Learn to Play




Play isn't easy!

We think of Play as something that comes easy to children.

But many children do not develop pretend play skills naturally, and need some help.

If your child is between 18 months and 10 years and:

  • is socially unaware of others
  • has difficulty with friends
  • is anxious in social situations
  • struggles in play with others
  • has different or delayed language
  • or plays differently to peers

the Learn to Play program can help.

child dressed as superhero for learn to play

The Benefits of Learn to Play

 Pretend Play (Imaginative Play) is how children learn about the world.  Learn to Play uses pretend play to build a range of skills for your child. 


Build emotion language

Identify & express emotions

Manage big feelings


Problem solving

Extended attention

Logical sequencing


Turn taking

Playing with others

How to do friendships


Story telling

Linking words

Build vocabulary

Develop narrative



"Our son used to stay apart from the other children and it broke my heart seeing him so alone, just watching them.

Now he joins in, laughs and has fun.  His confidence has improved and he doesn't have so many meltdowns.  His kinder teacher has really noticed the difference. 

He is still his own quirky self, but happier and less anxious."



Mum to 4 year old*

  * Confidentiality is super important at The Counselling Space, so no names are shared 


What's involved with Learn to Play?

Meet with Angie

It's important we have a good understanding of your child: their background, what they like to do, what they don't like, the kind of person they are, and what you might be worried about.

It's also important to know about you and your family, so we can work alongside you, your values and your parenting style.

This background session with Angie is just for you as the parent/s or carers (your child does not attend). It also gives you the chance to ask whatever questions you need to be sure this is the right program for your child.

Play Assessment

Angie meets with your child for an assessment of their current play skills.

Angie uses a researched and evidence based play assessment process to determine your child's developmental play skill levels compared to their chronological (actual) age.   This helps us develop a plan for your child tailored just for their learning needs.  Angie will make the results of the assessment available to you as well as your child's GP and kinder/school if you wish. 

(The assessment is play-based, casual and friendly, and most children really enjoy it.)

Play Sessions

Angie will meet weekly with your child for individual Learn to Play sessions.  Each session is developed to build specific play skills for your child. 

Angie provides feedback to you during the course of the program, and finds out from you how your child is progressing at home and at kinder/school. 

Generally between 8 - 12 sessions are needed (more may be suggested if your child is neurodivergent - eg is autistic or has ADHD*).

* At The Counselling Space we see neurodiversity as a spectrum and a natural part of life, rather than a deficit that can or should be “fixed”. We focus on identifying individual strengths and abilities that help neurodivergent children tap into the amazing people they already are!









How do I refer my child to

Learn to Play?

Please feel welcome to contact Angie directly to discuss whether your child would benefit from the Learn to Play program (or other accredited play therapy approaches).

ndis registered provider
If your child has an NDIS Plan talk with Angie or your Coordinator of Supports about whether the Learn to Play program fits with the goals in the NDIS Plan. The Counselling Space is a Registered NDIS Provider, and is happy to develop a Service Agreement for you.
medicare logo
GP (Doctor) Referral
Angie is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, which means you can claim a rebate for some of the cost if your child's GP (doctor) refers them under a Mental Health Care Plan. (Please note we are unable to offer bulk billing, and parent sessions may not be covered.)
Local Agency Support (4)
Your Case Manager
If you have a Case Manager with a local agency (such as Dpt of Communities and Justice, or one of the Family Support agencies) talk with them about whether they will assist your child to access Learn to Play.
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Private Sessions
Your child can attend Learn to Play as a private client, with no referral required. If finances are tight, Angie offers a limited number of concessional places at the start of each school term on a first come basis- please contact us for more information.

To find out more about the

Learn to Play

program, or to register your child for the next available appointment, please call us on 0488 432 165

DOWNLOAD Learn to Play Information for Parents & Carers 

DOWNLOAD Learn to Play Information for GPs, Early Childhood Educators, NDIS Plan Managers and other professionals

child dressed as superhero for learn to play
The Counselling Space
smiling puppet head in yellow

“Almost all creativity involves purposeful play”


The Counselling Space
smiling puppet head in blue

“Play is our brain’s favourite way of learning”

Naturalist and Poet