April 29, 2007
Child Study- PLAY
What is play? According to “The Nature of Children’s Play” by David Fernie, play is a time when children expand their understanding of themselves and others, their knowledge of the physical world, and their ability to communicate with peers and adults. We as educators must realize that play is not only a time for children to “have fun” but that they also learn while engaging in it. According to Piaget he describes play as sensorimotor practice. He says that infants and toddlers experiment with bodily sensation and motor movements, and with objects as well as with people. According to Mary F. Longo; play is key to every child’s well being. They learn about the world and experience life through play she defines play as “the spontaneous activity of children”. She states that play has many functions; it increases peer relationships, releases tension, advances intellectual development, increases exploration and increases chances of children speaking and interacting with each other. So while we thought play was a “break” from learning.
The child that I observed for this child study is an African American female. She just turned six years old and is a part of the after school program Brooklyn College. She attends it with her aunt who is four years old. She lives with her older sister and aunt. She gets picked up by her older sister. She and her aunt who she refers to as her cousin because she is older are very close. She calls her aunt by her house name instead of her real name. I observed her in an after school setting. It is stationed in a regular classroom. This is ironic because the setting is that of one that is set up for the action of play. There are centers such as dramatic play, sandbox, water table, table toys, carpet area, and artists’ area.
I observed the child “Mickey” in the dramatic area while she engaged in pretend play with two other children. According to Fernie pretend play is children take on roles. He...
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