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Selecting Switch Toys
Play Toys Universal Design Assistive Technology Resources

Selecting Switch Toys

Once a decision has been made to try a switch to play with toys, the next question is what type of toy? Use the same good criteria in selecting any toy for a particular child: will the child like the response of the toy when it is turned on? Is it something that will motivate her/him to interact with it? Consider also the movement of a toy and the visual motor skills required to interact effectively with it. A child must be able to control the movement of the toy to begin to use it in daily activities.


Stationary toys are a good place to begin, as they are active yet stay in one place. When they are turned on, they may make musical or other sounds, light up, vibrate or even blow bubbles!
Horizontal toys move in a single direction. Look for slow moving toys or those which move a short distance, then stop while a sound is made and then move again. The child can anticipate these actions- a sure sign of control! Turn the toy towards the child for more involvement; make 2 toys come together; send a snack on a toy’s back to a friend; knock a tower over – the possibilities are endless!

Vertical toys move up and down; this changes the child’s eye and head movement. Pictures can be placed on the sides of the ladder to incorporate language into play.


3-D or Circular toys require more visual tracking skills. Children enjoy watching the penguins climb up the stairs and slide down the curved track.


Bump and Go toys make up the largest category of switch toys. But they are the most difficult for children to anticipate and direct their random movements. By containing the toy within a specific area, a child is able to watch and better control the toy.

  • Try using a shallow pan, hula hoop or box top to
    confine the toy.

  • Placing puppets over switch toys gives them a whole new “look”!


Stationary Toys
Tape Recorder
Fan (Dog)
Drummer Bear
Dome Alone
Bubble Bear
Glitter Roll Music Box Switch

Fisher Price, Sony, Playskool
Enabling Devices
Kapable Kids
Enabling Devices
Jesana Ltd.
Enabling Devices
Horizontal Moving Toys
Pony Pal
Pudgy Piglet
Barking Dog
Tuneyville Choo-Choo Train
Baby Brontosaurus

Jesana Ltd. A Very Special Catalog
Jesana Ltd. A Very Special Catalog
Therapeutic Toys
Enabling Devices
Enabling Devices
Three Dimensional Moving Toys
Penguins Roller Coaster
Sesame Street Roller Coaster
Circus Seals
Brave Bikers

Enabling Devices
Enabling Devices
Enabling Devices
Vertical Moving Toys
Fireman Ladder Climber

Enabling Devices
Randomly Moving Toys
Musical Circus Truck
Boom Boom Bunny
Fire Engine
Walking Robot
Enabling Devices
Enabling Devices
Enabling Devices
Enabling Devices
Enabling Devices


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