Waterbottle toy – play therapy toy for children with cerebral palsy by Saran Samuel

What was your inspiration for your play therapy toy Waterbottle?

Kids with cerebral palsy found it difficult to open the bottle cap, lift it, and drink without spilling so they had very little water every day. Also, the kids were so enthusiastic to listen to songs and dance by celebrities.

So, I wanted to bring in the enthusiasm they show towards the celebrities into something meaningful like drinking water.

Why children with special needs like cerebral palsy needs your Waterbottle toy?

Opening a normal water bottle is very difficult for them. I could have designed something automatic, but anything that reduces the activity of the child is not good. I have used a curved box grip which the kid will find easier than normal bottle caps.

Holding and lifting the bottle is another big step. When I was testing, I found out that kids with cerebral Palsy rather than holding the bottle with their fingers, they gripped the bottle with the area between the thumb and the forefinger. So, bottle is designed specifically for them.

Outer cover is a puzzle which could be slotted to get their favorite movie stars faces in place.

How children respond to your water bottle toy?

Children are very happy on seeing their favorite celebrities at first sight. Then they try to open the Bottle cap, then slowly remove the slotted parts, it was nice to see them explore. I am yet to test it with a lot of kids, but with the few kids I tested they were happy with it.

What toys did you play with as a child? Did you have a favorite toy?

I liked building blocks, tangram and I used to make my own toys with the scrap at home. It was fun. I had a white F1 car which I used to play with all the time.

If you look into a crystal ball and predict your future as a designer: what children’s product would you like to design next?

Animals and birds learn through play, why not kids? Why not adults?

I would like to create awareness through my designs that anything could be gamified and learnt through play. I see myself designing a wide range of toys and games for kids. I also would design interactive toys and Games for public spaces which will bring out the childishness in adults.


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