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The Importance of Play and Art in Early Childhood Education

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Amanda Wheeler

on 24 November 2012

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Transcript of The Importance of Play and Art in Early Childhood Education

The Importance of Play Sensory Play is Messy! Play is not only fun but is important for Healthy development. Through play children try out new skills, explore their imagination and creativity, and develop relationships with other people in their lives
•Provide a safe environment that offers a variety of play materials to meet the different developmental skill levels and support the creative interest of children
•Maintain a structured daily routine that includes rest, meals/snacks, active play and quiet activities
•Select toys that meet the interests of children during different stages of growth and development How Can Adults Support Play Adults should provide colorful, safe toys and a safe place for infants to exercise and move about. Babies learn to coordinate the muscle groups that later enable them to walk, run, read and write. Be careful to not over-stimulate. Infant Play Play in which children can experience stimulation of their senses Sensory Play Water paint glue on the floor. Sand tracked through the classroom. Cleaning up sensory material provides opportunities for creative problem-solving with materials. Enlist children ideas on how to keep messes to a minimum and how to clean up messes when they occur.
1. Onlooker Behavior: Watching what other children are doing,
but not joining in play

2. Solitary Play: Playing alone without regard for others; being
involved in independent activities like art or playing with blocks
or other materials

3. Parallel Activity: Playing near others but not interacting, even
when using the same play materials

4. Associative Play: Playing in small groups with no definite
rules or assigned roles

5. Cooperative Play: Deciding to work together to complete
a building project or pretend play with assigned roles for all
of the members of the group Stages of Play •Peek a boo
•Crawling through tunnels
•Shaking rattles
•Rolling a ball
•Dropping and picking up toys

These activities are ways to learn object permanence- the concept that people and objects exist even when out of sight Object Permanence Benefits of Sensory Play •Contributes in crucial ways to brain development
Stimulating the senses sends signals to children’s brains that help to strengthen neural pathways important for all types of learning

•Cognitive Development- As children become more verbal they are able to describe similarities and differences in what they see, hear, taste, touch, and smell

•Social Skills- Working closely together at the sand and water table gives children opportunities to observe how peers handle materials, try out the ideas of others, share their own ideas and discovers and build relationships More Benefits of Sensory Play •Sense of Self- Children explore and communicate preferences, making sense of the world around them. When caregivers acknowledge and accept their preferences, children learn that their feelings and decisions are valid

•Physical skills- develop and strengthen new motor skills through shaping, molding, scooping, dumping and splashing.

•Communications Skills –through their choice of materials and actions during sensory play Example: materials at the sand or water table may be warm or cold,
wet or dry, rough or smooth, hard or soft. Differentiating these
characteristics is a first stop in classification or sorting- an important
part of a preschoolers science learning and discovery. Open-ended play helps foster happy talent in a relaxed way.
It also supports the mission behind the American Academy of
Pediatrics' 2006 Report on the Importance of Play, which
emphasizes that all children need free, undirected play for
creative growth, self-reflection, and decompression Open-Ended Play • Less pressure. With no predetermined outcome, open-ended play eases off the gas pedal of achievement and allows children to focus on creating based on inner inspiration. During play, children have choices and decisions to make. This format offers great potential for self-discovery.

• No errors. Since trial and error is part of open-ended play, unintended mistakes cause children to pause and wonder. "Errors" produce fascination and foster new creation. Self-initiating behaviors are developed.

• Liberty at last. Open-ended play gives children a sense of freedom and autonomy to develop initiative and self-confidence. They enjoy making choices themselves, affirming their ability to be responsible and self-directed. Guidelines for Open Ended Art - Never alter or ‘fix’ a child’s work
- Provide a wide variety of interesting materials and choices
- Add new materials weekly, incorporating your theme if possible
- Never tell a child what to create
- Emphasize the process, not the end product
- Don’t ask “What is it?”; Say “Tell me about it”
- Ask the child if and where he/she would like his name put
- Let children explore materials
- Let children come up with their own ideas and use materials creatively
- Encourage, do not force participation
- Do not do models or samples for the children
- Encourage children to express feelings and personal experiences through art
- Display art in a variety of ways – it should not all ‘match’
- Talk about texture, color, smell, shape, etc and the experience
- Let the children be as independent as possible, and encourage self-help skills and responsibility in cleaning up art
- Educate parents as to the value and learning in open-ended art
- Allow ample time for children to create and explore
- Children should be doing their own cutting – it’s okay if a circle doesn’t remotely resemble a circle yet. This is how they develop these fine muscles – and makes it ‘their’ work and experience.
- There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way, or end product. Stage One: Manipulative
Random attempts to manipulate various materials – scribbling, thick sweeps of paint strokes, pounding and squeezing of clay. Typically seen in children under 4 years, with focus on experiential and tactile.

Stage Two: Patterning/Design
Typically develops by age 4, experimentation with beginning to master materials. Children discovering lines, shapes, dots, spaces, and patterns.

Stage Three: Naming/Symbolic
Children able to make models or pictures representing things, often with object in mind as they begin the process.

Stage Four: Representation
Develops around age 5 or 6, with children’s art actually resembling objects represented. Initially many details missing, with more detail as skill level and motor control develop. Stages of Art Development In the Art Area children are
expressing themselves and being
creative. They are using small
muscles and are developing
eye-hand coordination. Children
are seeing cause and effect,
and the different properties of
materials. All of their creations are
unique and special –Just like them! Safety Tips Toys Should Be:

Well Made With No Sharp Parts, Splinters, or Broken Pieces
Strong enough to hold the child's weight
Non-toxic and lead-free
Shatterproof and easily cleaned
Checked frequently for safety
Out of children's reach if they have small parts
Properly Supervised by Adults Learning To Share Stages of Sharing

1. Children think everything is "mine"

2. Children discover that some things belong to others

3. Children know they can lend a toy and get it back. Children are more likely to share when they see their toy come back to them and when other children share with them

Children and Adults need to know their own possessions will be respected Sensory Play Ideas Packing Foam
Bubble Wrap
Cooked Spaghetti
Sensory Bags
Finger Paints
Play Doh
Books on CD Sensory Bottles
Water Beads
Walking Barefoot
Cotton Balls
Contact Paper
Sound Walks
Shredded Paper
Shaving Cream Open Ended Art Ideas
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