Purposeful Play

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Written by Dr. Emily Stefan, PT, DPT


Purposeful play is a term I use DAILY in my practice as a pediatric physical therapist. Playing with a purpose is so important in the development of many skills.


You can structure playtime to make it purposeful for ANY age, and it’s easier than you think! Set up the environment with to be safe, inviting, and encouraging! Here are the basics:

✔️Set out a blanket, play mat, or carpet for safety

✔️Find toys that are motivating to your little one (message me for suggestions)

✔️Place the toys low, high, near, far, in a circle, under blankets, BE CREATIVE!

✔️Watch their mind and body go to work!


See below for a few suggestions to encourage strengthening in tummy time through purposeful play for children of all ages- EVEN ADULTS! Try them and let me know how it goes 😊 Click here to see my blog post highlighting my favorite toys to use during tummy time!


**Keep in mind that this list is NOT all inclusive and there are MANY other developmental positions that your child should play in as well depending on their developmental level (on their back, sidelying, sitting, etc). Please reach out to me if you have questions related to environment set up and purposeful play in other positions!









Thanks for reading! Will you try any of these purposeful play ideas for tummy time? Questions? Comment or send me a message!

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