Occupational therapy is a way of working with individuals to become more engaged with every day activities. It is needed for individuals who would otherwise be prone to exclusion, and occupational therapists facilitate engagement activities to combat this. Occupational therapists practice three areas with their patients: physical health, mental health, and community. Preschool toys are often designed to focus on these areas as well, and that is why occupational therapists encourage play with preschool toys for their patients. They encourage activities that involve problem solving, improving motor skills, communication, concentrations, community, and sequence. The practices and goals of occupational therapists are paralleled to the affects that preschool learning toys have on children.
Most preschool toys are designed to focus on memory, matching, community, motor skills, and creativity. Let's take a look at a very basic toy that you most likely have in your home and have seen in other places such as libraries, doctor's offices, hospitals, and dentist's offices. A very basic, yet fun and educational toy, that occupational therapists use are building blocks. Playing with building blocks allows a child to become creative and build whatever their heart desires, from tall skyscrapers to cars or houses. When building blocks are around for kids to play with, there is usually a crowd. Playing with the blocks and building creates a community space when kids work together. Building blocks are colorful so kids can learn colors while they play, and building with them improves their motor skills because they have to practice control when stacking the blocks to build.
Playing with preschool toys might seem minimal to some people, but for occupational therapy it is vital. Playing with a puzzle and making it come together can be difficult for someone with memory loss but, doing this activity will help them improve their day-to-day life. Preschool toys allow occupational therapists to do their job by helping their clients perform daily activities and help them develop strength. For occupational therapists, preschool toys aren't just used for kids ranging from ages three to four. They use the toys for clients of all ages. The activities they facilitate create an outcome in which their patients will be able to life their life to the fullest by performing daily activities, overcome an impairment or disability, prevent injuries, and lead a more independent life. The use of preschool toys plays a large role in the positive outcomes of occupational therapy.