Fun and Function: How to Optimize Play

Fun and Function: How to Optimize Play

Development, Parenting, Play
“Lizzy, How do you know how to have so much fun?” asked my sweet (and sour) four-year-old nephew from the dining room table. We were rolling logs of play doh into cookie batter, then using scissors to slice them into individual delicacies. The game had been going on for over 45 minutes. Secretly, I was evaluating his fine-motor skills: in-hand manipulation, two-point pinch, hand strength, fractionation, in hand manipulation and bilateral coordination. I was keeping track of how many directions he could remember, his ability to split attention between competing environmental stimuli and his ability to problem solve and plan. I was consistently providing feedback (verbal and physical), praise and ideas for what we could play next. As an OT, this juggling act is extremely intuitive and flow-inducing. For a child,…
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