The purpose of this course is to provide a broad overview of how play is approached within the occupational therapy profession. Play is the main occupation of children and continues to be an important occupation throughout the lifespan. OTs and COTAs who work with children use play as both a therapeutic means and an end goal of treatment. Understanding historical and contemporary perspectives on play and evidence-based practice will provide the therapist with a solid background on the use of play in occupational therapy.

Audience: OT, COTA

Skill Level: Entry-level to Intermediate

Contact Hours: 6

The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA 

Teaching Methods: Course content includes text from, "Parham, Diane L. and Fazio, Linda S., “Play in Occupational Therapy for Children, 2nd Edition,” 2008.  Copyright 2008 Elsevier, Inc.  All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.

Criteria for Passing: Each learner must complete all learning activities/handouts and pass a final exam to receive credit.

By the end of this course, each learner will be able to:

  • Describe the complexity of play and its defining characteristics.
  • Discuss the historical views of play and their significance in contemporary play theories, such as evolutionary biology, arousal modulation, and cognitive theories.
  • List the seven main assumptions or rhetorics underlying play that affect how play is viewed cross-culturally and in occupational therapy.
  • Describe the occupational behavior perspectives on play in typically developing children and children with disabilities, and recognize future directions for research in the field of occupational science.
  • Develop evidence-based strategies using play as a both a treatment modality and as an end goal in occupational therapy with children.

Here is the course outline:

1. Introduction

Please read the introduction to provide you with important information and tips about your course.

2. Coursework

Reading materials and the course activity to complete are found in the coursework section.

3. Course Final - Introduction to Play in Occupational Therapy


The following certificates are awarded when the course is completed:

Certificate of Completion