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How Occupational Therapy Utilizes Play for Growth

How occupational Therapy utilizes play for growth

As the Italian educator and philosopher Maria Montessori once said, “Play is a

child’s work”. Play is a huge component of a child’s life and a critical element in their

development, so it is no wonder that play is utilized in Occupational Therapy! If you’re

thinking, “What kind of play is used?”, “How does play therapy work?”, or, “Would this

maybe be helpful for my child?”, read on to learn more about how Occupational Therapy

utilizes play for a child’s growth!

Utilizing play in a child’s life is necessary for their development in MANY areas,

including problem-solving, creativity, sensory integration, confidence, fine and gross

motor skills, stress management, attention, and cognition, just to name a few (The OT

Toolbox). If there is an area in a child’s life where they are behind or struggling, play

therapy will likely help.

What does play therapy look like? With the concept of “play” encapsulating so

much, play therapy can look like a lot of different things! According to The OT Toolbox,

a child may walk into an OT appointment and see, “swings, gym mats, ramps, balls,

bins of toys, and shelves of bubbles, games, and toys. It [may look] more like a play

room than a clinic.” It can involve crafts, books, action figures, slides, drawing tools, and

SO many other things! A unique element of utilizing play in Occupational Therapy

includes using normal, everyday objects in different ways than originally intended, such

as climbing up slides or lining up toys to create an obstacle course.

Play therapy will vary greatly depending on a child’s needs, interests, and age.

For example, an eight year old artist who struggles with behavior and attention will

engage in very different play than a three year old who loves cars and is behind in

motor skills and communication. Good Occupational Therapists seek to tailor the

therapy to the specific child, and to include the family.

Compass Comminity Health’s Pediatric Occupational Therapy team is comprised

of these good Occupational Therapists. Learn more about the service we offer, our OT

team, or read our blog article, “4 Common Conditions Treated with Pediatric


Your health is important. Compass Community Health is here to help.

Reach out today!


-Message us on Facebook @ Compass Community Health

-Call: 740-355-7102

-Address: 1634 11th St, Portsmouth, OH 45662


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