Play As A Mean For Increasing Multiple Skills

Play as a Means for Increasing Multiple Skills of Young Children with Visual Impairments

This article by Annette Skellenger in the Peabody Journal of Education presents a study where positive changes in behavior where noted as a result of supported play.

Prominence of Play

Play is a natural behavior that affects the social, linguistic, cognitive and emotional development of children. There is no common definition of play, but there are some generally agreed upon descriptions of it. Play is spontaneous, voluntary, self-generated, and involves active engagement and enjoyment. It is the end goal, challenging and creative. Sometimes what we call play is actually work that is disguised as play, or not enjoyable because it is required. Skellenger argues that because play is so prominent in the early lives of not just humans that it is too important to ignore.


Skellenger tested her theory by using incidental teaching strategies to model play skills but also maintained the child’s own goals in playing. There were three blind children, ages 5, 6, and 7. The tests showed that the levels of appropriate play were increased after teacher intervention. At first the children were not involved in high levels of purposeful activity and generally did not try new activities. After teacher intervention transition behaviors increased and un-involvement and competitive behaviors decreased.


Although there is more about Skellenger’s theory that needs to be tested, it does bring up an interesting point that play that focuses on the child’s goals could be instrumental in the development process for visually impaired children. It is also important to note that teacher intervention encouraged the child to explore new toys or methods of play.

Skellenger, Annette. (1990). Play as a Means for Increasing Multiple Skills of Young Children with Visual Impairments. Find the article attached below under the files section.

Posted by Theresa Garcia de Quevedo