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Parents as Play Partners

Play Works offers Parents as Play Partners Program

What is play?

This may seem like a strange question with a simple answer. Although play seems quite simple, it is profound to a child’s development. Play makes learning something that happens naturally and joyfully, when a child laughs and wonders, explores and imagines.

PLAY IS PLEASURABLE. Children must enjoy the activity or it is not play. PLAY IS INTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED. Children engage in play simply for the satisfaction the behavior itself brings. It has no extrinsically motivated function or goal. PLAY IS PROCESS ORIENTED. When children play, the means are more important than the ends. PLAY IS FREELY CHOSEN. It is spontaneous and voluntary. If a child is pressured, she will likely not think of the activity as play. PLAY IS ACTIVELY ENGAGED. Players must be physically and/or mentally involved in the activity. PLAY IS NON-LITERAL. It involves make-believe.

Play presents your child with a particularly strong opportunity for growth because it meets the needs of the whole, individual child. All domains of your child’s development – cognitive, social, emotional, and physical – are intricately intertwined.

For most children, play is a skill which develops along a natural continuum and follows a typical trajectory. However, for children who are delayed in their overall development- early play skills need to be specifically taught. Following the curriculum from the Early Start Denver Model, our Parents as Play Partners program aims to build speech, language, and social connections through the use of play. We work directly with children ages 18 months to 3 years and their families to build play skills in both parents and children. Contact us for more information (541) 716-1316

Sarah McDonnell, MA CCC-SLP