Play the Building Blocks to Success
According to Forbes, (Oct, 2013), there are 10 skills that businesses look for in their employees:
- Ability to work in a team
- Ability to make decisions and solve problems
- Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work
- Ability to communicate verbally with people
- Ability to obtain and process information
- Ability to analyze quantitative data
- Technical knowledge related to a job
- Proficiency with computer software programs
- Ability to create and/or edit written reports
- Ability to sell and influence others
As a parent of a child with a disability, developmental or communication delay, or any other special need, reading this list can cause your hands to sweat and your heart to beat fast. Questions, fear and concern all run rampant, and are following by the comment, “are you KIDDING me!?!” “How can I help my child succeed at potty training or getting her homework done, let alone, succeed as an adult?!” “How do I wrap my head around all this information and where do I even begin?!”
You begin where your heart leads you and were you find joy… with the world of play. We don’t often think about play as providing the building blocks to success, but it certainly does. Those skills that are needed by successful teens and adults, begin as soon as a child can play. As Fred Rogers from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood once said, ““Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” So if your child can play, then your child is learning. And if your child can learn, your child can be successful.
At AblePlay-Lekotek, we know how important play is to providing building blocks to inclusion and success; for it is through playing, that children develop those critical skills that they carry into their adulthood:
- Advances many cognitive skills like learning to focus and pay attention to detail.
- Helps children develop problem solving, organizational and planning skills.
- Promotes both short and long term memory.
- Stimulates language, negotiation, and communication skills.
- Builds confidence.
- Promotes creativity.
- Helps build leadership skills through team or collaborative play.
- Supports relationship building.
- Enhances the balance of body, mind and spirit.
- Teaches empathy.
- Provides joy.
Play also provides a critical skill that is often overlooked, but is now being touted as a key to success and positive mental health: resiliency. Resiliency is defined by the American Psychological Association as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress…. It means ‘bouncing back’ from difficult experiences.” Play has been, and will continue to be a means to providing children with that critical skill for emotional development. Anyone who has ever lost a game of Sorry!®, pulled the wrong Jenga® piece, or missed a goal by inches, knows the power of play and its crucial role in developing resilience, another building block to success.
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