Developing Pretend Play Skills in Children – Assessment & Intervention

Emeritus Professor Karen Stagnitti
ONLINE – Semester 2, 2022 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.

Assessment ModuleThese two consecutive online sessions 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 the use of the Pretend Play Enjoyment Developmental Checklist and the Animated Movie Test.

 Intervention Module  These further two consecutive online sessions will provide therapists with a clinical reasoning framework to support implementing Pretend Play interventions based on an advanced understanding of the principles of Learn to Play Therapy. The workshop will also look at intervention programmes for a variety of clinical groups/clinical environments including children who have experienced trauma, children with autism and working in schools. To enrol in the Intervention module, participants will be required to have knowledge of the development of pretend play and assessment of pretend play through attendance at a Developing Effective Play Skills in Children – Assessment workshop (or similar).

Workshop Delivery

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

  • Pre-Reading/Workshop Manuals participants will be mailed a hard copy of the workshop manual which will include
    • pre-reading to assist with refreshing knowledge with regard to the importance of play and assessing play
    • presentation notes, covering the online presentation content as well as the case studies used in the interactive components of the presentation sessions.
  • On line presentation – using Zoom videoconferencing, participants will have the opportunity to link into two presentation sessions (with 30 min break mid-session). Sessions will also include interactive components (ie group discussions, case studies and Q&A sessions) to assist with integrating participants newly acquired knowledge and skills. Participants will need to have access to internet facilities and webcam to ensure that they are able to download and view workshop content, as well as actively participate in the on line group sessions. Participants will be emailed the link (including password) to the workshop presentation sessions.

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

About the Presenter

Emeritus Professor Karen Stagnitti – 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