The Importance of Play for Children with Developmental Disabilities

The Importance of Play for Children with Developmental Disabilities

Sometimes, it's hard to know how to help your child with developmental disabilities. One of the best things you can do is play with them. In this article, learn why it's important to participate in play activities plus good ideas for playtime.

The Importance of Play

As a parent or caregiver of a child with developmental disabilities, you may have been told that play is important for your child's development. But what exactly is the importance of play?

Play is essential for children with developmental disabilities because it allows them to explore their world, express their emotions and develop their physical and cognitive skills. Through play, children can learn about themselves and others and they can practice coping with new and challenging situations.

Play also provides a much-needed break from the demands of therapy and schoolwork. It gives children a chance to just be kids and have fun!

So don't underestimate the power of play. Encourage your child to play as often as possible, and take the time to play with them. It's good for their body, mind and soul.

Why is play important for children with developmental disabilities?

Play is important for children with developmental disabilities because it allows them to explore the world around them in a safe and controlled environment. It also helps them to develop their social and communication skills. Play is a great way for children with developmental disabilities to learn about cause and effect and to practice problem-solving skills.

One of the best things about play is that it can be tailored to each child's individual needs. So whether a child is non-verbal or has difficulty moving around, there are ways to adapt so they can enjoy and benefit from play activities.

Examples of good sensory toys

There are a lot of different types of sensory toys, but some examples of good ones are:

  • Toys that light up or make noise;these can help stimulate a child's senses and help them focus
  • Toys that are soft or textured; these toys can help a child with sensory processing issues feel more comfortable and relaxed
  • Toys that are easy to grasp; for children with motor skills issues, it is important to find toys they can easily grab and hold
  • Whatever type of sensory toy you choose for your child, make sure it is something that they will enjoy and that will help them in their development

How do I get started with play therapy at home?

If you're interested in play therapy for your child with developmental disabilities, there are a few ways to get started. You can purchase some toys and games specifically designed for therapeutic play or look for resources online. There are also many books available on the subject.

Before you begin, it's important to understand the basics of how play therapy works. The therapist uses play to help the child express their feelings and emotions, work through problems and build self-esteem. Play therapy is a non-threatening way for children to explore their feelings and learn how to cope with them.

Once you've familiarized yourself with the concept of play therapy, you can start incorporating it into your child's life at home. Set aside some time each day for therapeutic play. This can be as simple as 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted playtime. During this time, let your child choose the activity and don't offer any advice or criticism. Just observe and let them lead the way.

If you're not sure where to start, there are many online resources and toy stores that specialize in therapeutic toys and games. With a little research, you can find everything you need to get started with play therapy at home.


It is so important for children with developmental disabilities to have opportunities to play. Play allows them to explore the world around them, try new things and use their imaginations. It is also a great way for them to socialize and make friends. Unfortunately, many children with developmental disabilities don't get enough opportunities to play, due to a lack of funding or resources. That's why it's so important for parents and caregivers to advocate for more playtime. It can make a big difference in their lives.

If you are looking to support people living with developmental disabilities and the direct support professionals (DSPs) who care for them, visit the 1CFS shop and buy one or more of our cool 1CFS T-shirts. It goes a long way to spread the word and supports people living with developmental disabilities.

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