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Understanding Children’s Play.  What is play  Types of play  Why play time has declined  How we can support our children’s play Overview.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Children’s Play.  What is play  Types of play  Why play time has declined  How we can support our children’s play Overview."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Children’s Play

2  What is play  Types of play  Why play time has declined  How we can support our children’s play Overview

3 Famous comments about play  Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” Kay Redfield Jamison (professor of psychiatry)  “It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” ~ Leo Buscaglia (author, educator)

4 “ Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning…They have to play with what they know to be true in order to find out more, and then they can use what they learn in new forms of play.” ~ Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood) “It is becoming increasingly clear through research on the brain, as well as in other areas of study, that childhood needs play. Play acts as a forward feed mechanism into courageous, creative, rigorous thinking in adulthood.” ~ Tina Bruce (Professor, London Metropolitan University)

5 Adults sometimes think of play as a guilty pleasure a distraction from “real” work and responsibilities. According to Dr. Stuart Brown, “ Play is a basic biological drive as integral to our health as sleep and nutrition”.

6 What is play?  For an activity to be regarded as PLAY, it should be freely chosen by the child and the child must want to do the activity for no other reason than because it is fun.

7  Children enjoy play  There is flexibility in purpose  Children seek out opportunities to play  There is a non-realistic aspect to play Characteristics of Play

8 The Canadian Association for Young Children believes that:  Play is natural  Play is essential for children  Play is fun, exciting, adventurous, open ended  Play is creative and spontaneous  Play is magical and complex  Play is rewarding and stimulating  Play is non-threatening  Play in non-judgemental  Play is directed by the children  Play is full of choices and decision making  Play is posing questions and hypothesizing  Play is focused on the process and not the product

9 1.Sensory/manipulative/object play and physical play 2.Constructive play 3.Dramatic /Fantasy or symbolic play 4.Games with rules Types of Play

10 Children learn mostly through play. By exploring, tasting and manipulating, children process new information and construct their own sense of order. Babies and children explore the physical environment around them with smell, sight, sound, touch and taste. Sensory/manipulative/ object play and physical play

11 Provides opportunities to develop both individual gross and fine muscle strength. Motor/Physical Play

12 Constructive play is about creating things with constructive and goal oriented activities, such as painting, playing with dough, building towers etc. Constructive play is an excellent means of developing fine-motor skills and hand eye co-ordination in the younger child. Constructive Play

13 Constructive play allows children to experiment with objects It gives children a sense of accomplishment and empowers them with control of their environment

14 Children also need to spend time on quiet activities that develop their fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and attention spans; activities such as:  reading coloring drawing  cutting gluing painting doing puzzles

15 Dramatic play enhances social, emotional, linguistic and mental development with creative role playing It supports and promotes social development, allowing for your child to learn cooperation, sharing, leadership, negotiation and problem- solving skills Pretending helps children overcome fears and cope with feelings at transitional stages in their development Dramatic

16 Imitating, imagining and dramatizing allows children to try out new roles and experiment with language and emotions.

17 Usually games involve others, competition, and rules. This type of play may appear with preschoolers, but is found more often in elementary school children This type of play can build self esteem if the child is proficient, but it can also be harmful if the child is ridiculed or driven too hard (by parent, coach, or even peers) Games with Rules

18 Despite the availability of a huge array of toys for children, including ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and despite the claim that children nowadays 'demand' expensive toys (many are promoted as 'essential for children's learning’). Children are still happy to explore simple play materials including large cardboard boxes and home-made sound makers, craft activities and lively physical games Society may have changed, but children at root have the same absorbing interest in play

19 Children are being pushed to build a “child resumé” through organized academic, sporting, and other activities Children are often being passively entertained through computers, television, and electronic games Fewer safe places exist for children to play in, which leads to more controlled, adult-directed play as parents &caregivers seek safe places for their children There are more families with two working parents so there are more children in child care, where there are occasionally more organized play structures set up Play time has declined

20 For some of our children, this controlled and hurried lifestyle is a source of stress and anxiety and may even contribute to depression.

21 Play fosters a child’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development. The Value of Play

22 As children play, their brain develops, their muscles grow strong, and they develop good social and life skills such as learning to share, take turns, make choices and understand the feelings of others.

23 It helps children learn who they are, what they can do and allows them to explore and practice how the world works.

24 Play also helps increase children’s concentration and cooperation with others.

25 In high quality play children are truly engaged Infants and toddlers are young explorers (parents are willingly to let their children tale risks that are right for his or her age) Preschoolers & older children-complex play benefits them in developing “executive function” (i.e. concentration, impulse control, problem solving, foresight) High Quality Play

26 Ever wonder how to help children self-regulate. The answer may be, “Let them play!” High quality play leads to self- regulation (children’s ability to calm themselves, control their behaviour, and focus on tasks?)

27 What can you do to encourage your child’s play?

28  Time  Space  Materials  Caring adults The most important things that parents can provide are:

29 . Provide open-ended play time Allow your child the time that he or she needs to explore, discover, and control the environment. They need long, uninterrupted periods for spontaneous free play. The periods should be at least 45 minutes to one hour

30 Make sure your child has plenty of time outdoors. Nature provides a rich environment for play. It encourages boisterous, vigorous, physically active play that develops your child’s strength, balance, and coordination. Outdoor Play

31 Arrange play dates for your child so that he or she has opportunities to play with other children.

32 Give your child materials that encourage him or her to create their own worlds – a stack of cardboard boxes, a trunk of dress-up clothes, blankets, pots and pans, for example. Encourage Make-Believe Play

33 Recognize that mess, roughhousing and nonsense are all parts of play

34 Help children negotiate with each other during pretend play

35 Value children's play and talk to children about their play. Adults often say "I like the way you're working," but rarely, "I like the way you're playing." Play with children when it is appropriate, especially during the early years. If adults pay attention to and engage in children's play, children get the message that play is valuable Other Ways to Support Play

36 Parents can involve themselves in play but should mentor or coach rather than interfere Children should be the prime architects of play Parents and teachers need to be intentional in enhancing children play

37 Create a playful atmosphere. It is important for adults to provide materials which children can explore and adapt in play and to reach their full potential.

38 Intervene to ensure safe play. Even in older children's play, social conflicts often occur when children try to negotiate. Adults can help when children cannot solve these conflicts by themselves (Caldwell, 1977)

39 — is particularly important, because it allows children to learn how to work together, take turns, share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, and advocate for themselves When play is child-driven, children can practice their own decision-making skills; they can also move at their own pace and pursue their own passions When play is too controlled by adults, children may learn to acquiesce to adult rules and concerns but lose the sense of play, particularly the creativity, leadership, and building of group skills Undirected play— i.e., play without direct adult supervision

40 Child-initiated, child-directed, and parent-supported play is a valuable way for children to learn There is a wealth of research which highlights the many positive results appearing from children's involvement in play In conclusion

41 This world of play offers children vast opportunities to learn about themselves, others, and the environment in which they live. Play is enjoyable for all but often underestimated for its unique way of positively influencing physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development


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