How do PlaySteps® lead to independent play?Young children with special needs may have difficulty acquiring independent play skills especially if they have motor delays or have not experienced success with these kinds of materials in the past. Learning to build with constructive toys using sequenced pictures ensures success at each level and independent play with or without picture supports.
1. Follow the instructions in each PlaySteps book to teach the child to build one construction with the pictured steps. Specific instructions are available to download here. Be sure to avoid talking to the child while he/she is putting together the toy parts. Encourage the child to look at the picture to figure out what to do.
2. Once the child has mastered the first construction, place the PlaySteps book in a basket or bin with the correct pieces in the play area of your classroom or home and encourage the child to play with it in that setting. If your child is using an Activity schedule in the Play Area, add a picture or picture symbol representing this play construction to their schedule.
3. Begin teaching the next construction. After the child learns the process of turning the pages, pointing to the picture and finding the correct pieces, the next constructions will be learned more quickly. After the second construction is mastered, it can also be placed in the play area.
4. When the child can independently build several constructions in this way with the PlaySteps books, select one construction and clip the pages together so only the final picture is showing. Now the child is expected to build from the picture model only and may need a little help in the beginning. Repeat this process with other mastered constructions.
5. Some children are able to move to the next step which is building the construction without any pictures or models or even building creatively. Learning to build with constructive toys in this way ensures success at each level and independent play with or without picture supports. Give it a try and let us know how it works for your child!