Q: Hi Bryn,
I often visit The Option and Son-Rise web sites and have enjoyed the Q&A Sessions. So here is our question. I am a volunteer. I work with a girl named Jade. I love my sessions with her 5 times a week. At one of our meetings we discussed the use and choice of Jade’s toys. Jade is still very much at the joining stage, however she is becoming more and more sociable as time goes by. Her eye contact is excellent and she is now beginning to initiate other kinds of contact. What kind of toys could we use to further Jade’s language and interactive skills? Also Jade’s mother, Becky, and I were talking today during my feedback and we wondered if you could explain what Bears means when he talks about “structured play” in “Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues”?
Love and happiness to all at The Option Institute,
A: Dear Kim,
Wonderful to hear from you. I remember Jade, (as you know, my daughter has the same name) and her family well. Please send my love to them all. What we have seen is that the most important aspect of the playroom as you know, is less “what toys” and more “how to use them”. It would be helpful to know what toys you are currently using and how Jade is doing at this point (regarding language, eye contact and attention span in games) in order to better gauge suggestions. Some overall suggestions:
I would imagine you have some of these items already.
Then, you could at your next group meeting, together as a team - take each item and come
up with lists of new ways to use them, and new games you can play with each one. Then, you
can type them and post them in the hall outside the playroom. Each person can pick different
ones every time they go in to be with her. So many teams have found this to be an extremely
helpful tool to help get the creative juices flowing, as well as helping you to work together
and to see how many ideas you do have (always keeping in mind - how can we use these and create
an INTERACTIVE game). Let us know how this works, or if you want more help.