Marybeth Hicks, the author of, “Bringing Up Geeks“, highlights that play is the work of children.

In our highly scheduled lives and our desire to provide all that will support our children, we forget that creative play is a basic need of our children, all of whom are special.

I was in Learning Palace today making my purchase at the register when the clerk asked if I was a teacher (for the 10% discount).

I clarified that I was a speech pathologist and from across the room a grandmother said, “OH?!”, and came scurrying over.

She quickly explained that she has a 7-year old grandson with autism, and asked if I could recommend something to help get him talking.  She was holding black and white flash cards with words printed on them which she thought would be good to practice.

I asked, “what is he interested in?” She was puzzled and then said, “The ocean. He loves the ocean.”

Although I don’t know this child and said as much, I suggested games, manipulatives, or pictures of the ocean and things related to the ocean.

“If he is interested, he is more likely to be interested in communicating about it”, I said.
The grandmother seemed surprised and said she had never thought of that before. I assured her as tempting as it may be to use flashcards to drill needed skills, nothing compares to the power of play to nurture thinking, communication and motor skills.

And play is always good for the entire family.

The grandmother thanked me, put the flashcards back, and asked the clerk for any workbooks or games related to the ocean.

What are your children interested in? What are you interested in that you would like to share with your children?