Introduction I chose to study the benefits of play on the holistic

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Introduction… I chose to study the benefits of play on the holistic development of the child. Im studying Archie, he’s 5 years old and is completely deaf in both ears. He wears two cochlear’s everyday to give him sufficient hearing. He also has hyperspastic muscles in his legs. Hyperspastic muscles cause the legs to take spasms and the muscles to tighten. His mum and dad are separated and his mum has remarried. At certain times there will be a total of 7 children in his house with the youngest being just over a year. His mum works as a teacher and his step dad works as a child/youth worker. He does 5 full days in school and spends 3 evenings at a childminder. He goes to his dads every weekend. His dad is also deaf and wears one cochlear. A) Tina Bruce’s play theory consists of 11 principles Children use first hand experiences from life; 1. “Children make up rules as they play in order to keep control. 2. Children symbolically represent as they play, making and adapting play props. 3. Children choose to play – they cannot be made to play. 4. Children rehearse their future in their role play. 5. Children sometimes play alone. 6. Children pretend when they play. 7. Children play with adults and other children cooperatively in pairs or groups. 8. Children have a personal play agenda, which may or may not be shared. 9. Children are deeply involved and difficult to distract from their deep learning as they wallow in their play and learning. 10. Children try out their most recently acquired skills and competences, as if celebrating what they know. 11. Children coordinate ideas and feelings and make sense of relationships with their families, friends and cultures.” (T Bruce 2011) Tina states that children should be left alone to play as and when they please, adults shouldn’t interact or encourage unless asked by the child. As an example of numbers 2 and 4 of Bruce’s theory Archie’s development is greatly improved by watching his mum deal with his younger sibling. This allows him to use real life situations in his play, mimic and act to plan for his future experiences. His ability to copy and pretend allows him to develop cognitively and solve real life problems. As archie plays freely his physical development grows as he uses fine motor skills and gross motor skills as a way of copying his mums actions. As he mimics actions from home he learns the relationships between mother and child etc and builds on his emotional and social skills. All of these things affect the holistic development of Archie and are all linked to play. Jean Piaget’s cognitive theory consists of 4 different stages. 1 Sensory motor stage 0-2. They start to utilize things they were born with (sucking, grasping). They start to use their sensory and motor skills independently. preoperational stage 2-7. They start to engage in symbolic play and learn to manipulate symbols. Concrete operational stage 7-11. This spans the middle of childhood. Children start to think less concretely and more logically. Formal operational stage 12-adulthood. Thinking becomes more sophisticated and advanced. Piaget uses schemas in his theory, he believes this is a major part of their development. “For example, a child may have a schema about a type of animal, such as a dog. If the child’s sole experience has been with small dogs, a child might believe that all dogs are small, furry, and have four legs. Suppose then that the child encounters an enormous dog. The child will take in this new information, modifying the previously existing schema to include these new observations.” (K Cherry, 2019) As an example of this Archie playing with his mum or dad daily will help him go through these stages at a normative rate. Interacting in one on one play at home will help him to change his concrete thought and use sophisticated thinking in his play and learning. Allowing him to play in different environments will also build on his holistic development and aid him to think in different ways and develop cognitively despite his language barrier. Archies schemas will change and be built on as he experiences different environments and experiences, this will help him develop at a normative rate despite being deaf. b) Analysis-Tina bruce. Bob Hughes is another play theorist and he disagrees with Bruce’s statement. He believes that adults should always be a part of children’s play however they should facilitate not lead. Hughes states children should have access too. “Outdoor and indoor space, access to elements, access to height and depth and balance, creative experiences, new foods and music etc, access to species and systems, landscape areas.” (, 2011) Hughes theory is more successful in the way that children are accessing new things in order to build their skills rather than using resources they already have present in their lift. Nurseries find Bob Hughes’ theory more effective in aiding development. Tina Bruce is all about the child on their own however, Bob Hughes states that the child needs to have certain things in order to learn. For Archie, Bob Hughes’ theory is more effective. He requires the props and equipment to be given to him to aid his learning. Without these Archie will not 2 learn and he will not play well with others so therefore hs development would fall below a normative rate. Free flow play is effective in itself but overall Hughes’ theory meets all the needs for a child’s holistic development at nursery. Piaget analysis- Piaget states that children learn in stages and use schemas. “Vygotsky’s Cognitive Development Theory argues that cognitive abilities are socially guided and constructed. As such, culture serves as a mediator for the formation and development of specific abilities, such as learning, memory, attention, and problem solving. It is proposed that culture-specific tools play an integral role in the way children organize and think about the world.” (Daniels, H., Cole, M., & Wertsch, J. V., 2007). He believes that children (with the right support from a more knowledgeable other) can eventually do most things, they just can’t do them “yet”. With support from practitioners or other kids the nursery pupils should be able to meet normative milestones and develop normally. For archie Piaget’s theory is more efficient. Due to his hearing loss he needs to learn to both talk and sign. This happens in stages but is linked to the stages of his cognitive development. At his age he is still thinking very concretely so it’s difficult to change his mind set and teach him to sign together. Also due to Archie’s muscle condition he is unable to do certain things so vigsosky’s theory has a false reality for him. Play will help his development however playing to the rules of Piaget’s theory will be most effective. 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