I recently started seeing more little 2-5 year olds with significant delays in pretend play skills. Although I still love teaching these skills through the use of pretend play sets (house, farm, etc), I have found that kids often become repetitive or lose interest quickly. Enter My PlayHome on the iPad. This adorable app is useful in a number of therapy activities. In fact, I use it more often than not, but the most exciting thing for me right now is that I can use it as a bridge to pretend play on the floor. I still believe that kids need to play with actual toys, afterall.
This week, I introduced My PlayHome to one of my little 2-year olds with a very short attention span. Initially she just wanted to touch the screen and she didn’t really understand the “play” factor. So, I set it up like a little TV and I controlled the screen while I encouraged her to tell me what to do. This alone was incredibly motivating to her and she produced more 2 and 3 word utterances than she normally would. Once she seemed to have mastered the language to go with a variety of daily activities (baby jump bed, mommy eat apple), we set up our plastic pretend play house right next to us and had the pretend play characters do the same thing we had just done on the iPad. Over time, I was able to fade the iPad and my little friend’s attention to the pretending with objects had really improved. I love it when technology and old-fashioned pretend blend together so nicely… and I just never get tired of making that baby jump on the bed
by Karen S Head, MS, CCC-SLP