One of the most enriching activities for communication is play. Sometimes parents see all the fun games and activities we do during speech therapy at the clinic and wonder if all we do is play. The short answer is YES! And…there are many reasons why we do so. Here are some of those reasons:
Play is a natural and effective way for children to learn about themselves, the world, and their relationships with others.
Our play is purposeful and goal-oriented. Any communication skill can be addressed through an engaging play activity with children.
Play often consists of sequences of actions or stories that are repeated and expanded over time. It provides an excellent opportunity to model and expand language skills in a memorable and predictable manner.
The skills learned in play are the basis for all social and conversation skills: turn taking, sharing, paying attention to others, being flexible, compromising, negotiating, problem solving, telling stories, friendship building, etc.
Communication skills learned through play are easily generalized to new situations as the children already have experience applying them to an every-day interaction.
Finally, let’s not forget the main reason we play: IT’S FUN! Kids are intrinsically motivated to learn through play. Anyone who has tried doing speech drills at a table with a child knows that it is far more successful when the work corresponds to a turn in a game or a chance to use those skills in meaningful play afterwards!
So yes, play is a big part in all we do here during speech therapy at CTN. It is an essential tool we use to connect with the children we see and help them achieve their goals. And we have a lot of fun doing it too!