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How to Get Your Child to Play More? and What Does it Have to Do with Compliance?

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

Parents often consult me regarding children's noncompliance behavior. Teaching compliance can’t be done without teaching children to play. The use of technology at an early age and parents' busy schedules has led children to play less, play less with toys, and spend more time on screens.

So, the first thing that needs to be done for teaching compliance is assessing children’s play skills. Children with play skills deficits may have difficulty attending for long periods of time, completing structured toys, and may be afraid to try new toys and games, avoiding them completely.

Therefore, I put together a short checklist of things you can do to help your child play more, and during extended periods of time. This is what I refer to, teaching children to do what they are greatest at: playing.

• Set up their play area in a room or smaller designated space

• Check that toys are age and skill appropriate.

• Keep toys neatly organized in bins for easy access and for when it’s time to put them away.

Use motivational activities (preferred toys) to increase on task-behavior.

• Switch between activities as soon as your child shows signs of loss of interest.

• Help them finish what they started when playing with semi-structured toys such as puzzles or building sets.

• Remember to teach them to put away their toys as you transition to the next activity.

Teaching children to play


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