Pretend Play

Movie TheaterThere are many different types of play. Parallel play defines the act of children playing with their own toy but in each other’s company. Interactive play defines the act of children socializing with each other. This can include kicking a ball back and forth, playing a board game, or playing a game of tag. Pretend play defines the act of using and expanding imagination.

 

Here is a list of some skills which pretend play can target:

*Understanding that items perform either specific, or a variety of, actions

*Having the vocabulary to label the items, actions, locations, etc

*Sequencing actions/steps to perform a complete event

*Understanding the functions of items used

*Narrating play using sequenced phrases

*Having the grammatical skills to put together phrases

*Understanding contextually-relevant items and actions

For children who exhibit language delays, pretend play can be difficult to engage in. Actions may be scattered, narration may take the form of single words, expanding the steps of a specific schema may be cut short, etc. Visual supports are a simple and effective method of targeting these areas of deficit. They encourage independence during play, while shaping language and expanding imagination. When playing with your child, it is important to use play sets which can be generalized to real life. For example, playing “school” or “doctor” provides vocabulary and concepts which will be useful in those actual settings.

Language With Laura has chosen a few play sets to get you started. Each play kit includes the following visual supports for a variety of play skill levels:

1. A 3-step sequencing set, which includes:

  • A variety of larger-sized color pictures so that you can choose which three steps of the sequence you wish to target. The pictures depict real-life photos of the actual set and its parts performing the steps.
  • A sequencing board with a picture of the specific play set at the top.
  • A column on the sequencing board displaying three boxes, inside which you can velcro the pictured steps you wish to target.
  • A column deemed “All Done”, to which each picture can be moved under, once that step has been completed.

2. A 5-step sequencing set, which includes:

  • A variety of smaller-sized color pictures so that you can choose which steps, as well as how many steps, you wish to target. The pictures depict real-life photos of the actual set and its parts performing the steps.
  • A sequencing board with a picture of the specific play set at the top.
  • A column on the sequencing board displaying five boxes, inside which you can velcro the pictured steps you wish to target.
  • A column deemed “All Done”, to which each picture can be moved under, once that step has been completed.

3. A story, which includes:

  • Full-sized pictures of all of the available steps on separate pages.
  • At the top of each page is a blank space for you to velcro the type of narration you are targeting.
  • Two sets of narration, which you can cut out and place on the corresponding page. One set contains more simple language resembling commenting; one set contains scripts for the characters.

Here are some pretend play sets we love using to develop language skills. View the sets and download their visual supports by clicking here!

(Toys not included)

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