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I love to play. I guess that's why I have worked with kiddos for so long. I like to be in it with them and as an occupational therapist and as a mom, it is the foundation of how I connect, encourage and facilitate new skills. It's also how I listen and therefore learn what the child has to say.

There is structured play and unstructured play and there are benefits to both. However, the unstructured play is where the magic happens. It's where the imagination is built, where problem solving skills and new learning amass. Children find their voice through play. If you haven't ever taken a moment to sit back and listen to a child or children play, you are truly missing out. They are clearly communicating through their play, what their interests are, how they are feeling and what is true to them in that moment. As adults, we often try to control our kids play, direct it in some way that we think is more important or educational. There is a time for structure for sure, but the power within unstructured play is immeasurable. As parents, caregivers, teachers, therapists, if we are invited into a child's play, we should follow their lead and soak in every glorious moment. This is not an easy task for many adults, as we function out of our own agendas, but I am telling you, you will reap great benefits. The smile that will emerge across your face will grow like the Grinch's heart. There is a joy in that space with a child who plays freely. If you enter in without expectations, you will experience that joy and great connection.

Below: He found these two pieces of packing materials in the garage and wanted to be a transformer. Imagination, resourcefulness and little help from mamma in problem solving how to attach it to his arm:) He then proceeded to conquer the world...

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