Translating Pretend Play Skills in Children From the Clinic to the Classroom

Online - Semester 2, 2021 Download event flier

Translating Pretend Play Skills in Children From the Clinic to the Classroom

Occupational Therapists and speech pathologists use play as a powerful medium to promote meaningful occupational change with their clients.  Play interventions are able to support children’s development across emotional, social, cognitive and language domains. 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.

Individual play skill development for children with delays or disabilities is critical to strengthen confidence, skills and knowledge. Through establishing collaborative partnerships with parents, day care provides, teachers and schools; therapists can assist in the creation of environments that build on the existing skills and knowledge of the child’s carers and increases their capacity to support children’s individual play skills and play with peers.

Workshop Objectivesthe workshop will provide workshop participants with:

  • A review of skills/knowledge regarding using therapeutic presence to engage children in play
  • an enhanced ability to apply Learn to Play Skills, including review of the underlying theoretical principles as well as strategies to apply Learn to Play principles in small group settings
  • an overview of the principles of engaging parents and strategies to build parental capacity (ie to understand their child’s play and how to engage with and encourage their child to play)
  • strategies to effectively collaborate and work in authentic partnership with day care providers/classroom teachers to create environments that supports play skill development
  • Guidance on how to effectively address challenges in implementing Learn to Play within their service delivery context.

Workshop Delivery

Participants will be expected to complete the workshop requirements via an integrated system of pre-reading material, online presentations and participation in an optional small group tutorial session. Participants will be responsible for having access to the Internet for some or all of the workshop content.

This online module is suitable for occupational therapists/speech pathologist who have attended a Developing Pretend Play Skills in Children Assessment and intervention workshop; and consider pretend play skills intervention as part of their professional “tool kit” and are wanting to further enhance their knowledge and skills in this area. 

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 6 books and has over 130 national and international papers and book chapters published. Her norm referenced standardised play assessment, the Child-Initiated Pretend Play Assessment 2, (revised manual and score sheets) was published in early 2020.. 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 Emeritus Professor at Deakin University.

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