The importance of play - Siobhain McIntosh

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Information about The importance of play - Siobhain McIntosh

Published on February 19, 2014

Author: SiobhainM



A brief synopsis of current opinions on 'Play' from a Scottish Context - Supplementary notes available.

The importance of Play… Siobhain McIntosh Clinical Associate of Applied Psychology (Children and Young People)

‘Play’ - What is it? ‘Play comes in many forms. It can be active, passive, solitary, independent, assisted, social, exploratory, educational or just for fun. Moreover, it can happen indoors or outdoors, it can be structured, creative, messy, entirely facilitated by the imagination or can involve using the latest gadget’ From: Play Strategy for Scotland: Our Vision (Scottish Government, 2013) 'A physical or mental leisure activity that is undertaken purely for enjoyment or amusement and has no other objective‘ From: Play: A Definition (Play Therapy United Kingdom, 2013)

A child’s right to play the protection of play • The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child ‘Article 31 (Leisure, play and culture): Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities’ (United Nations, 2012) • Play Strategy for Scotland: Our Action Plan (Scottish Government, 2013) • National Parenting Strategy (Scottish Government, 2012) • Children and Young People Bill (Scottish Parliament, 2013) • ‘Making the Child’s Right to Play a reality in Scotland’ Petition (Scottish Parliament, 2012)

A child by child approach to determining need …. Universal Play, Promoting Play and Therapeutic Play Play is a universal right for children – however, in circumstances when this has not been the case then play can become a

Facilitated Play as an Intervention…. • Parent/professional collaborations – psychoeducation for parents, enabling them to develop skills to encourage play in their children. Ensuring that parents understand the WHY behind facilitated play and are supported themselves. • Various structured evidence based approaches – Theraplay, Incredible Years. There are also varying tools that can measure the outcomes of the intervention (VIP play profile, non standardised questionnaires, psychometrics) • Concepts: -Early Intervention (across the developmental lifespan) –Working with families, caregivers and a child’s system to ensure a holistic, consistent approach –Focus on nurturing (praise, secure attachments, positive and safe touch) – Engagement –Empowering the child and the parent –Encouraging structure and consistency – Modelling by professionals –Focussing on encouraging positive child-directed play - Promoting descriptive commenting throughout play (academic, persistence, social and emotional ‘coaching’) These approaches can be adapted and used indiscriminately across various challenges encountered by children and their families from a lack of confidence and security (e.g. from an extended stay in hospital) to complex cases of trauma and abuse.

Seeing the bigger picture…

Thank you for listening! Any Questions?

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