The children’s play model views play as necessary and the main occupation of children. An episode of joyful, self-chosen play from children’s perspective is symbolized by a sandcastle diagrammatic model. Play shares similar characteristics with a sandcastle, each component of the sandcastle describes a component of a play episode. Overall, a play episode is like a sandcastle, it is complex and temporary, and constructed for playfulness. It can happen in various contexts, like alone or with family or a group of peers, either spontaneously or planned. The drawbridge symbolizes stimulus that children recognize in themselves and their environment. The buttressed base of the sandcastle symbolizes the need for adequate developmental and play skills and other skills for a play episode to happen. The characteristics of play skills like sand, they are fluid, constructive, creative, imaginative, fragile, and repairable. The moat symbolizes the availability of an immediate opportunity to be playful. The body of the sandcastle contains the range of developmental play skills the child currently acquires. Developmental skills include communication, organizational, affective, self-concept and symbolism skills or abilities. The pinnacle of the sandcastle represents children’s own play style, including their preferences in toy, individual, dyad, or group, types of play, etc. The flag describes the child’s ownership of the play episode. It is from the child’s subjective view on whether s/he sees the activity as play or work if it is demanded by others. The sea and the sky represent two associated features that strongly influence the child’s play; they are the child’s personality and the environment. This model views healthy play functions to children as the sense of mastery, development in domains including physical, cognitive, social, problem solving, creativity, concentration, organization, etc. Occupational therapists use problem solving expertise and consider the child’s development in order to address threats to healthy play and protect play as the main occupation of children.
- Macey Cho
- Model (conceptual)
Domain of occupation
Play is the primary occupation of children, and healthy play episodes are required for children develop skills.
Sturgess, J. (2003). A model describing play as a child-chosen activity - is this still valid in contemporary Australia? Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 50, 104-108.
- Jennifer Sturgess
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