• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Reflective Essay on Play and Early Childhood

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Reflective Essay on Play and Early Childhood The value of play is a highly recognised and researched subject, the majority of work and information found on this will point in the same direction; that play is a fundamental, intrinsically driven part of a child?s life from birth. It enhances a child?s development in addition to the enjoyment that children get out of participating in play. But what is play, and why is it so important? According to Oxford Dictionaries (2014), play is said to be an ?activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation, especially by children?. There are various types of play a child can get involved in, such as active play, imaginative/role play, games with rules, and explorative and manipulative play (Sheridan, Harding and Meldon-Smith, 2002). Each type of play provides different experiences and learning outcomes; for example a child may become more physcially fit and able to take more risks during active play, but it is through playing a game with rules that they will learn to adhere to social norms and values, learning to take turns and conforming to an agreed set of rules. Many Pioneers throughout the history of early childhood studies have published their theories and perspectives around the subject, and have attempted to explain why certain types of play are so significant; according to Giardiello (2013), for Susan Isaacs: ??play should be truly open-ended, unpredictable and controlled and directed by the players- that is, the children?(p.120). The type of play Isaacs is supporting here is what Bruce (1991, cited in Forbes 2004 p.5) calls ?free flow play?. This is where the child is able to choose the activity or game he/she would like to take part in with no adult involvement or control and with no end product or goal. (Forbes, 2004). This type of play has its benefits of which will be explored; however, to categorise just this one type of play and stating that it should be this way is restricting ? not only for the child but for the practitioner. ...read more.

Middle

(Sheridan, Harding and Smith, 2002) Outdoor play is very potent in early childhood settings, in the Development Matters guidance material, it would fall under ?enabling environment? (Early Education, 2012), as the outside world has endless possibilities in terms of space and materials, a child may run around and develop their gross motor skills or they may craft using natural materials ?Arrange flexible indoor and outdoor space and resources where children can explore, build, move and role play.? (Early Education, 2012 p. 6) A child could even lay back and listen to sounds, or observe their surroundings, having fun but also learning about their world . It was Rousseau (cited in Wellhousen, 2002) who first suggested that children would learn better from a natural environment rather than a classroom, although it was Pestalozzi and Froebel who were the leading pioneers in implementing the outdoor aspect of play. Pestalozzi advocated children taking walks through nature so that they can observe and understand their natural settings, which would allow them to learn more about plants and animals etc. (Wellhousen, 2002) Imaginitive play or role playing is one other way a child can have fun and learn. In this, a child may become someone else, or imagine something whilst playing that is not real. This is a child?s fantasy world, somewhere he/she can make sense of their thoughts and perceptions of the world around them. For example when he/she dresses up as a doctor, they are able to become this role and understand more about them. Maybe a child might face their fears during imaginative play, they might pretend something is happening that they would usually be afraid of, but because it is pretend they don?t have to worry about it coming true. (Gordon, ND). Role playing can be initiated by the adult also, for instance in a puppet show where to adult is telling a story and the child might perhaps create the characters and get involved in the show. ...read more.

Conclusion

At first, Susan Isaacs? idea that play should be ?open ended, unpredictable?. controlled by the players? children? (Giadiello, 2013) seemed almost constricting, and blind to the significance of various other ways of playing. However, after exploring the depths of play including research, reports, history, and philosophies I realise that they all denote the same, if not a similar message. That children should direct and lead the way during play; that the adult is merely a tool for allowing further progression, this could be through supervising for safety reasons, playing a role in their drama, building blocks with them or encouraging some learning during the process. It seems to be agreed that if you do not categorise play into sections, you can see a bigger picture. Some categories will merge and aid each other, role play can happen outdoors, games with rules can involve some imagination should the children wish to invent a game. There is flexibility in how the child wishes to use them. It is said to be imperative that the relationship of adult to child remains as observer ? player so that we can notice what the child is particularly interested in, what they might need to develop on, what they are good at. Although the reasons a child may not get the opportunity to play have been acknowledged, it is said that no child should have their right to play taken away from them. This is where as a parent, teach, practitioner or relative, the adult plays instrumental role, providing the right environment and materials for young people to play. In conclusion, directed activities are too much like work, children do not want to work, it is in their nature to play, ?The imperative to play appears to be a universal characteristic of early childhood within different countries and societies'. Furthermore, children should be prioritised during playful activities, allowing them to direct the scenario; it may also be creative and unpredictable, it may or may not have an end goal but it will definitely be fun and worthwhile. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Teaching section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Teaching essays

  1. Secret Of Childhood

    A child learns to adjust himself and make acquisitions in his sensitive periods. It is this sensibility which enables the child to come into contact with external world. When this sensitive period has disappeared, intellectual victories are reported through the reasoning processes, voluntary efforts and toil of research.

  2. Child Initiated Play Observation. My observation of Child M took place in play ...

    , and a CD player that plays nursery rhymes in the background . Child 'M' is using a spoon to fill up a sock. She is holding the spoon in her right hand and the sock in her left hand.

  1. The role of the adult in children's play.

    and cited in Cullen (1998). Children learn at different rates and stages and by taking a flexible approach adults can observe and talk to children about their interests and suggest ways the environment can be arranged in more meaningful ways, relating to interests.

  2. importance of play

    Every child is unique, and has his/her own imagination that he/she can't share with his friends or anyone else. Most theorists have different views about how play is important in the child's life (e.g. Albert Bandura (born in 1925). Albert Bandura argues that people learn from what they see and

  1. The role of the Montessori Teacher

    the motivation is not focused on getting good grades but, instead, springs from a basic love of learning. As parents know their own children's learning styles and temperaments, teachers also develop a sense of each child's uniqueness by developing a relationship over a period of years with the child.

  2. New Education- A concept by Maria Montessori

    incarnated since the child makes his own 'mental flesh' in using the things that in his environment. She called this type of mind "The Absorbent Mind". Montessori through her system of 'new education' aimed upon using this 'real constructive energy' to create a new world for humanity.

  1. Normalization. The role of the teacher within the Montessori system is very delicate. Unlike ...

    This spontaneous, strong sense of community Montessori (2007a) called ?cohesion in the social unit? and represents the birth of future society. It is the role of the teacher to support and respect these dynamics. When the child enters a Montessori classroom for the first time he/she is usually not normalized

  2. Schools as Organisations. Summarise entitlement and provision for early years education.

    can be taken to a UK court or tribunal if they do. All UK courts and tribunals must take convention rights into account in all their rulings and not just in cases brought under the Human Rights Act. Special Educational Needs, codes of practise (SEN)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work