What Are the Benefits to Social Therapeutic Playgroups?
Play is the universal language of early childhood. It has been proven that children learn from each other. Therapeutic playgroups are interdisciplinary programs that allow children with developmental delays to grow through learning in a social setting. In this group setting, children learn how to foster their engagement by developing social-emotional and cognitive skills along with their peers. Therapists help facilitate organic social interactions between children. Therapists help foster relationships by encourage children to use them as a resource to engage with others. Playgroups are play-based programs that allow for children to be intrinsically motivated by their peers, grow their problem-solving skills, and facilitate social language in a sensory friendly environment.
The power of a play-based playgroup allow for children to grow their sense of self. Play therapy is used to promote cognitive development and social-emotional strategies to help children succeed in multiple environments. These play-based activities encourage children to problem-solve in a natural environment that is different from their home. Problem-solving skills are important for children to develop as these skills will be with them throughout their lives. In these playgroup children also learn how to follow directions. Children learn from peer models to follow familiar and novel directions. Peers grow their engagement for structured and unstructured play-based tasks by learning alongside on another. Unstructured tasks promote creativity and allow children to grow their symbolic play skills. Structured activities allow children to attend to adult-led activities and grow their task completion. The cognitive and social-emotional skills that children learn from playgroups allow them to succeed in a variety of environments and throughout their educational experiences.
Rachel Weiser, MS, DT
Photo: PlayWorks Therapy classroom, Photographed by Thomas | © 2019 TK Photography |