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The Benefits Of Play


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Hi all,

I m new to the forum and completing a degree in childhood studies.

At the moment i am currently working on an essay entitled:

The benefits of play.

I have to use child observations and play theorys to compare and contrast the essay.

Im looking for some tips on observing children, and possible existing observations others have carried out to compare against, as i have never carried out a child observation.

Also any help on a summary of the play theorys would be great.

Any help you can give me with this post would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi Ruth

 

welcome to the forum Im sure youll get plenty of ideas and suggestions on this topic Im trying to think what books I used about Play ...... Ill have a look at my lists and get back to you.

 

Observations are fun!?!?!..... :o (please detect a hint of sarcasm in my typing)

they take a bit of practise.... trying to sit and watch and write, and watch and not be spotted watching?!?! I find I get carried away watching and forget to write, then while I am frantically trying to catch up and write what I have seen something major happens and I didnt see it!!!

 

I do enjoy observing it's the recording and assessing what Ive seen afterwards thats the chore.

 

I assume your studying at a uni or college most of the libraries should have a range of books on how to do observations and the many different styles there are, its a case of finding the methods that you feel comfortable using,

some people find narratives - sitting and writting what you see easy, other people prefer tick boxes and time samples its up to the individual but dont be afraid to get stuck in and give several different methods a try and once you feel confident there is no rule that says you cannt devise your own method of recording what you have see it all depends on what you need to know

narratives tend to focus on small situations an activity, a child or a small group for a short 3 -10 minute period, where as tick charts and time samples can observe the whole groups actions over a longer period of time I imagine your will need a range of observations to demonstrate the benifits of play

 

Well hope thats what you wanted to know and have fun with observing and as I said Ill get back to you with a book list...

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Tina Bruce has written some good stuff on play and Angela Anning-don't know if it might be outdated now though

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Hi Ruth

 

welcome to the forum Im sure youll get plenty of ideas and suggestions on this topic Im trying to think what books I used about Play ...... Ill have a look at my lists and get back to you.

 

Observations are fun!?!?!..... :o (please detect a hint of sarcasm in my typing)

they take a bit of practise.... trying to sit and watch and write, and watch and not be spotted watching?!?! I find I get carried away watching and forget to write, then while I am frantically trying to catch up and write what I have seen something major happens and I didnt see it!!!

 

I do enjoy observing it's the recording and assessing what Ive seen afterwards thats the chore.

 

I assume your studying at a uni or college most of the libraries should have a range of books on how to do observations and the many different styles there are, its a case of finding the methods that you feel comfortable using,

some people find narratives -  sitting and writting what you see easy, other people prefer tick boxes and time samples its up to the individual but dont be afraid to get stuck in and give several different methods a try and once you feel confident there is no rule that says you cannt devise your own method of recording what you have see it all depends on what you need to know

narratives tend to focus on small situations an activity, a child or a small group for a short 3 -10 minute period, where as tick charts and time samples can observe the whole groups actions over a longer period of time I imagine your will need a range of observations to demonstrate the benifits of play

 

Well hope thats what you wanted to know and have fun with observing and as I said Ill get back to you with a book list...

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Many thanks for your reply's , its really nice to hear some good advice from childcare professionals, especially as im just starting out! :D

 

Play seems such a vast subject to study, with so many contrasting view points, your comments are much appreciated to get me on the right path to study!

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Does anyone remember the old anagram P.I.L.E.S. for Physical, Intellectual, Language, Emotional and Social development??

 

Well a colleague taught me a better one;

 

S.P.I.E.L. - The German word for PLAY :D

 

Peggy

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I like that Peggy :D:D It will be quoted :D

The first question given to us as we started our DPP was 'what is play?' So many different variations I'm still unsure of exactly what it means. i know what it means to me and I can see different interpretations at the various settings I go to. The only book I've got is 'Playing them false, A study of children's toys, games and puzzles' Bob Dixon. It has some interesting points but I've only read small pieces. :D

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I remember listening to Tina Bruce once at a conference and she was talking about her research in Scandanavia, where a four year old girl had been asked about the difference between work and play. Her response?

 

Work is easy - it is something you learn to do to keep the teachers happy, like learning to write your name. Play is a lot harder as you have to stop and think about it.

 

Oh, to be four years old....

 

Back on topic - have just 'done a Google' and come up with this - institute of play

I think it is American, but may have some useful thoughts and ideas.

 

Have also found two quotes to add as a signature...

 

RB x

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  • 3 weeks later...

Piaget considered that the development of play was closely linked with the development of intelligence and moreover that one clue to the stage of a child’s development might be found by observing his play. For Piaget play has an important role in the development of intelligence of which the opportunity to master and practise skills at different stages of development is an example. (p 158-159)

Sylva K & Lunt I, (1982), Child Development a first course. Oxford: Blackwell

 

In their play children use the first-hand experiences they have had in life.”

Bruce 1991

 

 

“Role play is a vital part of children’s education in the Foundation Stage and beyond. It forms the basis for story telling, writing and social development. It gives opportunities for children to play out the events they observe and experience. It provides experience of real life situations in which they can practice their learning in maths, language and communication.” (Featherstone & Baley 2002)

 

“Play needs to be sustained if it is to do any good in developing learning. Children need time to play, spaces to play in and people who are helpful in supporting and extending

free-flow play.” Bruce 2004

 

“Play takes huge energy and concentration. It is anything but recreation or relaxation.” Bruce, 1991

 

 

“Life skills such as using the phone, making meals, shopping, taking care of others can all be practiced in role without anxiety or threat.”

Featherstone & Baley 2002

 

Transactional play - where goods, services and advice are exchanged for money.

These are endlessly fascinating to children, probably because transactions are a major part of what they observe of adult behaviour. Featherstone & Baley 2002

 

Bruner (1983:43) sees play as ‘preparation for the technical and social life that constitutes human culture’

 

“Through play, in a secure environment with effective adult support, children can:

• explore, develop and represent learning experiences that help them make sense of the world;

• practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills;

• learn how to control impulses and understand the need for rules;

• be alone, be alongside others or cooperate as they talk or rehearse their feelings;

• take risks and make mistakes;

• think creatively and imaginatively;

• communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems;

• express fears or relive anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.”

(QCA Principles for Early Years Education)

 

 

Children rehearse the future in their play” Bruce 1991

 

“Play is a process. It has no products. When the play ends, it vanishes as quickly as it arrived.” Bruce, 1991

 

 

Bruce, T (2004) Developing Learning in Early Childhood. London: Paul Chapman Publishing

Bruce, T (1991) Time to Play in Early Childhood Education. London: Hodder and Stoughton

Bruner, J (1983) Child’s Talk; Learning to Use Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Featherstone S. & Bayley R. (2002) Foundations for Independence, Developing independent learning

in the Foundation Stage, Featherstone Education

QCA (2000) Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage, DfEE/QCA

 

 

 

 

Fantastic stuff!!! I could go on forever xxx

 

Carla Booth carlabooth@hotmail.com

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  • 1 month later...

If your doing and essay on play you must check out these new resource from Early Vision they are little 'video visits' to help inform and inspire children's role-play, they are fab and seem to be making a real difference in many settings.

 

www.earlyvision.co.uk

 

Sue

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Well, Running Bunny, have you noticed that my signature has been "Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional" since I first joined the forum. The only thing is - I found the saying in a fortune cookie!!!!! :D:D and thought it very appropriate. :D:D:D

 

Sue J

 

Forgot, sorry, Ruth welcome to the forum

 

Sue J

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