Ordinary games are an important vehicle for children's learning. They provide a powerful, naturally occurring learning environment that is physical, playful and fun. Playing games requires interpersonal skills in language, thought, social behavior, creativity, self-regulation and skilful use of the body. When children play games together they develop the following key capacities:
•Holding information in mind
•Motor, spatial and sequential planning
•Self-regulation, e.g impulse control, coping with excitement, controlled exertion
•Collaborative behavior and negotiation
•Self-expression and creativity.
Games provide a social experience that is emotionally compelling, where children laugh and have fun and do not realise they are interacting, problem solving, negotiating and cooperating with each other.
Play Better Games is designed to help practitioners and parents to think about what might prohibit their children from joining in with games and plan effective strategies for support. It will be of benefit to teachers, therapists, group works, play workers, midday supervisors and support workers, as well as to parents and siblings of children with autism.
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Many children with autism want to join in with the social play of other children, but may not know how. These Play Better Games Cards describe ordinary, often traditional, games that are especially suited for playing with mixed groups of children, with and without autism.
The cards include games that have been carefully chosen in terms of the amount of skill required in playing them, for example, in language, imagination or motor coordination. Simple and straightforward ideas are given on how to provide support within the game playing for children who have difficulty with these kinds of play skills.
It is probable that many of the skills needed for interpersonal engagement, friendship and play can only be acquired within the actual context of children s everyday playful encounters. The focus here is on enabling children with autism to play games with other children so that, through playing games, learning can take place.
An easy to use resource that can be dipped into for ideas again and again.
120 cards + instruction manual, boxed.