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Units of Play (Simple, Complex, Super Units) Simple unit –one primary purpose in play –generally used by one child at a time for the intended purpose –usually.

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Presentation on theme: "Units of Play (Simple, Complex, Super Units) Simple unit –one primary purpose in play –generally used by one child at a time for the intended purpose –usually."— Presentation transcript:

1 Units of Play (Simple, Complex, Super Units) Simple unit –one primary purpose in play –generally used by one child at a time for the intended purpose –usually does not have subparts –e.g. a drum, a spinning toy, a windup toy = one play space (when calculating the complexity of the play environment) Shipley, D. (1993). Empowering children: Play-based curriculum for lifelong learning. Scarborough, Ont. : Nelson Canada

2 Units of Play (Simple, Complex, Super Units) Complex units –a play unit with subparts –offers flexibility for various types of play –can be created by combining two or more simple units, or by adding simple units to one that is complex –E.g. a telephone (a simple unit) + note pads (a simple unit) a tape recorder (a simple unit) + a few sets of earphones (a simple unit) a doll house with furniture / a doctors kits / a puppet theatre with hand puppets –Require sufficient space for children to use the same toy either in small group or on his own = four play spaces (when calculating the complexity of the play environment)

3 Units of Play (Simple, Complex, Super Units) Super units –having one or more additional play materials –e.g. a toy shelf stocked with grocery boxes and tins, and paper bags –e.g. adding blankets and tables to the playhouse = eight play spaces (assuming the space in which the super unit is set up can house eight children)

4 Example a 1-metre-square water table with jugs & plastic bottles string painting at a round table for four 4 single-sided easels a small listening centre with 2 headsets a climber with slide, firefighters pole, and helmets a table and 4 chairs with a tea set one set of unit blocks with wooden accessories 4 hoops a bean bag target toss with four bean bags

5 Shipley, D. (1993). Empowering children: Play-based curriculum for lifelong learning. Nelson, Canada: Thomson Canada Limited. Recommended number of play spaces (per child/per 20 minutes) 18- to 30-month-olds5-6 play spaces 3- and 4-year-olds3-4 play spaces 5- and 6-year-olds2-3 play spaces

6 Contents of Play Space Variety –How many kinds of things are there to do in the learning environment? –Is there a disproportionate amount of any one kind of thing to do? –Does the variety of the play units address the interests and developmental needs of all children individually?

7 Complexity of a play environment Calculation of Complexity identify the number of –Simple units (x1)= –Complex units (x4)= –Super units (x8)= calculate the total number of play spaces (added totals above) identify the number of children usually playing in the learning environment calculate the complexity of the play and learning environment (i.e. divide the total number of play spaces by the number of children playing in the learning environment) then answer the following questions:

8 Is the proportion of things to do per child within the ranges deemed acceptable for the age group: –1-2 years = 5-6 play space? –3-4 years = 3-4 play space? –5-6 years = 2-3 play space? Is there a need for: –More simple units? More complex units? More super units? Is there a need to combine units? –List the play units which can be added to each learning centre to raise total number of play spaces: daily living/active role play/quiet thinking/science discovery/technology/unit blocks/creative Total number of additional play units? –Calculate revised complexity using formulas: Total number of play spaces divided by number of children normally playing in a learning environment equals the complexity or amount to do per child.


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