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Dr. Toy's RX Help Children Cope with Disaster
Stevanne Auerbach -- Dr. Toy's Guide Stevanne Auerbach -- Dr. Toy's Guide
San Francisco, CA
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dr. Toy's RX Help Children Cope with Disaster



Media Contact: Greg Walsh, Walsh Public Relations 203-292-6280; greg@walshpr.com

Dr. Toy's RX Helping Children Cope in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey (…and other disasters) Use Play & Toys to Aid Recovery©

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, children need positive play and simple toys to begin their personal recovery process. That's my goal as an author, and as a professional

known as Dr. Toy, who has dedicated more than 30 years to the study of play and playthings, and its importance for child development.

"Once a child has a safe environment, finding routines and ways to reduce stress are important next steps toward coping with overwhelming tragedy. Play and toys can serve a vital role in helping children deal with crisis."

As communities throughout the country reach out to the thousands of displaced families, I want to suggest some practical ways to use play and toys to help children cope with unexpected and serious disasters:

• Provide children with comfort toys like puppets, soft dolls, and teddy bears.

• Listen to them; observe them at play, as play helps release their feelings.

• Give them the opportunity to show you how they feel, often easier with the comfort of puppets and toys (but feel free to use an improvised sock puppet).

• Provide toys, such as action figures, that allow them to play out their feelings.

• Play games, like checkers, Candyland, and cooperative games that allow everyone to take turns and have fun.

• Toys like Tangle toys, balls, and fidget toys help children deal with their thoughts and better help them to cope.

• Take time to play in and outdoors in ways that help like jumping rope, tossing a ball, or playing basketball, which can expend pent-up energy, reduce stress, and improve behavior.

• Take quiet walks, or just sit and talk together about good things to reduce tension.

• Read or make up stories that provide children with positive thoughts and experiences to help restore optimism.

• Encourage them to listen to CDs, draw pictures, watch positive themed videos, and reduce TV watching.

• Spend time playing with your child even though things are difficult. Playtime will help both of you restore balance and gain strength. Remember to sing together, move, stretch, dance, and, of course, hug one another. Love always helps heal.

© 2017 Stevanne Auerbach, PhD/Dr. Toy, San Francisco, CA

Known as Dr. Toy®, Stevanne Auerbach, PhD, is an author, consultant, and specialist in child development, education, and psychology. Her 16 books include Smart Play/Smart Toys, Toys for a Lifetime, The Whole Child, and Choosing Child Care. Dr. Toy's Guide presents her annual best toy awards program recognizing outstanding developmentally appropriate toys and children's products.See www.drtoy.com.


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