The second setting where children might play is a nursery. The typical age range is 3-4 years. The stage of play is associative play, this means is when a child will copy other children and try to get involved in their play or game. The type of play is construction/manipulative play. Tassoni P. states that “Manipulative play can also be called construction play; manipulative play encourages children to build or fit equipment together. “ Page 166. The activity is Building Blocks, this play involves big blocks that fit together, and there is also a large range of parts which means that children can make cars or houses out of these blocks.
The third setting where children might play is in the house. The typical age range is 6 months to 1 year. The stage of play is Solitary play. Solitary play is when a child plays alone, usually concentrating on what he/she is doing. The type of play is discovery play. Tassoni P. states that “Discovery play is a term used to describe activities and play which help children to explore new materials and textures. “ Page 169. The activity is treasure baskets, this play is used for babies who are sitting up but not yet mobile. The idea of the treasure baskets is that only objects that are natural are put out for babies. The objects are often presented in a basket and the baby is able to choose what to take out and explore.
D5 – Identify a theory of play related to ONE type of play For the purpose of this assignment I intend to look at the theory of play of Froebel. Frobel was a theorist and believed that children learn from doing, not being shown or told. Frobel set up a kindergarten in other words a ‘children’s garden’ in German. Tassoni P states “The kindergarten was for children aged 3-7 years both indoors and outdoors was encouraged” page 149. Frobel felt that children learned about the world from exploring materials such as wood and feathers. Frobel also encouraged learning through songs and rhymes. He argued that children should be treated as individuals. Frobel stated that different types of play with different resources and materials allowed children to develop their imagination, creativity and their understanding. In my setting children are given an opportunity to engage in creative play. The children were involved in making things with clay dough. These allowed the children to experience and investigate the texture of the clay and the colour. This demonstrated Frobel’s theory that children can learn by engaging in hands in learning and benefit more from this than being shown or taught. It’s important that children have the opportunity to take ownership of learning and that adult don’t take over when children are involved in learning creative activities.
D6 – Give ONE example of a play activity for each of the chosen settings that will provide challenge and help children to understand risks House - 6 months to 1 year
Nursery – 3-4 years
Park – 5-6 years
House – Treasure Basket is a basket filled with exploring things. It gives the child a chance to explore and use fine motor skills and cognitive ability.
Nursery – Jigsaws can provide a challenge for children and develop problem solving skills.
Park – Climbing frame can provide a challenge for children and develop problem solving skills.
C1 – Explain the resources that will support each of the play activities House – Treasure Baskets (6months-1year)
Resources I would require would be “bits of wool, acorns, wooden spoons, sponges. Help children develop their sensory skills, problem solving skills and fine motor skills.
Nursery – Jigsaws (3-4years)
Resources I would require are “different sizes of jigsaws, variety of themes, jigsaws develop hand eye co-ordination, cognitive skills and problem solving. Children can progress their learning, confidence and self-esteem.
Park – Climbing Frame (5-6years)
Resources I would need are, a variety of static equipment in a park which include, slides, swings, roundabout and climbing frames. The equipment is usually age and stage appropriate, and regularly maintained by the local council
B1 Explain how children benefit from the play activities that provide challenge and help them to understand risks Jennie Lindon warns: ‘Adults who analyse every situation in terms of what could go wrong, risk creating anxiety in some children and recklessness in others. ‘(Lindon, 2000 p10)
Children need risk and challenge as everyday life always involves an element of risk and children need to learn how to cope with this. Being told about possible dangers is not enough, children need to see or experience the consequences of not taking care.
Children will benefit from the play activities by developing confidence and self-esteem and it also gives them the ability to make judge decisions.
B2 – Explain how the adult can encourage exploration and investigation through play Adults can encourage exploration and investigation through play in a variety of ways and also by encouraging children to start thinking about how things work as they develop the skills needed to develop cognitively and explore objects.
In my setting the practitioner sets up interest’s areas, these are used to encourage the children to learn a variety of different types of play and also help children see and experience the choices on offer. There are different types of interest areas, e.g. art table, library area, construction area, planting area, music and movement area and natural materials area.
The practitioner can also give the children social and personal space, this is when the adults creates space for children to play with others and to play alone. There might also be a quiet corner and a seating area inside and outside where a child can spend some time alone.
The practitioner can also make sure that when searching for resources for the children that she includes diversity resources, these include items that could be used by different cultures. E.g. chop sticks which children can have an opportunity to learn about different cultures.
The practitioner can also provide lots of books and displays which are provided with pictures, numbers and words. These could be used for children whom neither have English or Irish as a first language. There is a range of mathematical tools which are provided, e.g. calculators, measuring tapes, rulers, height charts and weighing scales.
The practitioner can also provide hand on experiences by providing activities for children to touch, taste, smell, hear and do. E.g. children enjoy sweeping the floor and touching different types of materials. There is a range of real objects provided, e.g. real saucepans in the pretend area, real shoes for dressing up and a real rolling pins for the play-dough.
A1 – Discuss how the indentified theory of play helps understanding of children’s play Adults will be aware of the theorists, so they may want to change what goes on in the setting and change what the children can do. The adult may understand that the children will most likely play better as they are learning something new, this may benefit the children better as they will be able to use their senses, e.g. touching different materials. Frobel believed that children learned from doing, not being showed or told. He wanted children to be treated as individuals. Frobel’s theory showed that children can learn by engaging hands.
In my opinion the theory affects adults understanding of children’s play better because, through observations the adult will be able to find out more information about the children’s individual needs and will be able to plan new and more activities for children so that they will develop their learning. Although Frobel’s theory can be seen throughout my setting to be effective, I would argue that for some children that his theory may not work for them.
A* - Reflect on the role of the adult in providing activities and supporting children’s play
As a result of this course and my experience in my setting, I now realise that play is a very important development for children and not just for fun. Within my setting I set up a hairdressing salon to help children with their imaginative play and emotional development. The children will learn how to be patient and wait their turn, their language development also improved as I was teaching them different equipment and asking them how they would like their hair done etc.
An adult has an important role on observing play, they can identify children’s behavior and their likes and dislikes, the adult also has a role on supervising the children at all times and making sure they plan appropriate activities.
Early Years Curriculum helps the adult out on planning age and stage appropriate activities. Children will be given a wide range of opportunities to try out different activities, these will develop throughout play. It is also important that the child’s individual needs are met. When setting out a play area, the adult needs to think about health and safety and make sure there is enough space for the children to interact in groups and be involved in the play to help the children develop there language and give them a chance to interact with adults. The adults also need activities that are risked and challenge so that they will learn and develop from this.