Becoming a Magical Play Partner for your child. (Part 4) Object Focused Activities
Welcome to Part 4 in our Magical Play Partner blog series. In this article, we will focus on Object Focused Activities what they are, why they are important and simple ways to ensure optimal Speech, Language, Communication and Social-Emotional development.
Always remember that your praise and attention are the most magical ingredients when becoming your child’s magical play partner.
In Part 1 of our Magical Play Partner blog series, we talked about some tips for becoming your child’s magical play partner.
In Part 2 we talked about how to develop Joint Attention Skills; a key building block when promoting optimal Speech, Language, Communication and Social-Emotional Development.
In Part 3 we talked about using Sensory Social Play activities to promote Speech, Language, Communication and Social-Emotional Development.
In Part 4 we will talk about how Object Focused Joint activities promote Speech, Language, Communication and Social-Emotional Development.
There are two types of Joint Activities to support joint attention skills you can do when playing with your child: Sensory Social Activities and Object-Focused Joint Activities. The focus of any joint activity play is the social exchange and the fun and engaging way you interact with your child.
In this article, we will talk about Object Focused Joint Activities
An Object Focused Joint Activity is when an adult and child are both attending to actions on objects/toys. Social Activity is woven through the activity through imitation, turn-taking, handling the objects/toys, the theme of the play and variation.
Prior to engaging in Object Focused Joint Activities, remember that Joint attention skills come first.
Look out for :
- Pointing to objects
- Giving items to others
- Taking items from others when offered
- Receptive language skills
Check our blog on Joint Attention skills for more information.
Object Focused Joint Activities focus on building the following skills:
- Cognitive Skills
- Communication and Language
- Fine Motor Skills
Examples of Object Focused Joint Activities are; playing shop, setting up house, playing farm, cause and effect toys etc…
During his type of play, the goals are to engage your child in:
Pointing to the objects/materials
Alternating gaze between objects/materials and play partner (parent)
Looking up from objects/toys to share smiles with play partner (parent)
Check out our Step up Step Down blog for advice and strategies on prompting new skills when playing with your child.
Check out our 5 Tips below when engaged in object focused routines during magical play partner time.
1.When one theme or action becomes played out, move to a new phase of the play.
Example A: When playing house, (making dinner) move from stirring the soup to adding sauce and putting it in the oven.
Example B: When playing with bricks, move from building the house to building a bridge to the town, a shop, and maybe an airport.
2.Model new actions occasionally
Example A: When playing making dinner, show your child how we mix the soup and then shake the salt into the soup.
Example B: When playing with bricks, show your child how to build different combinations of bricks.
3.Move through the clean-up phase
Example A: When playing house, (making dinner), show and engage your child to clean up the dinner things now.
Example B: When playing with bricks, show and engage your child to tidy up the bricks.
4.Add new materials and themes
When playing house, now it’s time to put dolly to bed and begin to introduce bed-time items and routines.
When playing shop, now it's time to pay for our things, introduce the cash machine, and waiting for receipt, or change etc..
5.Intersperse with Sensory Social Routines.
- Every now and then add in a favourite sensory social routine e.g. (Peek a Boo”, “Up/Down” Songs with motions “Itsy Bitsy Spider” “Wheels on the Bus” . More information on sensory social routines is available here.