What is play-based therapy?
Play-based therapy is a form of treatment that is performed in a fun, natural and motivating way.
It allows children to develop their language skills, enhance their creativity, and promotes social interactions without having to sit at a table and complete repetitive drills.
Research shows that children learn more and will generalize more skills when they are having fun!
Play-based therapy will look different for every child, therefore it’s important to let your child lead the way during the play (otherwise it won’t be fun and they won’t be motivated!)
Read on to find out the top 6 benefits of using play-based therapy at home or in the clinic.
One of the biggest benefits of play-based therapy is how motivating it is for the child as it includes their interests and doesn’t feel like ‘work’.
Play-based therapy increases the child’s desire to interact and engage with you, which ultimately leads to greater progress as less time is spent trying to keep them in their chair and more time is spent gaining new functional skills 😊
2. Positive Experience
Play promotes a positive communication experience for the child.
If a child is needing extra support with their communication skills, they may also experience frustration. By targeting their goals through play-based therapy, it ensures the communication experience is positive and prevents children from feeling discouraged. Children will feel empowered and confident to try using their emerging skills across a range of contexts including home, school, and in the community.
3. Natural Context
Play feels the most natural for a child and encourages the most natural interactions.
All children may play differently, so it’s our job to follow their lead and allow them to do what feels natural for them. By targeting goals through play, the child is more likely to generalize these skills into their everyday routines.
4. Supports Social - Emotional Development
Social-emotional skills are important for building connections with others.
By engaging in play, children are given the opportunity to manage and express emotions, feel empathy, develop coping strategies, and form relationships with others.
Playing with another person also promotes turn-taking skills, the ability to follow directions, and the ability to find solutions to difficult tasks.
5. Encourages Imagination and Pretend Play
Play encourages children to explore their imagination and fosters creativity!
Children are able to create scenarios and engage in situations that they may not be able to experience in real life. This helps develop story telling abilities, social interaction skills, and executive functioning. By allowing a child to freely explore their thoughts we are able to naturally nurture their language development .
Play can happen anywhere at any time!
A major positive about play-based therapy is you are not restricted to when and where you can target your communication goals. Play can happen inside, outside, at the park, in the bath, at the dinner table… you get the idea.
Play allows parents to feel more confident in targeting their goals as there are no rules other than letting your child lead the way and having fun!
Want to know more about play-based therapy? Head to the links we love:
Or get in touch with us for a chat with one of our friendly therapists!