This entry discusses the use of play as a method of interpreting children’s development. An alternative to standardized testing, play-based assessment is an authentic means of looking at a child’s development, strengths, and needs. The entry first addresses why play assessment is needed, then moves into discussion of three different approaches with emphasis on the most comprehensive of the three. The three play-based models discussed include two structured approaches, one a standardized approach and the other a single domain approach, and one nonstructured, transdisciplinary play-based approach. These three models are currently widely used. Other play scales exist, but most are used in research studies.

Need for Play Assessment

With the passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education ...

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