Teach Through Play: Hooray for Play!

Teach Through Play: Hooray for Play!

Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary

Description: I have to admit that I am obsessed with this resource. And not only am I obsessed, but I have been showing this to every ABA therapist that I see. And they are also wowed by this resource. There are 31 cards included in the deck. On the front of each card is an illustration of a pretend play activity, such as an illustration of a pirate standing on a ship, a pilot talking with a passenger while another passenger is putting his suitcase in the overhead compartment, or two children building a sand castle on the beach. On the back of each card are steps for what to do to prepare for pretend play, suggestions for what to say to promote language and interaction, and ideas for how to get started with play. Some cards also include variations on the scenario.

Skills & Modifications: This resource was created by Stacy Asay who provides ABA for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays in New York City. It is clear these cards were thoughtfully designed to allow teachers and parents to more easily address deficits in a learner’s play skills. Included in the deck are directions for how to use the cards to teach receptive language, Wh questions and inferences, a Who Am I? Game,  and similarities and differences. The cards also support other skills as well, which are detailed below.

  • Peer Play – The deck is designed for working on imaginative or pretend play skills. With many of the scenarios, it is very easy to incorporate peers or siblings. I also love how the illustrations are included. With one student, I was able to place three cards in front of him to let him choose a scenario for our pretend play with his brother. He was much more motivated to engage with the activity because he had chosen it.
  • Foreground & Background –  The illustrations on these cards are detailed enough that they show foreground and background and work with the student on differentiating between the two.
  • Picture Comprehension – Again, the illustrations are simple but detailed enough to provide a lot of visual information. I used these with one student and asked “What’s happening in the picture?” or “Tell me about this.”

Pros: This is incredibly easy to use to work with your students on pretend play and other skills. It’s the type of resource I wish I had when I was first starting out because it provides such a wealth of ideas combined with examples and suggestions. And all of this information is provided in digestible amounts!

Cons: I have no cons for this resource.

Cost: $12.95 here.  You should invest in this deck of cards if: you are a teacher working with students with autism and other developmental delays, you work with social groups or play groups, or you are a parent seeking guidance for encouraging imaginative play with your child.

ABLLS: C34, C43, C44, C55, C57, G7, G8, G15, G16, G17, G22, G39, H22, H30, H40, K7, K8, K10, K11

VB-MAPP: Social Behavior 5, Tact 8, Tact 9, Listener Responding 9, Social Behavior 8, Social Behavior 9, Social Behavior 10, Motor Imitation 10, Tact 14, Social Behavior 14, Social Behavior 15

**Hooray for Play! was provided to me for free by the company Different Roads to Learning. This did not influence my opinions on the resource. The thoughts and ideas above are all my own.

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