Article: Play is communication

I was looking at one of my Play Therapy workshop presentations and wondering how to adapt the information for Dear Friends. Too much information for one post.  I need to break it into smaller pieces.  Then I thought, why not start at the beginning.

So here’s the beginning information regarding children and play:

A) Play is the communication of relationship.

Before we have the ability to TALK (expressing ourselves with words) we tell our stories, give our perceptions, express our needs, wants, fears, and demonstrate our beliefs through PLAY.  We also teach ourselves to understand our world as we view it.  We learn to soothe and calm ourselves.  PLAY allows us to work on internalizing control, empathy and organization.  When we witness or have direct trauma, we can demonstrate our feelings and reach for relief through PLAY.  When we are grappling with new situations or the loss of the old, familiar, we can use PLAY so as to use our emotional and cognitive bridge to “get over it.”

Before I go any further.  I want you to check out Rise Van Fleet’s most awesome PLAY THERAPY website:

(Rise has been my “whenever I need you” mentor, for years.  I continue to marvel at her dedication to her profession and how she has expanded PLAY into so many areas.)

So yes, I am a total believer that the absolute best and gentlest way in which to help a child become emotionally secure and form strong attachments from birth until  . . .? is through some sort of PLAY.

Infants and up tell us through their actions (which includes PLAY, as well as behaviors, facial expressions, body language and choices for comfort) what adults try to put into words.  Usually, the non-verbal communication for all of us is more telling of our truth than the words that we use.

Knowing how to PLAY with your child will bring you a wealth of information, as well as building safety, trust and comfort for your child.

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4 Responses to Article: Play is communication

  1. xo10deke says:

    Dear Friend,
    I have just found your bloggsite and loved it. So I suscribed to it.
    I often listen to my son scenarios when he plays with his lego airport set. The dialogues he creates between the characters are very insightful on how he feels or what has happened at school that day. It gives me the opportunity to ask him specific questions over the diner table or at ‘chat time’ in the evening. It also helps me to re-assess myself or explain to him why I did this or said that, because sometimes, his little people are very angry at me!
    Please keep posting!
    P.s.: I think you should get a dog, as long as it doesn’t stop you from blogging!
    Kind regards

    • Dear friend xo10eke:
      Thank you so much for the feedback! Sounds like you are far ahead of the “game” in listening and responding to your son. Don’t forget, kids “eavesdrop” on us, too. So when you know he might be listening. give a little praise over the phone while talking to a friend. It’s always nice to be able to actually hear the truth of what someone thinks about you, when that someone doesn’t know you’re listening. And, thanks for your subscription!
      PS–have noted your vote of support for getting a dog–keep reading.

  2. Terri says:

    Play is indeed so important. Thanks for writing about it. In my job at the Wilsonville Public Library I get to play every day with kids and I love it. I have seen how families flock to an environment of play and joy. As a result, I am filled up with playfulness and joy!

    • dearfriends says:

      Hello Terri,
      Good to have you visit! Isn’t it amazing how vibrant and tolerant we can feel when we have a playful attitude? No wonder “families flock to an environment of play.” If you have an opportunity, check out the Wilsonville Public Library (Oregon), as well as Terri’s site–she what she is playfully up to!

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