Play-based LearningBy: Tara Oakes“The skillful teacher of young children is one who makes….playpossible and helps children keep getting better and better at it.”Source: Jones & Reynolds. 1992. The Play’s the Thing, p.1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ9fzJttMPYThe Importance of Play-Based Learning
Exploratory play/object play/sensory Is when very young children explore by touching, mouthing and feelingobjects in their environment. Older students will use sensory by playing with objects such as rice,paint, play dough and water. These items could be used at a sensorycenter during center activities. This type of play is most prevalent with children from ages 0-2.5 years.
Is when young children engage in imaginative play by themselvesgenerally by using dolls, cars or action figures. They invent scripts androle play with toy objects. Older students will usually create entire worlds and with toys andobjects and play independently. This type of play is most prevalent with children from ages 3-8 years.Dramatic Play (solitary pretense)
Construction Play Is when children use objects such as blocks, cardboard boxes, playdough or other objects to build. The students can play independently or in groups for long periods oftime. Centers for building can be incorporated in the classroom andcan be used with dramatic play by creating their own worlds. This type of play is most prevalent with children from ages 3-8 years.
Infants start to use sensory motor when they begin moving and kickingtheir arms and moving on to kicking and moving objects. Rough and tumble play is more commonly found in boys and a socialform of play, often confused as aggressiveness. This type of play is most prevalent with children from ages 3-8 years.Physical Play As students get older they move into physical play where they try toexceed their limits with running, jumping and climbing. This oftenbecomes competitive and moves into games with invented rules.
Socio-dramatic Play Is students playing with small groups and reenact social rolls creatingtheir own rolls and scripts. Socio-dramatic play generally incorporates social rolls such asfirefighter, mother and father or other similar community rolls. This type of play is most prevalent with children from ages 3-6 years.
Games with Rules Is when students begin to play organized sports and games in groups. These games and sports tend to be organized but can be board gamesand card games with organized rules. This type of play is most prevalent with children from ages 5 years andup.
Children invent their own games with their own rules. Groups tend to be self organized play groups by the students and theirpeers. Ex: Hopscotch or Tag This type of play is most prevalent with children from ages 5-8 years.Games with invented rules
Research shows that children who engage in complex forms of socio-dramatic play have greater language skills than non players, better socialskills, more empathy, more imagination, and more of the subtle capacityto know what others mean. They are less aggressive and show moreself-control and higher levels of thinking. In many kindergarten classrooms there is no play-time at all. Teacherssay the curriculum does not incorporate play, there isnt time for it andmany school administrators do not value it. Standardized testing and preparation fro tests are now a daily activityinmost of the kindergarten studied, despite the fact that most uses ofsuch tests with children under age eight are of questionable validityand can lead to harmful labeling.Interesting Information about Play-based Learning
With asking kindergarten students to perform at what used to beconsidered a first grade level, and denying students play it is believedthat there has been a rise in students anger and aggression. It has alsobeen reported more frequently that younger students are having moresevere behavior problems. There are two types of teachers involvement in play:1.) Outside flow- is meant to prompt reflection on the part ofthe children and leads to extension of play.2.) Inside flow- teacher takes on a role of play andcommunication directly with the students.Interesting Information about Play-based Learning (cont.)
Provide time and space for play to every school day, both indoors andduring recess. Mark room for all types of play that contribute to children’sdevelopment, including make-believe, sensory, language, construction,large and small motor, and mastery play.How to create effective classrooms through play-based learning Learn to effectively monitor and be involved in your classroom play. Get creative and use a variety of different ways and tools toincorporate into your classroom.
Are we doing the right thing with moving towards less play-basedlearning and more instructional and assessment based learning?“Most of the play-based kindergartens in Germany were changed into centers forcognitive achievement during a wave of educational “reform” in the 1970s. But theresearch comparing 50 play-based classes with 50 early-learning centers found thatby age 10 the children who played in kindergarten excelled over the others in a hostof ways. They were more advanced in reading and mathematics and they werebetter adjusted socially and emotionally in school. They excelled in creativity andintelligence, and oral expression, and “industry.” As a result of this study Germankindergarten returned to being play-based again.”
Hand in Hand Strategies to support play-based learninghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIibN10XQwU
Creditshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ9fzJttMPYhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIibN10XQwUJones & Reynolds. 1992. The Play’s the Thing, p.1Hewes, PhD, Let The Children Play: Nature’s Answer to Early Learning , EarlyChildhood Learning Knowledge Centre, p. 3Ashiabi, Early Childhood Education Journal, Play in the Preschool Classroom: ItsSocioemotional Significance and the Teacher’s Role in Play, Early ChildhoodEducation Journal, Vol.35, No.2, October 2007 p. 203Miller and Almon, Crisis in the Kindergarten Why Children Need Play in School,Alliance for Childhood, March 2009, p. 2, 3, 6,