The idea of play being an instinctual need for children is not one readily discussed. When children are young, play is often encouraged but just as often limited in an effort of balancing it with too many structured activities and rules. Unrestricted play is an essential part of social and emotional development. As kids head back to school, it becomes even more important to leave time in their schedules for play.
“According to neuroscientists, emotional development is as sophisticated as cognitive development, but it needs a playground to grow and evolve in.”
The play-based therapy embraced at AZ+A occupational therapy helps children unlock their unknown abilities and fosters an environment of discovery and delight. Observing the actions of a child when they are lost in play teaches us more about them than conversation ever could. In those moments, all walls are down and we can teach and treat organically, most commonly without their knowing change or influencing behavior is underway.
THIS article delves into the inner workings of play, its importance and how it creates a sanctuary for emotions. We encourage every parent and educator to take the time to read this and challenge yourself to apply its teachings to your child’s daily list of to-dos.