Types of play to support children’s development
3B.P3/M2. Types of play.
0-2 Years. George case study
In this case study, George (7 ½ months) was playing with the items in a treasury basket. Treasury baskets are considered heuristic play, meaning it encourages active exploration through children’s senses.. Heuristic comes from the Greek word ‘eurisko’ which means ‘serves to discover or gain an understanding of’. Through playing with the objects in his treasury basket, George is engaging in sensory play. Sensory play is very simple and happens naturally from birth, but it is essential to access other areas of development. For example, through touching objects, George will be using his brain to recognise texture and temperature, then developing his fine motor skills. George was tasting the objects, touching them and exploring the different textures and shaking and banging them and listening to the noises they made. This sensory play encouraged George to develop cognitively, by understanding different textures, shapes and sizes, and by concentrating on each object. The more George plays with the items in his treasury basket and the more his cognitive development is growing, he will become familiar with more objects. He also took part in physical play, by grabbing, touching, lifting, shaking and dropping the objects he found in the basket. All of these movements and actions are helping develop George’s fine and gross motor skills, contributing to his physical development. George will also become familiar and develop his hand eye coordination skills, as well as spatial awareness. George is also developing his communication skills through this type of play. Even though it is only simple communication such as facial expressions and noises, he is developing by learning how and when to use them. Playing with the treasury basket also encourages emotional development for George. He appears to be enjoying himself – smiling, giggling and babbling. George will be feeling more independent by playing with his treasury basket and choosing his own toys, which will help him develop emotionally. The recurring theme of a treasury basket, despite the objects which it contains, is that the child is given the option to choose itself which object he/she wants to play with. The child is using his/her initiative and discovering and exploring through his own intentions. This option of choice and opportunity to explore is key to encouraging learning. 2-8 Years. Reception class case study.
The children in the reception class take part in lots of different types of play. They play lots of role playing games where they make their own characters and stories. They sometimes used puppets and props as characters, giving them personalities, voices and stories. All of these are imaginative play, which helps support all aspects of development. Imaginative play supports physical development as whilst the children were role playing and acting out their stories, they were often running, jumping, climbing or crawling. All of these activities use a child’s fine and gross motor skills and help toward their physical development. It also supports communication development, as through playing role playing games with their peers, the children were constantly communicating. This means they were learning new communication skills and sustaining ones they already had. This also links to the development of social skills, which the children learn through imaginative play. The children are talking, playing, laughing, and working in teams, which show that imaginative play is an excellent way for children to develop socially. Imaginative play also encourages emotional development. The children may use characters in role or puppet play to portray their own feelings, and through games such as ‘Families’ which the children in the case study played, could express any emotional problems they may have. The children in the class also took part in some physical play, such as...
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