Child-initiated play Anna Ephgrave

January 19, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Drama
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10 Tips to Recognise and Organise Childinitiated Play Anna Ephgrave -------------------------------------------------The webinar slides can be downloaded and printed from: http://bit.ly/AE-webinar If you have any questions, please type them in your chat box during the presentation. Use the pull-out box at the top right-hand corner of your screen to access your chat box.

Child-initiated play Anna Ephgrave

What I will cover • Why child-initiated play is so valuable • Ten tips to recognise, organise and support child-initiated play All in 15 minutes!

Why is child-initiated play so important? Babies are born with a natural desire to explore and learn – ie. They are born with a desire to initiate their own play. Adults don’t have to force babies to learn – but adults can certainly stop the learning.

Brain research tells us more Simplistic but effective image

Minimal learning

Maximum learning

Brains of young children are “lit up” to their maximum when they initiate their own play, in an enabling environment, supported by skilful adults.

So child-initiated play is important because … It is child-initiated play that most often leads to deep level learning – when children operate at the limits of their capabilities, thus maximising progress.

10 tips to help recognise, organise and support the best child-initiated play

1. Recognise deep level learning Ferre Laevers describes levels of involvement. Level 5 involvement is characterised by creativity, concentration, energy and persistence with the child operating at the limit of their capability. Review your provision if you do not see this sort of involvement for most of the time from most of the children.

Scan these brains

2. Organise the timetable Keep interruptions to a minimum No need to stop for PE, assembly, playtime, snack time, focus tasks

3. Organise the indoor/outdoor flow If possible, have the doors open to outdoors from the moment the children arrive. Plastic strips in the doorways will help to keep out the cold.

4. Have everything available outdoors Don’t set out resources – let the children select for themselves.

Plastic wont rot in the rain – so don’t hide it away!

Open-ended resources allow children to demonstrate their own ideas. Blocks are one of the best resources for child-initiated play.

Note the tarpaulin to cover the shelving at night – no need to pack away or to set up.

Use levels of involvement to assess resources and areas – review and change your provision if necessary.

5. Have everything available indoors Adults should not make the choices. Leave the tables clear – the children select where to go and what to do.

Sometimes “less is more”.

6. Allow the children to take risks When children take risks, they demonstrate deep levels of involvement. If they are confident to take risks with climbing, woodwork, cycling etc. , then they will be more willing to take risks with other new learning experiences.

7. Adults should go to where the children are playing

8. Adults should observe the play and sometimes get involved It is in that moment of curiosity, puzzlement, effort or interest, the ‘teachable moment’, that the skilful adult makes a difference. From National Strategies document “Learning, playing and interacting.”

9. Interactions are the teaching and should fit the unique individual child

The interaction will be different for each child and each activity – the adults need to know the children very well.

Children initiate the play, but might get stuck at one point. This is when they need an adult to model a skill, find a resource, provide vocabulary, encourage or make a suggestion. In this way, the adult supports without taking over.

10. Record the play and interactions afterwards

Amber was trying to cut out her drawing, but she was holding the scissors awkwardly. I modelled the correct grip and she then cut the paper easily.

While practitioners are writing, they are not interacting. Child-initiated play, without adult involvement, can deteriorate to chaos as children encounter problems or obstacles and there are no adults to support and help them. So …. “Leave the writing till later and join the play now!”

Summary Involvement indicates learning & this happens most often when children initiate their own play 1. Recognise deep level learning 2. Organise the timetable 3. Organise the indoor/outdoor flow 4. Have everything available outdoors 5. Have everything available indoors 6. Allow the children to take risks 7. Adults should go to where the children are playing 8. Adults should observe the play and sometimes get involved 9. Interactions are the teaching and should fit the unique individual child 10. Record the play and interactions afterwards

Child-initiated, and adult supported

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