Simple Prescription: Pediatricians Have Role in Promoting Healthy Development Through Play

Young African American boy sits on floor facing an adult woman; they are both playing with colored blocks.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers the field a fascinating article entitled, Simple Prescription: Pediatricians Have Role in Promoting Healthy Development Through Play. (And if you’d like to peruse the original article, it’s available, too.) The author points out that “developmentally appropriate play promotes the skills a child needs throughout life and boosts learning.” This is not news to early interventionists, but families may be interested to know that the AAP recognizes the importance of play. Michael W. Yogman, M.D., FAAP, is quoted as saying, “Play is really brain-building, and we tried to give examples of how play enhances the structure and function of the brain.” Here is a PDF of the recommendations from AAP to parents. The author also provides examples of simple items around the home that can be used to enhance a child’s play, making learning both fun and tied to everyday experiences and familiar objects and routines. Happy reading!

The ICC-Recommended Early Start Personnel Manual (ESPM) describes core knowledge and role-specific competencies needed for early intervention service provision, incorporating current research and evidence in the field of early intervention. To access the ESPM, click here.

This resource is related to the following ESPM knowledge-level competencies:

  • Core Knowledge (CK):
    • CK4: The range of typical infant/toddler physiological factors such as early neurological/brain development
    • CK5: The importance of play as context, method, and outcome of learning.
  • Individualized Family Service Plan Development and Review (IFSP-i):
    • IFSP-i6 (EIS): Understands the need for developmentally appropriate strategies (for example, hands-on, experiential, child-centered, play-based activities within daily routines), adaptations, assistive technologies, and other supports that maximize the child’s learning opportunities.
    • IFSP-i11 (EIS): Knows strategies that support parents in adapting the natural environment to meet infant/toddler developmental needs.
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