Getting started with telehealth for early intervention: Learning modules

Preparing for Free Play

What does your child like?

Think of some examples of the following:

  • Toys
  • Games
  • Electronic devices
  • Foods/drinks
  • Play with family members
  • Sounds, smells, textures

Now take the examples that you came up with and rank them in the order in which your child seems to like these. If you are unsure, you can test this by offering your child two choices and seeing which thing they select.

Here is an example:

  1. First favorite: Fruit snacks
  2. Second favorite: Snuggles on the couch with parents
  3. Third favorite: Car ramp
  4. Fourth favorite: Pop up truck book
  5. Fifth favorite: Watching online video while running back and forth

Have these top 4-5 items or activities ready for your child’s free play session.

During free play it is important that you let your child play with the toys or activities the way that they prefer. For example, with the car ramp toy, if your child likes to spin the wheels on the cars, during free play sessions do not try to make them drive the cars down the track instead.

Your child’s preferences will likely shift across days and even times of day, so this is an activity you will likely get in the habit of repeating prior to or at the beginning of intervention sessions with your child.