Relationship Between Sensory Processing and Pretend Play in Typically Developing Children

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE.

We sought to investigate the relationship between sensory processing and pretend play in typically developing children.

METHOD.

Forty-two typically developing children ages 5–7 yr were assessed with the Child Initiated Pretend Play Assessment and the Home and Main Classroom forms of the Sensory Processing Measure (SPM).

RESULTS.

There were significant relationships between elaborate pretend play and body awareness (r = .62, p < .01), balance (r = .42, p < .01), and touch (r = .47, p < .01). Object substitution was associated with social participation (r = .42, p < .05).

CONCLUSIONS.

The sensory processing factors (from the SPM)—namely, Body Awareness, Balance, Touch, and Social Participation—were predictive of the quality of children's engagement in pretend play in the home environment. The results indicated that, to engage and participate in play, children are involving sensory processing abilities, especially body awareness, balance, and touch.

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