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The importance of play

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Deborah Wyatt

on 24 March 2016

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Transcript of The importance of play

The importance of play
Research shows that children's access to good play provision can:

Give them the opportunity to mix with other children of all abilities and backgrounds
Promote their imagination, independence and creativity
Build resilience through risk taking and challenge, problem solving, and dealing with new and novel situations
learn about their environment and the wider community
How would you support a child with individual needs in play?
Play and children with individual needs
To identify the importance of play
To identify the different types of play
To differentiate activities for children with individual needs
To create an activity for over 5’s

The importance of Play
Benefits of play for children, families and the wider community
Children's rights to play
What is play?
Children have described play as:

"Playing is the best thing in the world"

" Playing is what I do when people stop telling me what to do"
Definition of play
Play is the universal language of childhood.

It is through play that children understand each other and make sense of the world around them.

“Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated …..”

(Playwork Scrutiny Group, Cardiff 2005)

The importance of play
Why is play important?
Children though play can...
Build confidence and self esteem
Develop social skills and relationships
Develop language and communication
Learn about caring for others and the environment
Connect and refine pathways in the brain - cognitive development
Develop physical skills
10 reasons why play is important...
1. Play lays the foundation for literacy
2. Play is learning
3. Play is fun
4. Play gives children the chance to be spontaneous
5. Play gives children choice
6. Play gives children space
7. Play gives adults the chance to learn how to play
8. Play allows adults to learn their child's body language
9. Play teaches adults patience and understanding
10. Play encourages adults to communicate with the
children in their lives
Benefits of play for children, families and the wider community
Parents can feel more secure knowing their children are safe and enjoying themselves
Families benefit from healthier, happy children
Play services provide a focal point for communities
Social interaction for the wider community
Parks and other green spaces give opportunities for children of all ages to interact and spend time together
The right to play for all children up to 18 years of age, is enshrined in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The government has a duty under this convention to protect and promote play opportunities for all children and young people.
Different types of play
What the children say about play
Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises the rights of children to:
•rest and leisure
•engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to their age
•participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

To support these principles Play England has produced the Charter for Children’s Play, which offers eight statements of what play means for children, and what we should all do to promote their right to enjoy it.

The Charter for Children’s Play states that:
•children have a right to play
•every child needs time and space to play
•adults should let children play
•children should be able to play freely in their local areas
•children value and benefit from staffed play provision
•children’s play is enriched by skilled playworkers
•children need time and space to play at school
•children sometimes need extra support to enjoy their right to play.

Freely chosen play
Self-directed play
Adult led play
Means that children themselves choose when, how and what to play. As such it is not part of a set programme and does not have any steps that need to be completed
Children choose not only to play, but how to play, and that is the meaning of the statement that play is self-directed. In social play (play involving more than one player), one person may emerge for a while as the leader, but only at the will of all the others.

Anyone may propose rules, but the rules must be agreeable to all if the behaviour is to remain in the realm of play for all. The most basic freedom in play is the freedom to quit. The freedom to quit ensures that all of the players are doing what they want to do, and it prevents leaders from enforcing rules that are not at least tacitly agreed to by the other players.
This is the type of play where the adult plans, organises and shows or tells the children what they need to do.
Examples of adult-led play include playing picture lotto or a
musical game such as ‘Hokey Cokey’.

The adult tells children what to do and how to play.
Adults might also do some cooking or gardening with children.
With babies, adult-led play is very important. Adults might play peek-a-boo or stack up some beakers for the child to knock down.
What is your role in play?
Support children’s play not direct or control it
Create and resource an appropriate human environment
Create and resource an appropriate physical environment
Respond to play cues
Advocate children’s play to adults

Play environments
A varied and interesting physical environment.
Challenge in relation to the physical environment
Playing with the natural elements
Manipulating natural and fabricated materials
Stimulation of the five senses
Experiencing changes in the natural and built environment
Social interactions
Playing with identity
Experiencing a range of emotions

Play for 5 year olds
These children like to:
invent complex and dramatic make-believe scenarios
build upon each other's play themes
create and coordinate several roles in an elaborate scenario, and better understand story lines.
Many of these children still have difficulty understanding the differences between fantasy and reality. For example, children of this age may believe that monsters are real. They enjoy stepping into roles of power, like a parent, doctor, policeman, lion, or superhero, which helps them to better understand these roles, to make them less scary, or to fulfill wishes and express a broad range of emotions.

As their cognitive and fine-motor skills improve, they begin to desire objects with more realistic detail, yet they still are not very concerned about mirroring reality.

These children further master gross- and fine-motor skills. They enjoy frequent trips outside to run, climb, hop, skip, and chase. They are learning to ride small bicycles, first with and then without training wheels. They are much more able to cut with scissors, paste, trace, draw, color, and string beads than 3-year-olds. They also have enough dexterity and coordination to start using a computer keyboard.

Play for 6 to 8 year olds
These children continue their interest in:
Physical play outdoors, seeking to master more specialized physical skills
They are much stronger, have greater endurance, and are ready for more challenges.
Their play includes more rough-and-tumble or risk-taking behaviors.
They focus more on playing their games and activities by spontaneous or set rules, either of which can be complex.
Common games outside include hide and seek, tag, and sports of all kinds.
They often want to focus on and develop specific skills, and are adept at a variety of activities requiring great dexterity, such as complex hand games, jacks, snapping fingers, tying a bow, constructing models, operating hand puppets, needlepoint, sewing, weaving, and braiding. They can make small, controlled marks or movements while drawing or writing.
They pay much more attention to detail, which facilitates a desire for collecting. At this stage they start using logic more often to solve problems, organize, or choose from a variety of alternatives.
Their appreciation for simple jokes and riddles grows during this period. Licensed characters based on action superhero themes or friendship themes are very popular early on with this age group.
Play for 9 to 12 year olds
Children during this period continue to:
Develop their skills at many of the sports, games, and activities from their early elementary years, however, some games become predictable and boring. Therefore, they are looking for a new range of activities to challenge their more advanced motor skills and thinking.
Instead of finished products, they often prefer raw materials for creating their own unique products. These children enjoy a variety of activities at a more complex, exacting level of performance, such as woodworking, manipulating marionettes, making pottery, staging plays, advanced science projects, and generating computer graphics.
They are beginning a stage where they seek to clarify and express more complex concepts, moving from the concrete to the abstract and applying general principles to the particular.

But what about 13 to 19 year olds?
What does their play look like?
Activity Time
Create a board game for 5 to 19 year olds
What have I learnt today?
Why is the two year check important?
How do you support parents?
Quiz Time
What can you remember?
Full transcript