Top Benefits of Play Based Therapy
1. Money saving. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars on resources. You can use anything in play-based therapy.
2. Play is on the decline in childhood: Kids are playing WAY less these days, but the reality is that kids of ALL ages need to play. We can bring play back into childhood by using it in therapy! Of course, the play looks different with a two year old than a ten year old - but it's still PLAY!
3. Kids learn through play. Children learn during activities that are developmentally appropriate for them and what is more appropriate than play! Also, children are able to build on what they already know when using activities that are familiar to them.
4. It can happen anywhere - anytime. You don’t need a big space, a fancy table, or special materials. You can grab anything that is laying around and provide meaningful therapy wherever you are!
5. You can get a lot of trials. Contrary to popular belief, kids often practice more during play because they are motivated and having fun!
6. Kids are more motivated when the task is meaningful and relevant to their everyday lives. Play based therapy can include your child's favorite toys (i.e. racecars, dolls, color specific objects)
How to get your Child to Engage More
1. Imitate them: This is such a great strategy! Imitate the child’s sounds, actions, and words. You might feel a little silly. You can imitate the child, then model the word you want them to imitate, and wait! Quite often, the child will imitate you!
2. Set it up: Use activities that are loaded with the child's target words/sounds. This might take a little planning ahead of time, but it will be worth it. For example, if one of your targets is the word “go” and you have a bucket of cars, it will be really hard not to say the word, 'go' during the activity.
3. Use a play script: Set up a predictable activity that the target word is inherent in. For example, if your target words are, ‘hi’ and ‘bye’, you could use figurines and toy house. Have the figurines take turns ringing the bell and saying ‘hi’ and ‘bye’. Repetitive books are also great for this because the child knows what word to expect.
4. Praise and praise again: We want children to feel positive when they are with us! Praise any behaviour or attempt that they make to build up their confidence. Children need to feel comfortable before they can take risks.
5. Let them lead: We want kids to be having fun and be engaged in our activity - this is especially true for toddlers and preschoolers! An easy way to let the child lead is to set up the room with a variety of toys and activities and allow them navigate their way around the room. You can also offer choices and change the activity once you see they are not as engaged.
Summer Learning Facts
The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Kids Ages 9-12
1. Real Pigeons Fight Crime by Andrew McDonald
2. The Smartest Kid in the Universe by Chris Grabenstein
3. Marcus Makes a Movie by Kevin Hart with Geoff Rodkey
4. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
5. Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom by Sangu Mandanna
Keep the learning going this summer and contact us today for more information regarding virtual Speech and Developmental Coaching for your child!