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Adapting Play for Individual Kids

June 22, 2018

Is my child anxious or uneasy in social situations? – Social anxiety is a real thing, even with little kids. If your child attends a day care or school setting this can definitely affect how they interact with the other children and in their play. Do they do better with just one or two children at at time? Or maybe more one on one time with a teacher for play? This would be something to try and observe and talk to your child’s teachers about. When it is something that affects their day to day life negatively, it also may be something you want to follow up with a professional about. For some children, behavioral cognitive therapy or other treatments may be needed for social anxiety.

Are there sensory processing issues? – All 8 senses could affect your child’s play positively or negatively. They may have a hard time communicating during their play, they may not cognitively understand the type of play you are expecting from them or they may have problems physically in either gross or fine motor skills needed for play. Every child is different and they are each going to have their own likes and interests.

Ideas for Modifications with Play

If your child needs more attention from yourself or others in order to play, setting up a routine of play with them for a certain amount of time and then moving away to encourage individual play can be helpful. It could be the opposite and your child needs time to themselves for play. Keep this in mind as well. Sometimes as parents we want to jump in, but sitting back and observing before jumping in can be very helpful.

Many times there are too many things going on such as a TV or music or other screen time types of things happening. There have been many studies about “background TV” and its negative effects on children. So when you are focusing on getting your child to play, make sure to turn off all other electronic devices and focus on just the playing.

If your child suffers from anxiety or fear in groups settings, this will greatly affect their play, especially with other children. Easing them into group settings will be key and you will want to start with just some one on one play, then move to 1 or two other children. Setting up a play date with one other trusted friend in your home can help to ease their anxiety. Also providing a safe space for them to retreat to in your home if they need a break can be helpful. Keep these play dates short and gradually increase the time and those involved as your child becomes more open to it.

Solace clinicians are well versed in helping children thrive with play time while also helping the underlying issue you or your healthcare professional are concerned about. Solace clinicians can come to your home to help your child begin to work on these developments in your child’s environment. With over 150 clinicians serving Colorado when can conveniently schedule an evaluation that work for you and your child.

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