How to do a Play-Based Assessment

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When to Use Play-Based Assessment:

If the child won’t sit down and do standardized testing with you.

What if you still need formal tests?

Tests like the Rosetti will allow you to use observations to complete the testing.

What to Use for the Assessment:

  • Toys that allow for imaginative play, like doll-houses, cars, etc.
  • Developmentally appropriate materials/toys
  • Books
  • Things that require an adult to help (tight jars, wind-up toys, sealed bubbles, etc.)

How to Conduct the Assessment:

  • Follow the child’s lead
  • Observe what the child does or how he communicates without your intervention
  • Use expansions to expand on what the child says to try to elicit more speech/language from him
  • Model the types of language tasks you would like to see him use to see if he will use them as well
  • Have a developmental checklist of skills by age with you so you can check them off as you see them (or don’t see them)

Carrie’s Developmental Checklists for 6 mos to 8 years

  • If you haven’t observed a skill from your checklist, look for ways to model and elicit it within the play that the child is already doing or switch the child to a different engaging activity that will allow you to assess that skill (reading books are good for a ton of skills, like asking questions!)