The act of playing is an important tool that influences a child's life. The primary goals of childhood are to grow, learn, and play. It is often through play that children learn to make sense of the world around them. It is a child's "job" or "occupation" to play to develop physical coordination, emotional maturity, social skills to interact with other children, and self-confidence to try new experiences and explore new environments.
Occupational therapists have expertise in evaluating children's neurological, muscular, and emotional development; and determining the effects of infant and childhood illness on growth and development.
A child's inability to play well could indicate another problem, such as a learning disability or behavioral problem.
Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants are trained in helping children with a broad range of issues in addition to the development of play skills, such as self-care and social skills, and proper computer and backpack use.