I was recently reminded by two small children how simple yet exciting bubbles can be. In this COVID-19 time, I've been avoiding using bubbles where I can to stop the spread of germs, but with Geraldton sitting pretty with Phase 4 restrictions, I brought the bubbles out for a session with a family who travelled in to town and were staying at the caravan park.
For anyone else that might have observed my session at the playground of the caravan park, they probably had no idea I was an Occupational Therapist who was conducting a therapy session. Why? Because of play.
Play is a child's main and most important occupation for the first few years of life. Play helps them to learn language, develop their fine and gross motor skills, taps into their social emotional development and even forces them to problem solve. When we as therapists tap into a child's innate sense to play, we can target so many more skill areas - all without the child realising they're working.
You can help your child learn through play too. At home, you can;
Set up invitations to play such as with sticks and stones in a bucket to foster imaginative play (mud pies anyone?)
Swap toys regularly - children find novelty with toys they haven't played with in a while, so take the chance to clean up and swap some toys in/out every now and then
Try new things - every child has toys and play themes that they will naturally gravitate towards, but try something new every now and then (like introducing "snow" in the form of cotton wool or shredded paper to the trains/cars and blocks play).
For more information on play, see what other Occupational Therapists have written:
Building Fine Motor Skills Through Play | Sugar Aunts
Gross Motor Skills and the Development of Play in Children| Your Therapy Source
Using Play to Increase Attention| Miss Jaime OT
Help! My Child Won’t Play - Adapting Play for Individual Kids| Growing Hands-On Kids
How Play Makes Therapy Better| Therapy Fun Zone
How the Environment Shapes the Way Kids Play| The Inspired Treehouse
Why is my child “just playing” when they see an OT? | Your Kids OT