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Donating Toys Helps Children in Play Therapy

little girl in play therapy with physical therapist
A preschool-age girl with a prosthetic leg is at a medical appointment.

Donating toys brings a smile to many little faces. Every child loves toys. Playing is an important aspect of childhood. It develops imagination and creates opportunities to copy and practice real-life situations during make-believe games. However, play can also serve as an effective therapy tool. Many children placed in foster care have come from abusive, neglectful environments. Read more to learn about donating toys to help children in play therapy.

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy has helped many young children find a way to express the pain, fear, and anger they feel inside. It’s very difficult for them to articulate their distress. They may not even know how. Play, on the other hand, is something that every child naturally knows how to do. Their emotions have an outlet by playing with the toys provided. Counselors have been able to make substantial progress in treatment and healing using this method.

What Type of Toys?

So what kinds of toys aid in helping children emotionally? Believe it or not, many are typical toys you’d see in any child’s room. Dolls, baby bottles, dollhouses, and their accessories, kitchenettes, phones, cash registers, anything that mimics real-life situations is always beneficial.  Toy animals, and also stuffed animals offer opportunities for children to playact family interactions.

Creative toys such as art supplies, dress-up clothes, clay, and Play-Doh also help children express themselves without words. Musical instruments are invaluable for conveying strong feelings, even if they don’t know how to play them correctly. Eventually, they can learn!

Things to Avoid

The toys you may choose not to donate that seem inappropriate or violent can be useful for play therapy, too. Toy guns, foam swords, rubber knives, plastic handcuffs, toy soldiers, all offer children needed materials to dramatize uncomfortable and frightening circumstances they’ve experienced. So don’t shy away from donating these types of toys, as well.

Learn More About Donating Toys to Children in Play Therapy

When considering toy donation for play therapy, also keep in mind that animals, puppets and other creatures that you think look ugly, scary or unpleasant are also good to include. They give children the chance to incorporate distressing, formidable characters into their stories. Their acted-out scenarios give trained therapists much information they wouldn’t have had otherwise.

It’s good to know that when you donate toys, you not only give the gift of fun and play to children but help them to heal emotionally, as well.

To find out how and where to donate your toys, contact us today.