In the beginning: Solo Play and Adult- child play Solo play, play is done alone, even with a room full of other children. Adult-child play, is as infants mature, they develop relationships with the adults that take care of them. These are an infant/toddler stage which the Unicorns have outgrown and moved on to more sophisticated forms of play.
Parallel PlayChildren will play side by side with very little actual interaction
Dyad PlayChildren will begin to play interactively with others and will identify somebody as their friend
Small Group PlayTo be successful at small group play, children must learn how to be included in play, how to take turns and share, and how to play common themes such as kitchen or building roads.
Large Group PlayThe first step of identifyingthemselves as an importantmember of the classroomcommunity.
“I can manage my strong emotions andI am in control of my behavior.”
At school we…Take care of ourselvesTake care of each otherTake care of our things“At school we clean up when we’redone playing because we take careof our things”
“You stepped on the puzzleand it broke.” Take responsibility of our actions Children learn the cause and effect of their actions. “You (action) and (result)”
Reflective Feedback One of the most powerful tools we have to help children learn theguiding principles of behavior is to give them descriptive feedback when you see them behaving “You (action) because (principle)”
“You feel excited because your friend is here” Feelings are ResponsesMany young children have no idea where their feelings come from. Before they can manage feelings, children need to have an understanding of what triggers their feelings. Help children understand that feelings are responses to outside events. You feel (emotion) because (event)
Picture SchedulesAn important component of self-regulation is the ability to understand the passage of time.
Concrete Cues and PropsProps and visual cues help children begin to define their personal space and the space of others. As children grow, mature, and develop, they’ll be able to define space without these cues.
Sit- UponsMany children become anxiouswhen gathering for group time.Sit-upons are a system to assignpredetermined places for eachchild. Sit-upons do this withoutassigning permanent seats.
Places and SpacesLearning how to regroup when we are losing control is an important life skill. Help children explore this strategy by including placeswithin the classroom where they can go to center themselves when they begin to spin out of control
Self SoothingSelf soothing is an important tool for managing emotions. Somechildren do well with a familiar comfort item to help themselves calm down such as familiar pictures of family.