This Greenspan Floortime advice is about helping children develop new ideas. One of the challenges many children with communication difficulties experience is coming up with new ideas or expanding on ideas they may already have.
One of the best ways that we find to assist children in developing new ideas without giving them a new idea or teaching them your idea is to help them understand that silly and creative ideas can be part of fun or even routine activities. Things like getting dressed in the morning can be done a little differently. Instead of putting the socks on your child’s feet, you can put them on their hands. So, even a routine activity can, if you have the time, become a way for them to develop new ideas.
Another area you can do this in is within more creative and pretend play. So if you’re doing a play schema where there’s pretend food, instead of just eating the pizza the pizza might end up in your pocket or on the shelf or even on your head. These activities can be fun and silly, which is what alleviates some of the stress of coming up with new ideas and being creative.
Not only what to do with the pizza, but instead that pizza in itself is a symbolic form in many different ways Once they see you use it in many different ways, they themselves will come with their own new ways of doing this.
Jake Greenspan did this with a little boy at one point. He and the boy started putting silly toppings on the pizza. Instead of just having pepperoni and mushrooms, he started putting chicken and broccoli. Then, all of a sudden, he sat on the pizza tray and he said “Look! It’s a Tom pizza!”. You started seeing the creativity emerge. Out came new ideas. Whereas when he first started working with him, the little boy was very concrete and rigid. Unfortunately that then played out in his behavior as well. But through these silly experiences, new ideas developed. The Greenspan Floortime approach is helping children develop new ideas.
Want to learn more about Floortime and the Greenspan approach to children with special needs? Check out our courses at Floortime U!
Learn more about Dr. Stanley Greenspan and the Greenspan Floortime approach. If you are new, we have a background and introduction to Greenspan Floortime including how it helps special needs children. We also have Greenspan Floortime training courses at Floortime U. specifically designed for parents and professionals including the Floortime Manual.