Play is an essential part of every child’s life and is vital for the enjoyment of childhood and as well as social, emotional, intellectual and physical development. Having the time and space to play allows children the chance to keep them physically active and it gives them the freedom to make their own choices about what they want to do. Research shows that play has a range of benefits to the child, family, and the community, as well as improving healthy and quality of life. Play also helps the child improve their self-esteem, self-awareness and self-respect, it gives child a chance to mix with others and develop new skills.
Playing can help Manshu with her potty training, such as role-play with dolls could help Manshu understand all about what potty training involves. It could also make the child become much more relaxed about this step in life. For Jessica play (role-play with dolls) could help her understand all about her baby sister and what is happening in the changes at home in her life. Whilst children are in my care I will do my best to offer a range of activities for children to participate in, I will also allow children to give a choice in which activities that the want to participate in, as this will allow the child to become more independent. I feel that it is important for children to be encouraged to do as many activities as possible rather the same thing all the time. By rotating the toys that you have out available for the children to play with it means that they will be learning through play on a range of toys rather than being able to play with the same toys all the time. I think that it is important that children learn about different cultures and that not all people have the same abilities, children can also learn about these topics through play using ethnic dolls, puzzles, books, art and crafts and cooking food from different cultures.
This means having materials, toys, resources in your setting that reflect the diversity of our society. Thus play can help Manshu with her potty training, such as role-play with dolls could help Manshu understand all about what potty training involves. It could also make the child become much more relaxed about this step in life. For Jessica’s play (role-play with dolls) could help her understand all about her baby sister and what is happening in the changes at home in her life.
Domestic routines that children can be involved in and how this supports their learning:
How can this benefit the child
Helping to prepare snacks/food
Helps children develop a good understanding of hygiene practices which helps develop personal, social & cognitive development. Using tools (suitable for children) to cut/prepare the food/snacks helps their sensory development and also builds their physical development.
Setting the table at meal times
This will help develop their independence, it also helps them to learn to follow instruction helping their language skills, matching children’s place mats to their cups & plates can also help learn matching skills, helping their cognitive development. Children could help to tidy up which would develop their social & emotional development. I would make a game out of this & count the things they pick up, helping their mathematic development.
Hanging clothes on the line
This will help their understanding of how the wind and heat dry things and how we use water for things and not others. Games can also be made of if this using the colours of clothing and pegs etc.
Messy Play with Household items e.g. shaving foam, water
Messy play encourages children to use their imagination and be creative which helps build self-confidence and self-esteem.
Children could help to tidy up which would develop their social & emotional development; I would make a game out of this & count the things they pick up, helping their mathematic development.
Getting ready for the school run/going out
Getting ready to go out children can learn about different body parts as they put on their coast, wellies etc. Then when outside you can help the child’s knowledge & understanding of the world. Climbing & playing on outdoor equipment helps a child’s physical development & co-ordination.
It is easy to think about what learning can be achieved from a particular activity but I am aware that some activities may include potential weaknesses for some children, for example ‘preparing snacks and food’ and ‘setting the table’ will not be suitable for younger children in the same way that older children would not benefit from a ‘messy play activity’ which is why having a variety of activities the children can participate in on a daily basis is paramount to their learning.
Through observing and keeping a written record of observations of children at play, is a way for you to learn how the child learns, what they enjoy, the development stage they are at and how to plan activities for that child. As children learn through play, when you observe them at play, you will learn the stage they are at, and this will allow you to plan for them individually. You will also learn what kind of learner the child is. Keeping a record of a child’s development is very important, so you can recognise if they are advancing or maybe falling behind some early learning goals. Observations are a great way of sharing information with parents too. Keeping observations will allow you to plan efficiently for each child, knowing where to focus some learning and for you to plan different challenges for the child to allow them to progress. Keeping a learning journal and incorporating your observations into this along with pictures and pieces of the child’s work, will allow you to keep a good chronological diary of the child’s progress, and make planning run smoothly and well.
Children need to be treated as individuals, equally and with respect. The children’s act 2004, has the requirement to treat all children as individuals, and with equal concern. Every single child is different, will enjoy different activities, dislike different activities, and have their own way of learning, through play, and other activities. It is the responsibility of the child carer to ensure they cater for each and every individual need. To do this effectively, you will need to plan for each child, taking observations, and get to know the children in your care well. Everyone that comes to your setting should be welcomed and respected, their beliefs and interests respected as well as their personalities, needs, values, abilities and interests. It is essential that you do not discriminate for any reason, and offer an inclusive environment, and cater and treat everyone equally. Meeting the individual needs of every child is so important, as this ensures they are receiving the best possible care, their rights are being met, opportunities, and an environment that lets them grow and learn at their own pace, securely, safely and happily. The rights of every child are paramount in childcare, when you acknowledge the rights and individuality of every child, you can offer an inclusive setting, where everyone is treated equally and with respect. The best interests of the child must be the primary consideration in all activities concerning the child, and children have the right to be protected from all forms of discrimination.
Drop-in sessions can be invaluable in providing support and an opportunity to share ideas, good practice and resources. Planning special days out with the children to the park, museums, libraries etc. can help a child’s development. You could take a camera & let the children take photos, making a storybook all about your day. Meeting up with other childminders for picnics and other days out can help the children form new friendships & help you learn and develop by discussing different ways of play. Other forms of play you could do at home are ‘keep fit’ session, there are a lot of cd/DVDs out there that are made for kids & adults to do, children will find this lots of fun & will help develop their physical development. Whether the day is spent inside or out it should be both fun and informative for the children and offer a variety in their learning.
Although routine is great for children at times it may benefit the children for me to slightly change the routine for example whilst Manshu is potty training I may decide not to attend childminder drop-in or any other sessions to stay at home and develop her potty training in my home, once competent I would reintroduce the outings. Another example of when I might need to slightly alter a routine is if a child becomes unwell and is waiting to be collected early the other child(ren) may need to sacrifice their outing/activity to ensure that the unwell child is safe and comfortable until collected.
Regardless of the activity I always adhere to The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child act which was drawn up in 1989. The act consists of 54 articles stating that all children must be shown respect and that their well- being is the principle factor. The three main areas of this act include: · Provision (access to food, clean water, housing, education, healthcare etc.) · Protection (being safe from abuse and discrimination.) · Participation (having their views heard and participating in making decisions.)