Thursday, August 23, 2012

Park Play: Featuring the cutest nephew ever!

The long wait during winter until we can be outside at the park can be pretty painful (props to those who are at the park year round by the way)! We all know it is beneficial for all kids to be outside, release some energy and get some exercise.  But, how does a PSR worker write that in our notes, or make sure our bosses are assured we are working on our goals?  Here are some ideas...


Before playing, or if no other kids at the park (this has happened to me even on beautiful days), then role-play
  -Role-play introductions
  -Role-play entering play, asking to play or suggesting games
  -Role-play rejection! Sad? I know, but every kid goes through it, and most don't handle it well.  Role-play this often, or just getting up and walking away in the middle of a game, bored-like kids do all the time.  Make sure your client knows you are pretending, then help them problem-solve.  Name and practice choices such as walking away, telling them how they feel, suggest other games, or learn to "shrug it off."
  -Role-play flexibility.  This is a big one for most of my clients, learning how to compromise and allow other kids to lead play can be tough.
  -Role-play assertiveness.  Help them learn the difference between assertive, and aggressive, and then help them practice what to say to assert themselves with other kids.

Social Skills

  -Great opportunities to help your client practice what you role played!
  -Help them approach kids, ask to play, and then practice boundaries (physical, and verbal-appropriate place to be a little LOUDER- something kids rarely hear).
  -And of course, conflict resolution opportunities.  Make sure to review these with your client, going over choices and coping skills!! Also, a good time to role-play, using a real situation- "remember when we were at the park, and..."


-If a kiddo is really struggling to approach other kids at the park, I try to have a few activities to help. Chalk is a good ice-breaker, as well as bubbles and windmills for them to share with other kids.  They usually don't need to even approach, other kids will get curious, and this will set them up for practice in assertiveness, and sometimes problem-solving and conflict resolution.
  -Follow through with continued play. After approaching, or being approached to interact, how do you continue play or conversations?  
  -You can also help them either suggest other games if struggling, or if shy.  You can suggest or play with them, involving other kids in a safe chase games, freeze tag, freeze dance, tag, hide and seek, Simon Says, red light green light, bring a ball and play catch, soccer or use chalk for hopscotch!  

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