Play therapy refers to a broad spectrum of approaches to exploiting the natural tendency of children to explore and creatively harness it to fulfill and satisfy their cognitive and emotional needs. These needs go far beyond ordinary childhood development. The constant exposure to stimulating games, constructive physical activity, singing, playing games and observing active imagination has a tremendous effect on the mind and the body. It has been found that children often express much more happiness and sense of accomplishment after spending a few hours engaged in these activities than after three hours of television and video games.
Play therapy is often provided as an after school program or part of the school curriculum. This type of therapy is especially helpful for small children who seem uninterested in other usual activities. It helps children to gain an interest in physical activity, social interaction, group interaction, and music and art. It may involve the use of music, movement, pretend play or any other interactive technique which allows children to experience the feelings they would normally experience during play. Children learn better and have a deeper knowledge of how the world works through the constant exposure to it.
The benefits of play therapy are not limited to its positive effects on the development of the child. It has been found that it helps to increase self-confidence and self-esteem in an energetic child. It is also known to increase a child’s self-image and sense of responsibility, helping him to take on more responsibilities himself. Playing with others is also helpful in building peer groups and helping children make friends.
It is not easy to decide on the best approach for play therapy with children. There is a lot of information on the Internet about this subject and conflicting views from doctors and specialists about what is the best approach and how best to approach a particular case. When parents are faced with a situation such as this, it is difficult to know what is right or what is wrong. One thing that most people agree on is that parents should remain actively involved in the playtime experience.
This does not always mean constantly attending sessions. Some children benefit from just being around their parents, especially when the children are young and relaxed. In some cases, parents may want to limit play therapy and allow the children to handle things on their own. The important thing is that parents monitor playtime to ensure that it is beneficial to their children. They should encourage and guide play, but should also look for signs that the children might be having problems that should be brought up with the play therapist.
When considering play therapy with children, it is important to talk to your child’s physician first. He will be able to advise you on the best approach to take and whether or not your child is a suitable candidate. The play therapist will be responsible for deciding which type of therapy will be most beneficial for your child. Some children have a hard time interacting with others and so play therapy will consist of one-on-one time with the play therapist and others in the group. Other children are better able to handle group activities and can participate in both one-on-one sessions and group activities.
Some children might prefer acting classes to play therapy and in this case the play therapist would coach these children to do a role play. Others might need some extra help to develop social skills so a psychologist or counsellor would be brought in to help. If you have a strong family tradition of sports then play therapy and sports might be good for your child as the combination of the two will be great for developing social skills. If there is one particular sport that your child plays then you should look into it further to see if it will benefit your child.
It is important that you view play therapy and sports as something useful in developing your child. You should never view it as a waste of time as you will be very likely to get enjoyment out of it. There are certain children that simply do not respond to play but these children could benefit enormously from play therapy. They could pick up various skills such as communication, teamwork, and cooperation and these skills could transfer into their everyday lives and career.