Let’s Play Together

Play is how our children explore and learn from their environment. They learn amazing concepts such as:

  • Problem solving, planning and sequencing: they observe the world around them and figure out connections.

  • Body awareness: they start to know where their body is in space and how to move it in relation to the environment.

  • Social skills: they learn how to take turns, make requests and even protests.

  • Language: they expand their vocabulary (the names of labels, actions and prepositions), learn how to follow directions and use language by many means to become intentional and communicative.

  • Self-regulation: they learn the ability maintain and change one’s emotion, behaviour, attention and activity level appropriate for a task or situation in a socially acceptable manner.

Does your child have difficulty with:

  • Sustaining attention as s/he flits between multiple activities without completing them (or actively engaging in them)?

  • Making friends?

  • Limited or very repetitive activities in play?

  • Limited eye contact or reduced initiation of play?

  • Turn taking games (e.g. rolling a ball to and fro or taking turns building a tower)?

  • Fixation on the television or computer/iPad?


Here are a few suggestions for activities at home:

  • Follow the child’s lead and copy what s/he does with familiar objects at home or toys.

  • One-on-one time: Create opportunities for you and the child to play together (e.g. before dinner, at the end of each day) and complete activities that are fun and that the child finds enjoyable.

  • Peer interaction: Create opportunities for the child to engage with other children in structured situations (e.g. play group) and social environments (e.g. playground).

  • Play dates: Set up opportunities for the child to have friends over and to go to other people’s houses to learn more about sharing and interacting in different environments.

  • Scripts: Create scripts that the child can copy whilst playing with toys. Re-enact familiar routines or favourite actions songs.

  • Make it enjoyable: Choose play activities that the child will find fun.

  • Rough-housing, bath-time and cuddle-time are also wonderful times to learn from one another.


 Information from Kid Sense Child Development Centre South Australia