This model aims to conceptualize children’s underlying skills and behavioral elements characteristic of play, as well as the influences that both individual and environmental factors. Embedded in the play environment and cultural and familial milieu, this model includes developmental play capacities (cognitive, physical and social play skills) and individual play style (internal control, freedom to suspend reality and intrinsic motivation) that make up the child’s contribution to the play transaction. Play reflects the child’s cognitive, motor, language and social skills. Cognitive play skills reflect the child’s problem solving and logical reasoning skills to use materials or situations in an adaptive and elaborate manner. Mastery of play through practices increase confidence and expectations about future performance. Physical play activities help children develop and refine locomotion, eye-hand coordination and manipulation skills. Social play skills include communication and language, social knowledge, and social roles. Play is viewed as a form of communication reflecting self-concept, language skills, social knowledge and interpretation of social roles. Internal control is the ability to determine play actions and choices, e.g., how or with whom to play. Freedom to suspend reality is the ability to introduce the pretend elements into play. Intrinsic motivation is the play that is inherently enjoyable and process-oriented. The play environment includes physical and social elements of the play context that either stimulate or restrict play. The cultural and familial milieus are ecological factors, e.g., family, socioeconomic status, community support, ethnic identity and gender roles, which directly or indirectly shape the child’s play experience. Family, ethnic, and cultural beliefs and expectations influence how the child plays. The culture also influences importance of play and permission to play. Detrimental experiences, such as child abuse and parental neglect, may affect or impede normal play development, and may have negative impacts on each component of play. Occupational therapists are the experts on occupation and use functional activities, like play, as therapeutic tools. This model can be applied to different clinical groups of children as a holistic framework to predict how disability or environmental dysfunction may affect play.
Domain of occupation
The model aims to conceptualize the underlying skills and behavioral elements characteristic of play and emphasizes the importance of environmental influences on play.
Cooper, R. (2000). The impact of child abuse on children's play: A conceptual model. Occupational Therapy International, 7(4), 259-276.
The Model of Playfulness suggests that playfulness can be determined within any transaction of the evaluation of three elements, each of which can be represented as a continuum. The three elements are (1) source of motivation (from intrinsic to extrinsic), (2) perception of control (from internal to external), and (3) the suspension of reality (from free to not free). Intrinsic motivation, such as mastery or pure sensation of movement, is the aspect(s) of activity itself that provides motivation for the individual to involve in an activity.
The Model of Children’s Active Travel (M-CAT) addresses factors that influence parents’ or children’s decision making on the children’s active travel using a simple and comprehensive approach. Active travel is, by walking or riding bicycle, travelling between local destinations, such as school or park. The factors impact decision-making process of the parents and the child of active travel consist of: (1) objective element of the child, parents, family and environment, (2) perceptions of the parents and child around these objective elements, and (3) outcome.
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 social participation frame of reference emphasizes the power of emotion to motivate and engage children’s social participation. Early relationship with parents provides the foundation for children’s social development, because children give meaning to their own emotions and learn strategies in regulating their emotional states based on how others and environment responses to their emotions. At the same time, the children regulate the caregivers’ behaviors and then they learn how to regulate their own and others’ emotions during future social interactions.
This model presents a hierarchy of family-therapist involvement in occupational therapy services, with associated attitudes, specific knowledge, and skills that enable therapists to operate at each level.
The first level, no family involvement, outlines the traditional medical model of intervention. This level focuses on technical skills which are expected of entry-level therapists, with no awareness of the role of the family and client’s social context. It provides the basis for alternative types of family involvement.