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Timothy Musila
Timothy Musila
Timothy Musila
Timothy Musila
Timothy Musila
Timothy Musila
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Timothy Musila

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  • 1. PLAY AND LEARN<br />A CASE STUDY OF HOW PLAY HELPS CHILDREN TO LEARN BETTER, HAPPIER BECOME RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE IN THE FUTURE.<br />CLASS: THREE<br />AGE BRACKET: 9-11 YEARS<br />INTRODUCTION<br />One of the most overlooked parts of kid’s playtime is the developmental role it plays in their lives. When children play, they not only learn new concepts but also develop their imaginations, set boundaries for themselves and experience new things from different perspectives. When children play with others, they also develop social skills and learn to appreciate other people's space and belongings. It helps them discover how to interact and have fun with kids their age. The most important role that play can have is to help children to be active, make choices and practice actions to mastery. They should have experience with a wide variety of content (art, music, language, science, math, social relations) because each is important for the development of a complex and integrated brain. This is according to some findings on that I had seen. (http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/development/play-work-of-children.shtml) <br />It’s with this in mind that I took sub article 1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 31) which states that <br /> Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.<br />My aim was to show by example how we can make play an integral part of the learning and the whole society can see the importance of play for children.<br /> MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE ABOUT PLAYING<br />Having grown up in a family of four five kids, play was very natural to me. The fact that we lived in a rural Kenyan village was an added advantage to me since we had a very big space for playing. Together with my other age mates, it was easy to develop our own games that consisted of using natural materials like sticks, stones and even tins to play a game known in Swahili “Kalongo longo” which was a game about role playing. One boy would role play the “father”, a girl would role play a “mother” while others would take the role of “children”. This kind of playing taught us many things pertaining to fairness, taking responsibility, and mutual respect. Even though my father who is deceased would get angry and punish me for role playing instead of studying, the experiences of being together with my friends would force us to go and play away from the adults who would look down on the games we played calling them “waste of time” but to us this was the best time. As a teacher, I have seen many benefits of playing to children who become happier and healthier as they participate in many form of play.<br />PROCESS<br />I interviewed some children about how they participate in play and what they had learnt while at it. I also interviewed some parents to ask them how play had helped their children while outside school. I also had to teach the children about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child so that they could understand that it was their fundamental human right to play and no child should be denied a chance to play and interact with their fellow peers.<br />IMPLEMENTATION<br />First I interviewed some children about how play is important to them during free time in school and also when at home.<br />TEACHER: Paul, can you tell me how playing is important to you?<br />PAUL: Playing helps me to relax when am in school. During break time, we go out to play a game called “Run and Tag” which involves running and tagging. One pupil runs after other pupils and if he happens to tag you then you have to start running after the others. By the time the bell to go back to class is rung, we feel we have rested a bit. <br />TEACHER: Do you play at home?<br />PAUL: Yes. When I finish homework then I have to join my friend, Joel, to play a game. Usually, it has to be an indoor game because it is late and my parents cannot allow me to play long.<br />TEACHER: What about you Prudence, do you find playing to be important?<br />PRUDENCE: Yes I do, it makes feel good as I play with my friends. In fact many of my play mates have become my friends. <br />TEACHER: Do you play at home? <br />PRUDENCE: Oh no! my parents especially my father says that I should be concentrating with my studies instead of wasting my time playing.<br />TEACHER: How does that make you feel?<br />PRUDENCE: It makes me feel sad because I have no fun. I really long to play with my friends especially since my neighbors’ kids play when they get home.<br />(Prudence giving her views about playing.)<br />TEACHER: What about you Michael, how do find playing?<br />MICHAEL: When I play, I forget all my problems. My mother is a single parent and she is struggling to pay my school fees. When she comes home she is tired and stressed out and this makes me feel bad. But when I play, I forget all my problems. I get to laugh and shout as I feel freedom.<br />Later, I interviewed a parent Mr. Wilson, who also happens to have a son in the same school that I teach. <br />TEACHER: What is your view about playing?<br />MR. WILSON: I think it’s important for children to engage in activities that will help them grow healthy. Some of these games can really help them to learn as they are refreshed and they can be taught many values.<br />IMPLEMENTATION<br />I wanted the children to participate in a game called “Run and Tag” in which one boy or girl would run after the other children. Once they get hold of the other child, the boy or girl who is caught is then made to run after the other until she tags another and so on and so on. They also played one of their favorite games, “skipping rope” just to enjoy themselves.<br />To make the play include some meaningful lesson, I told them that the game of Run and tag would teach them about the spread of the dreaded disease HIV/AIDS which affects very many Africans and especially in our country Kenya. I taught a bit about how the disease is spread and how it infects and affects people. We went to the field and then started the game.<br />(Children playing the “Run and Tag” game.)<br />RESULTS<br />I interviewed the children afterwards after the game and they gave me the following answers<br />TEACHER: Who can tell me what you have learnt from this game?<br />TINA: Wow! We had fun. I also learnt that HIV/AIDS can spread from one person to another but if you run away from risky behavior, it will not catch you!<br />TEACHER: What about you Zawadi, what did you enjoy the game?<br />ZAWADI: Oh yes! Running and laughing with my peers made me have a lot of fun. I was almost tagged but I managed to dodge the one who was running after me.<br />TEACHER: What else did you enjoy?<br />DENNIS: The game of skipping rope was a lot of fun. I think it also teaches us to be fair because each child has his turn in the skipping and so we must practice fairness.<br />(Children playing skipping rope)<br />CONCLUSION<br />A child who engages in meaningful play is a happy child. From my observation, it is clear that some children had a liking for school just because when they were in school, they had an opportunity to play! To make a child feel secure, develop self esteem, and to be a better learner, then it is very important that the child should be involved in meaningful play.<br />What I learnt was that Play can also be used to pass important information to children. I realized that you can even give children information concerning a subject like HIV/AIDS in which is considered “taboo” subject in Africa and especially Kenya, just because it involves sexuality. But using play you can pass the information without problems. A game like “Run and Tag” can be used to pass the information with the children having fun at the same time.<br />According to me, play also helps children to be children in a world where children are being forced to become and behave like ‘grown up’. But when they are let to play they are in a world without limitations and can be children just as they are supposed to be.<br />

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