Child-Directed Play Therapy is the Fastest Way to True Mastery of Skills!

June 01, 2015

Sprout Pediatrics believes that young children learn best by doing.  Learning isn’t just imitating or repeating what someone else does or says. Learning requires active thinking and experimenting to discover how things work together. Active learning helps us learn about the world around us! Opening and closing doors, banging pots, and throwing objects off a table (as frustrating as it is for us adults) are all exploring and learning!

Early on, babies, toddlers and preschoolers use all their senses (touching, tasting, listening, smelling, looking and movement) to learn about the world around them.  If a child has a diminished sense of sight, they will use the others more heavily to gather information.  If a child has a fear or anxiety with movement because of the brains ability to regulate their vestibular system, they will need experiences to build that sense for future learning, but will rely on other senses until then. Often these diminished senses show up in delayed feeding, speaking and movement skills.  That’s why we approach therapy from a strength-based approach! We encourage them to use their “strength” senses to boost their interest in the activity or toy, as well as boost their successful learning and mastery of therapy targets!

In a successful preschool environment, you should have or expect to see these types of items for optimum learning!

Toys that Encourage Child Directed Play:

Blocks: wooden blocks, Lego’s, Lincoln Logs, Duplos

Dramatic Play: Babies, baby accessories, dress-up clothes, play food, cars, trucks, paper roads, stuffed animals, animal accessories (vet kits, feeding toys)

Art supplies: paper, crayons, markers, paint, miscellaneous things to glue, cut or tape, Play-Doh and all the accessories you can have!

Puzzle Type Toys: puzzles, peg boards, lacing, nesting toys (blocks, dolls, bath toys), sorting boxes (color, texture, size, shape)

Water Toys: boats, cups, funnels, spoons, bath fizzies, color safe dye, sink and float items

Music Instruments: horns, drums, piano, pots and pans, radio, TV music videos, finger plays, car music

Playgrounds: balls, running, climbing, sliding, swinging, rocking


Toys We use on a Limited Basis:

Screens:  Iphones, Ipads, Computers, Televisions (Less that 2 hours a day after a child is 2 years of age)

Flash cards: picture cards, drill-based activities

Work sheets: Handwriting, math, language-based activities

For more information on learning your child’s learning preference, visit this page:




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Sprout Pediatrics exists to cultivate hope in children and their families for a full life experience by surrounding them with innovative therapy, education and connection within their community.
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Phone: 803.629.1981 Fax: 803.825.4830
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