Children’s play is often dismissed as unimportant by adults. You may have heard the comment, “They are just playing”. In fact, play is very important to a child’s development and well-being because through play, children learn about their world, how their bodies move, and gain a deeper understanding of their experiences.
A large part of my work has been working with children who don’t know how to play or can’t play. I also work with their parents, carers and other professionals to help them understand how to play with children.
Play is a complex ability because when children play, they use many skills all at the same time. For example, children think about what they want to play, they find or create the play materials they need, they work out how they are going to play (such as, I put the blocks in the truck and then push the truck over there before I move my truck to here), they coordinate their bodies, they use their hands to manipulate objects, they visualise and talk about what they are doing and they may even be playing with other children and so they need to negotiate and cooperate with others.
Play is a very broad term and within play there are many types of play. This website is primarily concerned with pretend play and how pretend play can assist a child’s social, emotional, language and cognitive development.
This site contains links to books, resources and workshops. There is information for therapists, teachers and parents.
Enjoy the site.