All Things Sensory by Harkla

#167 - Facilitating Free Play! Our Favorite Tips, Tricks and Strategies!

August 25, 2021 Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC & Jessica Hill, COTA/L Episode 167
All Things Sensory by Harkla
#167 - Facilitating Free Play! Our Favorite Tips, Tricks and Strategies!
Show Notes

In today we dive into the benefits and uses of free play! Discover what it means to engage in free play and how to facilitate it in easy, fun activities with your kids. Learn about the skills children can develop during free play, from an increased attention span to building the capacity to negotiate with other children. 

We break down why a combination of structured play and free play is great for your child’s development as well as some tips on how to find a balance. 

Later, we discuss why some children might struggle with free play and offer suggestions on how to slowly introduce helpful games and activities into their lives. We share some of our favorite tips, tricks, and activities for free play, like putting together a sensory bin or using a choice board for when children express boredom. 

Join us today for plenty of insights into free play, like why boredom can be a good thing for your kids and how to incorporate clean-up into playtime!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Why it’s valuable for children to experience boredom, free play, and structured activities.
  • How babies and young children have a natural instinct to learn and grow.
  • The tremendous amount of language and learning skills that babies develop within a short period of time.
  • How having fewer toys can increase a child’s attention.
  • Our hosts share some of the definitions of free play.
  • Children’s capacity to learn negotiating skills when they engage in free play with one another.
  • What children gain from engaging in free play that they can’t necessarily learn from other activities.
  • The importance of having a combination of structured play and free play.
  • The children who might struggle with free play.
  • Our hosts share some of their favorite free play activities.
  • Tips on how to construct and utilize a sensory bin.
  • The value of toys that have a variety of uses.
  • How cleaning up factors into free play activities.
  • An outline of activities that will improve praxis, namely knowing what to do and how to do it.
  • Tips, tricks, and activities to do when a child expresses boredom.

Be sure to check out the show notes on our blog at  Harkla.Co/Podcast.

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Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Free To Play
Hunt, Gather, Parent
Episode 157: What is Constructional Praxis and Why is it Such an Important Skill?
Episode 37: Motor Planning & Praxis Abilities
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