Building successful lives, one play activity at a time

April 12, 2018

Play skills are among the building blocks of civilization, are they not? And with opportunities for play, our teachers and therapists address many of the goals our students are working on in the areas of interaction, following of directions, motor activity, and more.


“Play is the beginning of knowledge.”  George Dorsey, American anthropologist and ethnographer.

At Crossroads Center for Children. adults work with children in different classrooms and therapy settings.


Targeted play and social skills are incorporated throughout the day in a variety of ways, such as centers, group games, and often as part of an academic or conceptual lesson.


Toys and favorite play activities are frequently and strategically used as reinforcers for good working. Building on these moments of inter-connection, staff members grasp moments to expand on current interests, and pave the way for new understanding and skills.

The ways of engaging with children in play situations are many. A view of the moments captured here allow us a glance at a few techniques used in our school, such as shadowing, modeling, hand-over-hand assistance, proximity, and verbal prompting.


Learning to Play

It’s important to build on a solid foundation, so teachers spend the time and attention to break down skills into parts that are manageable for the individuals they are working with.

Kids learn from adults and from the other kids they are with. Sometimes teachers will set up the center groups putting certain kids together so that they can learn from each other.

Click to watch a video clip of Room 4’s Paper Airplane activity: IMG_3609

What’s so important about social skills for children?

    Play skills are among the building blocks of civilization, because this is the arena wherein people learn to ask for a turn, share with others, share information, act as a member of a group, and form bonds with other people. In their own homes and communities these skills lead well to life skills, school skills, and job skills.

Shamrock Moves – a physical education activity in preschool

If you’re looking for ideas of activities and ways that our therapists and teachers use to build play skills with the students at Crossroads, read some of our other posts. As always, we welcome comments on things that are working well for you, too.

Learning about who works in our community – a classroom theme that develops interest in work and peopleWelcoming back a staff member is great!