Why arrange a play date?
Play develops motor skills, construction skills, symbolic pretend play, problem-solving, negotiation, reasoning skills, social language skills, independence, creativity and risk-taking in a safe environment.
More importantly: it’s fun!
Here’s an evidence-based list of toys to get kids talking and playing with each other:
- Sandbox (buckets, spades, diggers, dinosaurs)
- Small figurines (e.g. army, animals, pirates)
- Dress-ups (e.g. superheroes, knights, princesses, emergency/medical workers)
- Subject to parents’ views, stylised toy guns, foam bullets and swords
- Board/talking games (e.g. Snakes & Ladders, Monopoly, Cluedo, Battleship, The Game of Life, Checkers/Chess, Ludo, Guess Who, Hedbanz)
- Card games (e.g. Fish, Snap, Uno, Old Maid, Memory, Werewolf)
- Blocks (classic wooden, Castle Logix, Lego, Jenga)
- A train set (train engines, cars, cabooses, freight, bridges, ramps, tracks, landscapes, stations)
- A large whiteboard and markers (or blackboard and chalk)
- Playdough and tools (stampers, rolling pins, moulds)
- Small tables and chairs, blankets and cushions (imaginary forts, castles, secret bases, ‘cover’)
- Sports equipment (balls, hoops, cone markers)
(1) Gray, P. (2017). What exactly is play, and why is it such a powerful vehicle for learning?. Topics in Language Disorders, 37(3), 217-228.
(2) Parsons, L., Cordier, R., Munro, N., & Joosten, A. (2019). The feasibility and appropriateness of a peer-to-peer, play-based intervention for improving pragmatic language in children with autism spectrum disorder. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 21(4), 412-424.
- What is ‘pragmatic language’? The social use of language
- Pragmatic language for 5-11 year-olds includes (at least) 27 observable behaviours
- Key behaviours to look for in the pragmatic (social) language development of children aged 0-5 years
- Helping Children with Pragmatic (Social) Language Challenges. Some Evidence-based Themes
- 5 tips for using video self-modelling to improve pragmatic language skills
- Play-based, peer-mediated pragmatic language intervention for school-aged children
- Project-based Pragmatic Language Interventions: The SENSE Theatre
Hi there, I’m David Kinnane.
Principal Speech Pathologist, Banter Speech & Language
Our talented team of certified practising speech pathologists provide unhurried, personalised and evidence-based speech pathology care to children and adults in the Inner West of Sydney and beyond, both in our clinic and via telehealth.