More to Play at Little Land

By Little Land & Western Kids Health, 05 Oct 2020


Role Play, Best Play

As parents, we all want the best for our little ones. Nothing makes us happier for them than to see them reach milestones in their lives. Did you know that role-play is an effective way in helping little ones with their physical, emotional and social development?

Role-play environments enable children to play and learn, no matter what stage of development they are at. It helps them make sense of the world around them, develops their hand-eye coordination and builds their language abilities. At Little Land, your little ones are given the freedom to wander and explore their imagination through our play-stalls.

The Experts

Western Kids Health is a Perth-based multidisciplinary team comprising speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists as well as dietetics and psychology, who provide fun, evidence-based, holistic care for children and youth.

Little Land has collaborated with Western Kids Health to create an environment for your little one to extend their learning and explore their imagination. But who exactly are these people and what do they do?

  • Speech Pathologists help children in speaking, listening, understanding language, reading, writing, social skills, stuttering and using voice.
  • Occupational Therapists help children to participate in activities they find meaningful. This includes taking care of themselves, participating in hobbies, learning and social activities.
  • Physiotherapists help children gain fine and gross motor skills, strength, flexibility, balance and coordination.

“Little Land is a therapist’s dream location. We see the possibilities around every corner, in every area of Little Land, to support a child’s development and integrate therapy into a child’s everyday life through play.

This makes therapy strategies meaningful and motivating to the child – and more likely to be effective. Little Land also empowers parents to try out therapy strategies in a realistic play setting with their child and gives them the tools to continue this on at home.” Nicole Pates, Director, Western Kids Health

Explore the Town

No, not the big CBD! Visit Little Land and explore their town with your little one. Whether it be doing the grocery shopping at the Little Growers Market, making a coffee at the local cafe, washing the dishes at home, teaching, visiting the doctor or helping with the town’s construction – the fun is in the exploring!

Little Land has recently developed new parent guides for each of their main play stalls full of ideas you can use to get involved and engage with your little one, helping their development along the way.

Here are some examples of how to extend your little one’s play in our cosy home corner! These ideas can also be done in your very own home – simply set up a play area with existing or make-shift props and get the imaginations going!

Speech pathologists suggest;

  • repeating words of nearby objects to familiarise children with vocabulary such as ‘chair’, ‘table’ and ‘plate’ (1-3 years),
  • Using action words to describe what your child is doing to give choices of what they might like to do – words might include, cut, chop, mix, bake, stir, pour,
  • Or do a ‘word hunt’ – can you find something blue? Something you can eat? Something you don’t like? Something small? (7-8 years)

Occupational therapists suggest;

  • During laundry play, take turns and use the words “my turn” and “your turn” to encourage simple turn taking (1-3 years),
  • pretending to eat a meal using a knife and fork; helping them to position their cutlery correctly in their hands (4-6 years),
  • Practice folding the washing such as tea towels, t-shirts and socks (7-8 years).

Paediatric physiotherapists suggest;

  • At the end of playtime, ‘cleaning’ up their toys from their play area, with squatting movements and hand-eye coordination to support muscle strength and flexibility (1-3 years),
  • Whilst making smoothies in the blender, hide ingredients in the kitchen high and low, so that your little one has to go up on to tip toes or squat low. Not only does this promote strengthening and balance but also aids with problem solving skills (4-6 years)
  • Serving meals at the dinner table, practice being the waiter, and place several cups on a plate to carry to the table. Start by carrying the plate with two hands and then balancing on one. To make things extra tricky carry a plate of drinks in each hand. (7-8 years)

A Little Reminder

It is important to remember that, while most children reach milestones around the same age, all children develop at different rates.

These activities are suggestions only. Pick activities that you think will interest your child. You may find activities in other age ranges more suitable for your child. We recommend using these activity guides after your child has had the chance to independently wander and explore Little Land (check their advert in the October issue of The Parents’ Paper for a little discount when you book).

If you have any concerns about your child’s development or feel they are behind their peers and missing out, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at Western Kids Health.

Check out out more school holiday ideas!
Farm animals, snakes and reptiles at Kardinya Park Shopping Centre
Our picks for Perth’s horse riding hotspots
Take a trip to Caversham Wildlife Park
The Nightingale will premiere at His Majesty’s Theatre

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