How theoretical perspectives on play inform practice

Table of Contents

3.1 discuss how theoretical perspectives on play inform practice.

Anna Freud is Sigmund Freud’s daughter who developed the idea of psychoanalysis. Anna was a teacher and trained therapist and she believed it was important to observe children during play to get an insight of how children move in and out of reality and to see them using their imagination. Anna Freud also believed it was important to observe children to see how they experiment with their feelings and to also assess the child’s development. Anna Freud stated that play is a self-healing process and by allowing the children to play it is supporting them in experimenting, dealing and managing with their emotions. Anna added to her theory of psychoanalysis that the most important thing a child has in childhood in which they are loved, have clear boundaries and rules and that children have the opportunities for natural play.

Anna Freud came up with the theory of psychoanalysis due in 1941 when her and her friend and colleague Dorothy Burlingham opened ‘The Hampstead War Nursery’ to car for babies, toddlers and young children who were separated from their families by the Vagaries of war. In service training required staff to write detailed observations about the day to day behaviour of the children. These observations were then discussed every evening with Anna and Dorothy. And the understanding of them became crucial as these observation were needed to assess the children’s development and they allowed an insight into the children’s normal and pathological development. How do we use it today?Practitioners observe children on a day to day bases in settings to assess children’s development thanks to Anna Freud. Anna Freud’s theory also impacted settings today due to all settings have rules each child has to follow, e.g. no running inside. Settings also encourage a lot more natural material play for children to explore the nature around them e.g. a lot of settings participate in forest school activities. Vygotsky believed that play creates a ‘zone of proximal development’.

The zone of proximal development is the development someone can succeed if they have a more knowledgeable other that has more advanced skills. A child is in the zone of actual development (ZAD) when they are playing individually. Where as a child is in the zone of proximal development (ZPD) when they have a more knowledgeable other (MKO) they learn more off of the MKO therefore increasing their level of development. Lev Vygotsky valued imaginative play therefore is theory is based on toddlers not babies as imaginative doesn’t exist in babies. Lev Vygotsky also believed that play frees children from the restraints of everyday life. How has lev Vygotsky’s theory impacted settings and practitioners actions today? Vygotsky’s theory impacts practice in early years settings as practitioners today:- Promote more group work so children in the setting can learn off other children.

– Extend children’s sentences e.g. a child states “ that’s a broccoli” the practitioner could say “yes that’s a green broccoli”

– Usually have children who they are a key person to so they should know each child’s level of knowledge so the practitioner can use scaffolding techniques to benefit the child.

3.2 discuss how philosophical approaches on play and learning inform practice Bob Hughes taxonomy of play: Bob Hughes was a play theorist and practitioner in the UK. Bob suggests that there are 16 types of play children participate in. Bob Hughes 16 types of play:

1. Communication play- communication play is play using words, nuances or gestures.

2. Creative play – is play which allows children to explore, design, try out new ideas and use their creativity and imagination. Creative play involves the use of different tools, textures and forms to create whatever that person wishes to without an idea or need for an end result.

3. Deep play – deep play is play that allows children to develop survival skills through experiences that are risky and could be potentially life threatening. By allowing children to partake in deep play it allows children to conquer fears and to develop confidence in their own actions and opinions for later life. Deep play also allows children to develop risk taking skills which is needed due to adults having to risk take every minute of the day. However children should only be allowed to participate in deep play with supervision so no serious injuries occur.

4. Dramatic play – play which dramatizes everything and allows the child to become less egocentric by acting and experiences others viewpoints. Egocentric: when a child can only see things from their own perspective and no one else’s.

5. Exploratory play- Using senses of smell, touch and even taste to explore and discover the texture and function of things around them.

6. Symbolic play- play that allows control, gradual exploration and increased understanding without the risk of the child becoming out of their own depth. It could involve the child imagining things that they aren’t actually in reality e.g. using wood as a sword.

7. Fantasy play – make belief play. This is the type of play where children can use their imagination to rearrange the world in a way that will unlikely happen.

8. Imaginative play – Play where the conventional rules, which govern the physical world, do not apply

9. Locomotor play – play that involves movement in any direction for fun.

10. Mastery play- play that controls the physical and affective ingredients of the outdoor environment.

11. Object play – play which uses hand and eye manipulations and movements.

12. Recapitulative play- play that allows children to explore their history. 13. Role play – exploration of ways of being a personal, social, domestic or interpersonal nature.

14. Social play – Any social or interactive situation where the expectation is that everyone will follow the set rules.

15. Socio-dramatic play- play that involves acting out real and potential experiences of an intense personal, social, domestic or interpersonal nature.

16. Rough and tumble play- close-encounter play which isn’t extremely rough but involves children toughing one another allowing the children to gauge their strength.

This type of play allows children to participate in physical contact which doesn’t result in someone being hurt. Bob Hughes examples of 16 types of play:

1) Communication play – singing, role play and acting

2) Creative play – building block and painting

3) Deep play – climbing stairs (babies), climbing obstacles and riding a bike.

4) Dramatic play- the use of different clothing (a builder) and role play.

5) Exploratory play – a baby putting an object in their mouth or

6) Symbolic play – using a piece of wood as a sword or using a teddy as a baby.

7) Fantasy play – riding a unicorn, visiting aliens, becoming a pilot and flying into space.

8) Imaginative play – being a bee, a mum or a dog.

9) Locomotor play- hide and seek, tag and climbing trees.

10) Mastery play- digging, building dens and forest school activities

11) Object play- painting (the use of a paintbrush) and writing ( the use of a tri-pod/palmar grip to hold the pen/pencil)

12) Recapitulative play- the exploration of ancestry, history, rituals, stories, rhymes, fire and darkness.

13) Role play – brushing hair, using a mobile phone, driving a car or using a vacuum.

14) Social play – group work like making a craft together or making a den.

15) Socio-dramatic play- getting on the bus, going to the shops or playing families (being a mum, dad, baby, child pet etc.).

16) Rough and tumble play – tickling Tina Bruce 12 features of play: Tina Bruce identified 12 features of play and stated that it was important for at least 7 of these features to be present in free-flow play in order for it to be quality and rich play which would result in effective learning through play ( Tina Bruce believed that although an adult can initiate free flow play their involvement in it must be limited to allow the child to have control and to learn key skills in life like decision making skills as, as adults we have to make decisions all the time.

Created the 12 features of play

1. Play includes first hand experiences like making lunch or going to the doctors.

2. There is a sense of control in the child and they begin to make up rules. For example a child may say everyone in her play (e.g. teddies) must sit at the table when eating for no other reason then because thehy say so as this then allows the child to feel powerful during this play.

3. Children make play props. By allowing children to have the resources to make props to play with they are then using their imagination and creativity skills as well as developing them further.

4. Children chose to play . for example if I child would rather have a cuddle and sit on an adults lap then they should be allowed to do so as you cant force the child to play.

5. Through play they rehearse the future. Children may rehearse the future to feel like what it will be like but also to make their dreams of what it would be like to become a ‘reality’ to test if they really can come true.

6. Add pretence to their play. Children pretending to play like cops and robbers they can experience the good and the bad.

7. Choose to play alone. Children may choose to play alone this may be to take time to reflect on things or to test out a new idea they had or just to have a little breather and be alone to gather their thoughts.

8. Play with other children- co-operatively, parallel or associative Parallel – parallel play is when children play side by side however they do not communicate or associate with each other.

You tend to see this in children around the age of 2. Associative – Associative play is when children play together but there is no particular goal or plan set out and they just “play it by ear”. This is most common in children around ????????

Co-operatively – co-operative play is when children co-operate with others and create play situations together and share their ideas with one another. This is most common in children around ????????

9. Have a personal play agenda – when children play they set out ideas they want to achieve and they then formulate a personal play agenda. For example a child may want to put all the babies to bed therefore they will do this and they may ask an adult for help however the adult must then respect the child’s play agenda.

10. Become deeply involved – children tend to be deeply involved in free flow play and it is usually hard to distract them from what they set out to do on their personal agenda. For example the child may be deeply involved in their role play activity that they may not realise it was time for lunch as they are so engrossed In their play.

11. Demonstrate their latest learning – due to children being fascinated by what they learn they are always excited to show others what they have learned as they are so amazed by it. For example a child might have mastered writing therefore they may start writing a bunch of things down like their food orders in role play etc due to them being excited about developing their new skill.

12. Organises and connects their previous learning – play should connect and organise the children’s learning so that they can develop it further and use it in the future.

Mildred parten:

Janet moyles play spiral: The play spiral theory states that first children need play materials first to explore freely in their play. Then the theory states that the adult can then direct play. They can do this by demonstrating how to use a resource in a certain way and they can then discuss this with the children. Then children would be left to explore freely without the adult once again to explore the adults ideas and input into the resources.

Janet Moyles stated that a techer should either be directly teaching the children or they should be allowing the children to explore different materials freely without adult input to manipulate the materials in different ways as they wish.

An example Janet Moyles provided was:

1) Children are given a plastic construction kit and they explore it freely with no adult intervention.

2) Then the adult demonstrated to the children how to make a box using the construction kit and discussed how to do it after with the children.

3) Once the adult had explained how to make the box using the kit to the children they then left the children to use the kit and make boxes.