Akron Children’s Hospital launches 'Play & Learn' Center

Online center promotes active and imaginative play throughout all stages of childhood


Akron Children’s Hospital has launched an online Play and Learn Center for parents to help promote the power of play in children:

The Play & Learn Center offers parents ideas for fostering active and imaginative play, as well tips for safe play. Parents can learn about age-appropriate activities to get their kids moving and which toys are not only the safest, but the "smartest" at every stage, from babies to big kids.

“Toys are supposed to be fun and are an important part of any child's development,” says Richard Ball, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics’ Green office. “But each year, scores of kids are treated in hospital emergency departments for toy-related injuries. Choking is a particular risk for kids ages 3 or younger, because they tend to put objects in their mouths.”

In addition to safety awareness, Dr. Ball suggests toys that can be used in different ways and toys that inspire children to be creative and use their imagination, such as a set of wood blocks.

“Blocks can be used to build structures, to count, to sort, to compare sizes and shapes, and to integrate with other toys like dolls or cars,” he said. “Children can get many years of use from blocks.”

Just in time for the holiday gift-buying season, Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics offers 10 Toy Safety Tips for parents:

For more information on toy safety and the importance of play in children, visit the Play & Learn Center at

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