Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Child Led Play = Learning

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Southern Utah Early Childhood Collaboration Conference in Cedar City.  Denita Dinger was invited to be the guest speaker and she shared a lot of good information about the importance of child-led open ended play.  Below is a list of words she shared that is the "Important Stuff" found in play...

Asking
Discriminating
Kicking
Pretending
Trying
Comparing
Deciphering
Leading
Questioning
Testing
Compromising
Exploring
Laughing
Reasoning
Tracking
Compassion
Expressing
Loving
Rationing
Understanding
Control
Failing
Manipulating
Relationships
Visualizing
Comprehending
Grabbing
Moving
Realizing
Volunteering
Collaborating
Grasping
Mimicking
Running
Walking
Causing
Giving
Observing
Rolling
Waiting
Challenging
Hopping
Objecting
Role Playing
Watching
Creating
Holding
Organizing
Showing
Wondering
Climbing
Imagining
Planning
Struggling

Crawling
Investigating
Participating
Succeeding
Coordinating
Joking
Practicing
Strengthening
Discovering
Jumping
Polishing
Solving

And there are many more words that could be used to describe children's play!  Isn't it amazing all the different things your child can learn through play?

Photo Credit

Denita went on to share five tips when it comes to open play:
  1. Control your Stuff.  You must know what stuff you have and where it is so you can grab it at any time.  As children are playing and learning, they may ask for something to add to their play that will also expand their learning and you need to know where to find it!  
  2. Plopper! Plopper (noun):  Anything that is placed in a child's environment with zero adult direction, demonstration or expectation.  Giving your child a new item and allowing them to explore different ways to play with it is a great way for them to learn.  Avoid showing them how to use it.  
  3. Stellar Reactor.  By allowing your child to lead the play, they will try different "wonder if" techniques.  Allow your child to explore and try different methods.  By doing so, they learn how to react to problems and conflicts
  4. Tongue Biter!  This is the hardest one for adults.  It would be so easy for us to swoop in and solve any problem that comes up.  Like said in #2, plop and then step back.  Allow your child to discover a method that works for them.  Don't try and show them the "correct" way.
  5. Dissector of Play.  Observe your child while they play.  Do you see what they are doing?  They are learning!  Now's the time for you to sit back and enjoy watching your children play.
Photo Credit
What kinds of things do you like to give your kids to play with during open play time?

-Jodi


No comments:

Post a Comment