Anyone who works with children knows and often speaks to the importance of play - Pediatricians, therapists, educators, daycare providers may all come from different specialties but they all recognize that play supports a child's cognitive development and social skills.
Problem solving, critical thinking, imagination, planning, attention, emotional regulation, language, and reciprocity - - these are all developmental skills that are worthy of in-depth discussion, but that's another blog article for another day. For now, let's just agree that the stages of play are critical to our development as children, young adults, and fully-functioning adults!
Ask yourself this question:
How do you adapt play to meet the needs of differently-abled children who, for whatever reason - physical, motor, cognitive, or developmental delay, cannot successfully play with their same-aged peers?
If you're a pediatric occupational therapist, like me, this is a primary focus of therapeutic intervention. OTs work on skills, supports, and strategies to enable participation in a child's daily occupation - play!
When you consider the different stages of play (Unoccupied, Solitary, Onlooker, Parallel, Asso