February 02, 2012

What exactly happens during play?

What exactly happens during play?

                                                                                                   Play is not a break from learning.
                                                                                                   It’s the way young children learn.

If you observe children playing and take lots of notes on what exactly they are doing you might come up with the competences below that children develop organically while playing:

Describe    Communicate    Identify   Listen   Order   Match   Classify    Combine
       Compare    Criticize    Evaluate      Explain     Define      Collect      Choose     Change    Design     Question     Organize     Integrate     Simplify    Understand       Penalize

Play is not as lose as some might think. It has clear rules that participants follow. Breaking this code might cause conflict during play. 

Definition of a situation: Let´s play house.
Assignment of roles: I´ll be the daddy and you will be the son.
Defining location: This is the kitchen.
Specifying the action plan: I´ll fix supper and you wait.
Assigning props: This is my pan.
Correcting operating procedures and fixing the script: Daddy doesn´t cook like this.
Directing other´s performance: This is the way to do it.
Invoking rules related to real X pretend context: You don´t really have to do it.
Termination/ transition: Okay, supper finished.
Commenting interpersonal climate: We are playing, so we are friends, right?

 I had the chance to observe these very clear moments while playing with my lovely 3-year old nephew Leo. He showed me the jungle, the river, crocodiles, and taught me how to do things. Out of the blue I asked him the last question  "We are playing, so we are friends, right? " really curious to see what he would say. I was totally overwhelmed when he said "Give me a hug." I'll remember this forever!

 In the next post I will share the different types of play!  

A big frog-hug,


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