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Unstructured Play and the Development of School-Related Skills

Play is crucial to our development as children and I would argue an essential component to student success throughout school age years and even into adulthood. Children naturally seek play as a means of learning and understanding things in their environment. Engagement in play allows children to safely experiment, control, and practice situations that may happen in school.

Parents often ask me during IEP meetings what it is that they can do for their children to improve the areas of concern I've identified in my reports. Most of the time they are looking for work that they can do at home with their son or daughter in order to help them improve their sensory processing, fine motor skills, or social skills.

I have typically provided them with worksheets and handouts on sensory processing and activities they can do with the child at home. However more recently I have become inspired to take a different approach.