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Play Therapy - What does it help for you to play with my child?

Updated: May 7

If you are asking yourself that question you are among so many other parents who also wonder what exactly happens when a child engages in play during therapy.

It's a valid question. You want to help your child, and I'm going to accomplish that by playing with them?

To answer that question we have to understand what play means to a child. I will answer your question with a quote from Garry Landreth, a significant influencer of play therapy today. You may have heard it before, but I want you to hear these words again, this time with a particular image in mind.

Imagine you are in the kitchen preparing supper or at your computer trying to send an email. Your child comes in and shows the game she's playing with or something he recently built or a cool part of their toy. And you...... Now with your mind in that moment I want you to hear these words...

“Toys are children’s words and play is their language”

Hmmm.... now that is something to think about. I wonder how that changes the way we view our child showing us how he got his toy to do something cool or what we think when our child asks us to play pretend, "You be the bad guy and ill be the ninja, mom".

When we understand what play is to a child, then we can understand how to communicate with them through it. When I work with children I use play to understand their world, they use play to express what exists in their world, and together we both learn to add some words and create a new language.

That is a beautiful gift to give your child.

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