providing enriching, joyful and inclusive play to our children does not need to be a financial burden. Whether you have access to a Lekotek toy lending library or not, the ability to create a world of play for our children simply takes a bit of ingenuity and imagination. The result? Priceless.
As experts of inclusive and accessible play, we know the importance of play in a child’s development and overall quality of life for the family. Creating those moments of inclusive and accessible play need not be a burden – financially or otherwise. For creating developmentally valuable play experiences that are accessible to children of all abilities, here are 7 easy and inexpensive ideas from our Lekotek Inclusive Play Specialists that are in a word, priceless.
1. Box Town (Social Development)
Have you ever noticed that your kids always seem more interested in the packaging a toy came in than the toy itself? Well, run with it! Collect 5-10 large boxes from the recycling and use markers or paint around the house to decorate the boxes like buildings in a town. Create a library, school, post office, grocery store, doctor’s office, etc., and let kiddos run their town. Do you want to add something about incorporating cars or dolls or stuffed animals as “townsfolk”?
2. Mix & Match Crafts (Cognitive development)
Children have abundant imaginations that can lead to some pretty fabulous creative expression. An old paper towel or toilet paper roll, or paper cup can serve as a base to make a person, animal or mystical creature. Add cotton balls, puff balls, feathers, tissue paper and Popsicle sticks to add features and create more sensory touch points. Googly eye are always a great addition, but feel free to use a hole puncher as well. You can even use what you have in your recycling bin right now to make a fun craft!
3. Plant & Play (Emotional development)
An old egg carton (cardboard) can act as mini planters for an indoor garden. Seeds can be purchased for less than $1 and dirt can be collected from your backyard. Taking care of a plant is a great opportunity for children to learn about the life cycle and practice empathy skills they will use throughout life. Planting and gardening can also be a great sensory experience for them. Getting outside and digging in dirt gives the chance to feel the dirt in our hands, smell the scents of the outdoors, and feel the breeze on our skin. Create your own sensory garden with a variety aromatic plants.
4. Sensory Showdown (Sensory development)
The word ‘sensory’ has become a recognizable buzz word in the special needs community. Professionals and parents understand how important sensory experiences are for the kiddos in our lives, but it is often a developmental area that gets overlooked. Sensory issues are magnified in children with SPD or ASD, but remember that EVERY child (and adult) has specific sensory preferences that can motivate or irritate them in play. Be aware of your child’s sensory preferences (lighting, temperature, noise and movement) when setting up activities. So, what are some sensory activities we can do at home?
a. Sensory Bin (dry pasta noodles, rice, pipe cleaners, cotton balls, beans, small toys)
b. Sensory Bag (Ziploc bag filled with hair gel or aloe vera, and small objects like beads or marbles that can be manipulated from outside of bag. Use Duct tape to adhere bag to flat surface for more stability)
c. Sensory Tray (Plastic tray or cookie tray filled with shaving cream, whipped cream or sand. Add color and texture with food coloring, glitter, beads or puff balls.)
d. Sensory Bottle (Clear plastic bottle filled with water, soap and glitter. Add pebbles, shells or beads for more color and dimension. Spin the bottle around to create a tornado for kiddo to watch and explore, or roll across floor to add gross motor movement to activity.)
5. Talk about a Scavenger Hunt (Communicative development)
When I think of a scavenger hunt from my childhood I always picture door to door collection from neighbors, but you can create a great scavenger without leaving your home (or even one room). Write clues and riddles for the family to follow. For example, “This is a place where you brush your teeth” or “Look under your parent’s bed.” Hide more clues or a little knick knack at each location.
6. Becoming a Butterfly (Physical development)
At home, we can learn about butterflies through pretend play. Crawl on the floor for the caterpillar stage and gradually crawl slower and slower to represent the caterpillar getting plumper and plumper. Once you have slowed to a stop, use a blanket to wrap your child in a ‘cocoon’. Lay on the floor or couch in cocoon for 30 seconds to a minute to represent the time spent in this stage. Finally roll out of cocoon and pretend to fly around the room. Have colorful scarves and clothing available to dress up as a beautiful butterfly once your child has emerged from the cocoon.
7. Family ‘Fort’ Night (Social development)
Good old fashioned fort building is fun for the whole family and doesn’t cost a dime! Expand on the experience by designating an evening of fort building with sleeping bags, pillows, cushions, blankets, flashlights, and books or music.
So next time you are at the store thinking about spending money on the hottest new tech toy or an expensive program remember that you and your child have all the play skills and materials you need. Use your expertise and imagination to enrich activities you can set up for little or no cost.

03/29/2017

Finding Balance in a Hi-Tech World by: Lydia Bryant, CTRS

We are very grateful to Verizon for their generous grant that has allowed us to update our adaptive toy inventory.  Than...
03/28/2017

We are very grateful to Verizon for their generous grant that has allowed us to update our adaptive toy inventory. Thank you Verizon!

Address

2001 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL
60614

General information

Lekotek centers offer individual family play sessions, playgroups, support groups, pet therapy, camps and more. The underlying focus is play and family centered fun for children with disabilities. Some of the Lekotek sites lend toys to special education classrooms and professionals such as Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists.

Telephone

(773) 528-5766

Products

Manuals:

2Play Together (Playcore)
Sensory Storytime (Weplay)
PlanAbility (Plan Toys)
Make Way for Play (ASTRA)
Education Kit Curricula (Haywire Group)
Beamz Family Guide (Beamz)

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