Chapter 4: Children Understanding the World through Play

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Early Childhood Education: Learning Together
by Virginia Casper and Rachel Theilheimer
(c)2009 McGraw-Hill Publishing

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Chapter 4: Children Understanding the World through Play

  1. 1. Chapter 4: Children Understanding the World through Play Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  2. 2. Integrative Play <ul><li>Allows children: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To use their imaginations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transform their thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solve problems </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  3. 3. Symbolic Play <ul><li>Allows children to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To go beyond what is present </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To add to the attributes of playthings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To use their imagination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To transcend the limitations of the available playthings </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  4. 4. Conceptual Parameters <ul><li>Boundaries of child’s thinking </li></ul><ul><li>What contributes to the creation of these boundaries? </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  5. 5. Play Symbols <ul><li>Ways to make one thing stand for another </li></ul><ul><li>List some common play symbols </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  6. 6. Using Play to Solve Problems <ul><li>While children might have a difficult time “thinking” through their problems, they can use Play as a means to work through their issues and concerns. </li></ul><ul><li>How did Ana and Michael use Play to alleviate some of their fears? </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  7. 7. Primary Attachment Relationships <ul><li>Allow children: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To experience their environment as safe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To feel protected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To feel free to express themselves </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  8. 8. Play as a Social Motivator <ul><li>Encourages children: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To interact with one another </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To negotiate with one another </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To tolerate frustration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To cooperate </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  9. 9. Spontaneous Play <ul><li>Contains: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fantasy, as well as reality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complex verbal dialogues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many children or just one </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  10. 10. Play in the Primary Grades <ul><li>Transitions from spontaneous to more rule-based types of play </li></ul><ul><li>Becomes more competitive </li></ul><ul><li>Can predict later social competence </li></ul><ul><li>Can facilitate learning </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  11. 11. Characteristics of Play <ul><li>Intrinsically motivating </li></ul><ul><li>Offers opportunities for pleasure </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for self-expression </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages mastery of developmental issues </li></ul><ul><li>Is a reward by itself </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  12. 12. Play Symbols and Metaphors <ul><li>Identify the symbols and metaphor in the following scenario: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pablo just moved from the city out to the country. As he plays with his play dough, he creates a snake and then proceeds to “smash” it with his hammer. </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  13. 13. Categories of Play <ul><li>Unoccupied play : No obvious action </li></ul><ul><li>Solitary play : Playing alone </li></ul><ul><li>Onlooker play : Observes others playing </li></ul><ul><li>Parallel play : Plays next to but not with another child </li></ul><ul><li>Associative play : Play with a common focus </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperative play : Playing together </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  14. 14. Functional Play <ul><li>Play that involves actions and the body </li></ul><ul><li>Play that occurs at the sensory level </li></ul><ul><li>Allows their physical actions to enhance the sensory experience </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  15. 15. Constructive Play <ul><li>Involves the creation of something new </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Building a tower </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Painting a picture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making a quilt </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  16. 16. Dramatic Play <ul><li>An interactive and open-ended process </li></ul><ul><li>Uses symbols to represent feelings, ideas, and issues </li></ul><ul><li>Is not goal-oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Involves improvisation </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  17. 17. Self-Regulation <ul><li>Promotes children’s ability to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Modulate impulses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exert Self-Control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delay gratification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow routines and rules </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  18. 18. Characteristics of Traumatic Play <ul><li>Occurs in children who have been traumatized </li></ul><ul><li>Is grim and “business-like” </li></ul><ul><li>Contains elements of fear, rage, and helplessness </li></ul><ul><li>Is unusually intense </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  19. 19. “ Power” Play <ul><li>As children understand their own limitations, they look for ways to feel more powerful or in control </li></ul><ul><li>Through play, children can become superheroes, dinosaurs, and even parents! </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  20. 20. Gender and Play <ul><li>Allows children to pursue both stereotypical and atypical behaviors associated with gender </li></ul><ul><li>Can be troubling for some teachers and parents if gender roles are emphasized too strongly or ignored </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  21. 21. Culture and Play <ul><li>Children from different cultures can find some types of play intimidating </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural differences affect how and what children play with </li></ul><ul><li>Can teach children about cultures different from their own </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  22. 22. Aspects of Inclusive Play <ul><li>Do the objects we use reflect the language and culture of the children? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we have objects from diverse cultures? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the materials respect cultural diversity? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the materials challenge sex-role stereotypes? </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  23. 23. Respect for Play <ul><li>Observe play to find its meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate play to make it easier </li></ul><ul><li>Provide scaffolding when needed </li></ul><ul><li>Validate the child’s play by recognizing its importance </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  24. 24. Scaffolding Components of Play <ul><li>Social </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relating to others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emotional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding feelings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conceptual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thinking and problem solving </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York
  25. 25. Educational Benefits of Play <ul><li>Increased vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Better story comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>Better problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>Higher social competence </li></ul>Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, New York

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