By Patricia Cham (4th year OT student - Monash University)
Learning through play and games is crucial in supporting the development of skills that are relevant to your child’s individual needs and goal areas. That is why your Occupational Therapist uses all kinds of games to work on these skills in sessions - and something you can easily transfer to games at home too!
Here are some reasons as to why they form an important part of therapy:
A child’s main occupation is play, therefore in order to support them to develop their skills and learning, we need to incorporate this as much as possible. Making sure activities are fun and engaging build on a child’s motivation to practice skills that may be challenging or non preferred.
Games are used to support development of social interaction skills, as well as independence and creativity in play.
Who doesn’t love to play games? Games are fun, interesting and engaging, so are therapists number one tool in the clinic - and can be for you at home as well!
The skills learnt and developed while playing games, are not only limited to developing social and play skills, but also other skills such as fine motor skills, attention, concentration, problem solving, flexible thinking and so on. These games are also easily obtainable from your local Kmart store, and you can continue to help your child develop the skills at the convenience in your own home. Here are 14 fun games that you can get from Kmart!
Why not head into your local Kmart or have a chat with your Occupational Therapist to think about ways that these games, or others, could be used to support skill development outside of therapy sessions. Remember, it is important that the skills learnt in therapy are carried over to the home environment to support your child to develop their skills, have increased repetition and achieve outcomes sooner.