The benefits of play pods and small groups for preschoolers and kids include improving a child’s chance of success in school and throughout their lives. Placing children into small groups that feature interactive activities for kids strengthens social skills and creates an inclusive environment. At Amy Zier and Associates, we try to group children of similar ages and developmental differences to give them an opportunity to practice social skills, emotional regulation, and flexibility in a familiar environment.
AZ+A’s Small Group Power Pods focuses on helping children feel safe and accepted, which promotes friendship, fun, and significant growth. COVID playgroups provide much-needed socialization but also allows children to express what they feel and how they need to be seen through their behavior within a dedicated group and with a pediatric occupational therapist.
Reports from our Power Pods occupational therapists indicate that current participants are experiencing the following:
Practicing Social Skills
In playgroups for kids, children explore a wide variety of academic, social, physical, and emotional lessons. All of these improve friendships and peer relationships. Additionally, pediatric therapy small groups can also identify and work on speech, fine, and gross motor skills. Through the occupational therapy lens, we are able to support healthy interactions with children within their Power Pod.
The Importance of Play in Small Groups
From the outside in, it may look like preschoolers, kindergartners, and young students are simply playing together, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Although kids have fun in play pods and small groups, there is so much more to it than that. Play is the occupation of children and teaches them how to:
- Form friendships
- Learn how to cooperate
- Take turns
- Discover new ways of problem-solving
- “Working” together as a team
- Use their imaginations and think creatively
By experiencing different types of play, including both structured and child-led unstructured play, children practice different skills in a variety of ways. During Power Pods Small Play Group, our pediatric therapists offer critical “in the moment” redirection when big emotions, meltdowns, or challenges occur. While developmental red flags are identified and addressed, small playgroups also celebrate positive interactions and subtle signs of growth that may be missed in larger groups.