IEP Goal Examples: Play

When it comes to writing IEP goals or other goals we have for our learners, they always need to be individualized. While that is true, my team and I have always found that having a goal bank or a few ideas of different goals help get our minds thinking and writing. It has helped me to have ideas to refer to, especially in the height of IEP writing! While we always use our data from progress monitoring and assessments to see where our learner is and where they need to go, having a bank gives us a starting point. Play is an important part of development. In this post, I am going to share examples of play and social goals for our learners without changing who they are or trying to change their interests.

Working as a team is important to our learner’s growth. The educational team is put together by extraordinary specialists and experts who team up to give the best to the learners. If we are writing goals that may overlap to another specialty, we are sure to collaborate that they are different goals. My recommendation is to collaborate before opening the draft IEP and team together with goal ideas before writing them. My team has helped me edit them and make them perfect for the learners we have. An example of a goal where they may overlap would be using communication to gain the attention of a peer. If this is a learner who is using PECS or a coreboard or a device, we want to be sure to include that information in the goal so that itis detailed and tailored to the learner’s current skill set. Another example would be to collaborate with the social worker on the team and include skills they have worked on with the learner. This will help maintain and expand on those skills.
Here are a few examples!:

  • ______ will independently engage with a toy or item which will be observed by picking it up and using it in some way in 9 out of 10 opportunities, across 3 sessions.
  • ______ will independently engage with a toy or item which will be observed by picking it up and using it in some way in 9 out of 10 opportunities, across 3 different areas or settings.
  • ______ will engage in parallel play with a peer playing with the same toys with less than 2 maladaptive behaviors across 3 consecutive days. 
  • ______ will independently assemble a toy such as stacking cups with 90% accuracy, across 3 out of 3 days.
  • ______ will assemble a toy that requires putting in (such as putting animals in a toy farm) with 90% independence, across 3 out of 3 days.
  • ______ will independently imitate 2 actions with a doll or action figure during pretend play (e.g. have a doll ride in a car or an action figure climb a structure), in 4 out of 5 opportunities across 3 consecutive days..
  • ______ will take 2 turns with a peer during a structured play setting with less than 2 prompts to pass the item back across 3 consecutive days. 
  • _______ will ask for a missing item during a play setting with no more than one prompt across 4 consecutive sessions.
  • ______ will engage in pretend role play with an adult with no more than 2 prompts to stay on task with 90% accuracy.
I hope that this goal bank helps kick start some great conversations for growth for all learners! Keep an eye out for upcoming goal posts on more developmental domains!


  1. Awesome goals! Thank you!!!!

    • Thanks for reading 🙂


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *