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Play: Physical Or Mental Leisure Activities

Good Essays
According to Play Therapy (2008), play is “a physical or mental leisure activity that is undertaken purely for enjoyment or amusement and has no other objective”. Play helps children to make links to their learning.
There are five different types of play:
1. Creative
2. Games with rules
3. Language
4. Physical
5. Pretend

CREATIVE PLAY
• This is when children use various objects and their minds to do things. They use certain objects and imagine that they have a different use than they do. They become creative by giving objects a different meaning. For example, creating a drum out of a saucepan and a wooden spoon. The second type of play is games with rules.
GAMES WITH RULES
• This type of play can require co-regulation by the children,
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This type of play helps to develop both gross and fine motor skills of the children. For example, they can learn the coordination to kick a ball. Children also have the opportunity to explore and think about how their body parts work. There are four elements to physical play: physical, exploratory, manipulative and constructive. Physical play is important to help children stay active and maintain a healthy weight.
PRETEND PLAY
• There are three elements of pretend play: role play, small world play and socio-dramatic play. This type of play involves children using their imagination. Most of the time it includes children playing alongside one another which helps them make friends. This extends there social and language skills.

THEORISTS
There are three main theorists whose main study was the study of play: Friedrich Froebel, Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. “Froebel (1782-1852) pioneered the importance of play in early childhood education, and this was echoed later by Vygotsky (1896-1934)”. (Bruce, T. 2011 p.84) Froebel believes that children learn best through play. Parents are children’s first educators according to Froebel. He created songs and dances to ensure that children move throughout play. As well as music and dance he also encouraged art and music. Jean Piaget believed that children’s learning becomes whole through play, as there are many stages. Lev Vygotsky believed that through play children thought
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During observation it is important to observe just what the children do and say and not to add in what they are expected to do. Observation of children’s play helps us become more knowledgeable about the way they play. According to Bruce (2011 p.96), “observation begins with description and then uses theory and research to analyse and interpret”. Observing children’s play allows us to open our minds about how children use their imagination and creative minds. Observing children’s play allows practitioners to identify if any of the children may have minor or serious disabilities. In order for practitioners to ensure that the children within the service are reaching their developmental milestones, all stages of play must be observed. Practitioners will be able to see if anything needs to be changed or modified in order to improve the standard of play available to the children. Observing play can also be important to identify the children’s likes and dislikes as well as strengths and weaknesses. Parents will also be interested to hear about what their children have done throughout the day and how they are developing over the course of their time in the
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