10 Things Children Learn through "Play Therapy"
It's Back to School Season and that means children are back in school learning math, science and history... But just as important, children play, learn how to work with others and that "sharing is caring" all while letting their imaginations run wild.
In recent years, a growing number of noted mental health professionals have observed that play is as important to human happiness and well-being as love and work (Schaefer, 1993). Some of the greatest thinkers of all time, including Aristotle and Plato, have reflected on why play is so fundamental in our lives. The following are some of the many benefits of play that have been described by play theorists.
Play is the child's language and ...
Play is a fun, enjoyable activity that elevates our spirits and brightens our outlook on life. It expands self-expression, self-knowledge, self-actualization and self-efficacy. Play relieves feelings of stress and boredom, connects us to people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates our emotions, and boosts our ego (Landreth, 2002). In addition, play allows us to practice skills and roles needed for survival. Learning and development are best fostered through play (Russ, 2004).
And what's "Play Therapy"?
Meet Play Dr. Hutchison, who is in the business of PLAY! She’s a fully licensed psychologist and Registered Play Therapist (RPT/S) who uses Play Therapy as a tool to help her clients & patients heal and communicate. With her Doctorate from the Center of Humanistic Studies, she’s been practicing since 1999 and has additional training from the Association for Play Therapy. She is also a proud mommy to her two kids, Henry and Honor.
"Play therapy uses the natural communication of play in the therapeutic relationship to accept, respect, and understand clients. This promotes self-directed, positive growth and insight." (Laura Hutchison)
Here's a look in her Play Room, where she teaches children the necessary skills to communicate and excel in life.
So with that said, here are the...
Top 10 Things Children Learn when PLAYing with DOLLs!
#1 Build Relationship Skills:Doll play helps children foster nurturing and caring relationships.
#2 Express Emotions:Children use dolls to express feelings in appropriate ways.
#3 Increase Language Skills:When playing with dolls children practice ways of communicating with others.
#4 Rehearse Real Life Situations:Through using dolls to role play a new situation, such as going to the doctor or school, children gain understanding and comfort.
#5 Enhance Fine Motor Skills:Children practice and strengthen fine motor skills when moving and dressing the dolls.
#6 Learn Self-Care Skills:By feeding, changing, toileting, and cleaning dolls children learn and practice skills they need to take care of themselves and become more independent.
#7 Utilize their Imagination:Playing with dolls is open-ended; anything can happen.
#8 Possess Companionship:Having a unique and strong bond with a doll can help children feel safer, more connected, less alone, and freer to try new things.
#9 Gain Understanding:Playing with dolls is a way for children to re-enact things that have happened in their lives and increase understanding of those events by giving them more perspective.
#10 Engage the Senses:Children can touch, see, hear (with some dolls), and smell dolls. It simply feels good to hold and play with a doll.
I SO agree. I’ve loved dolls all my life – and believe my affection for this plaything nurtured my imagination, creativity and artistic buoyancy. My grandchildren will always get a doll for Christmas from “Santa,” as long as I’m around!