30 • chapTer Two
Lock directly into the dabbling child’s personal interests and •
The coming pages present extraordinary ideas and activities to
jump-start a dabbling child toward, in, or through play, and activi-
ties are listed for each intervention strategy listed above. Keep the
following objectives in mind while wading through the ideas.
Clearly look at the definition of a dabbling play challenge 1.
and at intervention strategies for a child’s dabbling behavior.
Sometimes the answer to dabbling is as plain as the nose on
your face. Before identifying a child as having a dabbling play
challenge, make sure the child
is simply not paying attention to what she’s doing;•
is not disinterested in the offered play materials because •
she needs the materials tweaked to peak her interest;
is not tired, bored, or unwell;•
has not exhausted all possibilities for play center items or •
materials and is needing the activity to be enhanced.
Be sure to review the key intervention strategies for a dabbling 2.
child that begin on page 29 while keeping in mind the three
principles of sensory integration on page 13. It is important to
frequently revisit the three principles of sensory integration
to reestablish the purpose of positioning a child to succeed
within sensory-rich activities that are pleasurable and that
shout, “Come and play!”
Rule out any basic health, vision, hearing, or learning 3.
disability possibilities that could be causing a dabbling play
If the dabbling persists or increases in intensity over time 4.
(after several documented intervention attempts), hold a
conference with the child’s parent or guardian. Consultation
with an outside community resource may also be needed.
Remember, early intervention is key!
As with all classroom, home, or center learning experiences, 5.
put safety, health, and age appropriateness at the forefront of
all sensory-integration play exercises. Always keep activities
individualized, nonthreatening, and unforced.
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