Today marks a special occasion for children and adults alike around the globe - World Play Day! A day dedicated to highlighting the importance of play in learning, development, and fostering connections. At Bea Inclusive, we resonate deeply with this celebration, as our mission aligns with empowering individuals through the transformative power of play, particularly utilising Lego®-based Therapy.
Play is not merely a pastime. It is crucial in children’s development, catalysing their communication, social skills, and overall well-being. Through play, children explore their world, understand their place within it, and connect with others meaningfully. It provides a safe and nurturing environment where they can freely express themselves, navigate emotions, and build vital life skills such as problem-solving, cooperation, and empathy.
Bea Inclusive, spearheaded by Beata Bednarska, has always championed the cause of nurturing communication and social skills through play, mainly via Lego®-based Therapy. This innovative approach intertwines the joy of playing with Lego® bricks and the structured methodology to enhance social competence and emotional intelligence and create a platform for individuals to express, communicate, and connect.
Lego®-based Therapy is not just a playful intervention but a structured, systematic approach that utilises the universal appeal of Lego® to create a social environment where participants can practice and engage in social interaction. It provides opportunities for participants to immerse themselves in collaborative play, practising skills like turn-taking, sharing, making and following rules, problem-solving, and handling social challenges in a safe, structured environment.
In the spirit of World Play Day, let’s delve a bit deeper into why play, mainly through methodologies like Lego®-based Therapy, is pivotal:
Teamwork and Cooperation: Engaging in play naturally necessitates collaboration and cooperation, which are fundamental skills for social development and forming connections.
Social Skills Practice: Play provides a non-threatening platform for children and young people to practice their social skills, understand social norms, and navigate various social situations.
Emotional Expression and Understanding: Through play, emotions are explored, expressed, and understood, providing a natural way to navigate through feelings and understand others’ emotions.
Enhanced Communication: Play encourages communication – both verbal and non-verbal. It becomes a medium through which thoughts and ideas are expressed, fostering better understanding and dialogue.
Building Friendships: Shared play activities, like those in Lego®-based Therapy, provide a common ground for initiating friendships and learning how to be a friend.
In the vibrant world of play, children find joy and camaraderie and encounter many opportunities to develop critical problem-solving skills. At Bea Inclusive, we recognise and harness the power of play, mainly through Lego®-based Therapy, to cultivate these essential skills in a fun, engaging, and supportive environment.
Problem-solving is a vital life skill that enables individuals to navigate various challenges and obstacles throughout their journey. It involves recognising a challenge, understanding it, devising potential solutions, and implementing an action plan. Children naturally engage in problem-solving in myriad ways in the context of play, especially in structured play settings like Lego®-based Therapy.
Here’s how play, mainly through Lego®-based Therapy, becomes a fertile ground for nurturing problem-solving skills:
Encountering Challenges: Play often involves scenarios where children face obstacles or challenges, whether figuring out how to build a sturdy Lego® structure or resolving a conflict with a peer.
Creative Thinking: Play stimulates imagination and creativity, encouraging children to think outside the box and explore various solutions to their challenges.
Trial and Error: In a safe play environment, children can experiment with different solutions, observe outcomes, and learn from their mistakes without fear of failure.
Collaboration: In group play, like Lego®-based Therapy, children work together, pooling their ideas and strategies to overcome challenges, learning the value of collaborative problem-solving.
Decision Making: Through play, children make numerous decisions, such as choosing materials, deciding on the rules, or selecting strategies to overcome challenges, honing their decision-making skills.
Adaptability: Play often involves unexpected twists and turns. Children learn to adapt their strategies and approaches to changing circumstances, enhancing flexibility and adaptability.
Learning from Outcomes: Whether their strategies succeed or fail, children learn from the outcomes of their problem-solving attempts, gaining insights that they can apply in future scenarios.
Play and Emotional Intelligence:
Beyond problem-solving, play, especially in the context of Lego®-based Therapy, becomes a conduit for emotional and social development. Acknowledging and navigating emotions, building trust, fostering emotional intelligence, and establishing solid relationships are all facilitated through play's interactive and collaborative nature. It becomes a safe space where children, and indeed individuals of all ages, can express, understand, and manage their emotions, thereby supporting their mental and emotional well-being.
Bea Inclusive and The Lego®-based Therapy Training:
Bea Inclusive’s Lego®-based Therapy Training is meticulously crafted to empower facilitators, educators, and therapists to leverage play's multifaceted benefits. Through structured sessions, children are not only engaged in joyful and creative Lego® building projects. Still, they are also immersed in a rich learning environment where they naturally develop problem-solving skills, emotional intelligence, and social competencies.
As we celebrate World Play Day, let’s continue to advocate for and recognise the profound impact of play in shaping the futures of our young ones. Through platforms like Bea Inclusive and methodologies like Lego®-based Therapy, we support children's holistic development and ensure that the invaluable skills learned through play are recognised, celebrated, and utilised to their fullest potential.
Happy World Play Day to all from Bea Inclusive!