Playtime can be lonely for children with physical challenges preventing them from keeping up with all the other kids. That’s why one man, Cole Galloway, decided to begin retrofitting children’s vehicles to create a way for these kids to get around in style–and it’s taken off worldwide.
In the past ten years, the ‘GoBabyGo!’ movement has spread to Poland, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and over two dozen U.S. States, where people use Galloway’s DIY instructions to revamp vehicles that are already sold in toy stores. The best part is, each time they hop in, it’s a physical therapy session.
These modified miniature cars bring a form of mobility to children with crawling and walking problems, and tots can use these cool cars everywhere–at home, at school, or on the playground. The start/stop button on these machines can be located wherever the child needs the most muscle work: If your legs need strengthening, for instance, you must stand to make the car go.
“Fun is key here—it unlocks brain development and exploratory drive for the child, and ignites active, engaged play from adults and peers,” Galloway says. “When your main goal is mobility and socialization of young children and their families, you can’t ask for better collaborators than Barbie and Mater.”
The organization relies heavily on donations, both monetary and vehicular, to operate, and there is an ongoing list of parents who are interested in, or in the process of, creating a GoBabyGo! program in their hometown.
Most recently, GoBabyGo! found three legs of support in Israel.
When a two-year-old boy with muscular dystrophy was brought in to Nilly Waiserberg’s clinic six months ago, the doctor had the unfortunate task of telling his parents that their son was unlikely to walk on his own. Later that day, she and a former student, Stephanie Libzon, began researching alternative therapy options for kids and stumbled upon GoBabyGo!
They teamed up with Michael Nudelman, another physiotherapist from Tel Aviv, and formed an official nonprofit to help develop the device.
“Disabled children – most of the time – go around with wheelchairs or walkers, and they look different with some kind of negative point of view,” told ShalomLife.com. “When they go around in the cars, they look cool. From being the last one in the group, they are getting the ability to be the… leader.”
Watch this NBC video that captures the adorable essence of the program below.
Photos courtesy of Go Baby Go Israel, Facebook.
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