Developing Pretend Play Skills in Children – Advanced

Prof Karen Stagnitti
Semester 2, 2020 - Perth Download event flier

Play has always been part of learning and growing, as well as providing enjoyment and fun. Play is an important measure of children’s development, as it encompasses emotional, social, cognitive and language aspects. Research has indicated a significant relationship between the quality of children’s pretend play during the preschool years, and their cognitive skills, social skills, language, literacy, and problem-solving ability in early primary school and beyond. This workshop will be provided in two modules.

Module one (one day) will provide therapists with an ability to “refresh” or gain knowledge with regard to understanding “typical” play deficits seen in children and the assessment of a child’s play development (including use of the Pretend Play Enjoyment Developmental Checklist). This workshop will be practical with case studies to illustrate examples of how play can be understood during assessment. The Animated Movie Test will also be included for those who work with older children.

Module two (two days) through the use of case studies, participants will be provided with a clinical reasoning framework based on an advanced understanding of the Learn to Play Therapy, as well as skills/strategies to implement intervention programmes for a variety of clinical groups/clinical environments. Units covered include:

  • Play and Autism
    • Play in Schools (ie developing early literacy skills and linking play to the National Curriculum)
    • Transdisciplinary Play intervention
    • Play with children with a history of Trauma/Abuse.

Participants will be able to attend a three day workshop combining Modules one and two. Or alternatively if participants have previously attended a Developing Effective Play Skills in Children workshop they will be able to opt to attend Module two only.

This workshop is suitable for both occupational therapists and speech pathologists.

Arrival tea/coffee, morning/afternoon tea and lunch; as well as workshop manuals will be provided.

About the Presenter  Karen Stagnitti graduated with a Bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Queensland in 1977. Since this time she has mainly worked in early childhood intervention programs in community based settings as part of a multidisciplinary team. In 2003 she graduated from LaTrobe University with a Doctor of Philosophy. Her area of research is children’s play. Karen has written 5 books and has over 90 national and international papers and book chapters published. Her norm referenced standardised play assessment, the Child-Initiated Pretend Play Assessment, was published in 2007. She  worked as Professor (Personal Chair) in the Occupational Science and Therapy program and taught into the Master of Child Play Therapy at Deakin University, Victoria until December 2018. She is now Honorary Professor at Deakin University..

Expressions of Interest for this workshop are now being sought. Please register your interest by emailing Zi Mei Events at  or (07) 3358 3689.