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
Your health is important. Compass Community Health is here to help.
Reach out today!
-Message us on Facebook @ Compass Community Health
-Address: 1634 11th St, Portsmouth, OH 45662