Essay Sample on Play Activities During Childhood

Published: 2021-07-12 18:42:38
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Play improves a childs social capability, language, imagination, creativity, and cognitive skills. It is key during ones childhood because it is during this period that ones self-awareness, language comprehension, and understanding of the social world is expanding. When children engage in play activities, they are able to comprehend things by remembering their own experiences as well as those of others. For instance, when a group of children engages in a pizza game whereby they all count the number of pizza slices, the next time they are offered pizza, they will most likely count the number of slices.

The types of play activities children engage in are determined by factors such as gender and age. Nonetheless, studies have shown that children of between two to five years prefer to participate in social types of play activities. Mildred Parten is one of the earliest researchers whose study supported this argument (Bredekamp, 2011).

Normally, children use motor skills in play activities. While participating in the activities, they respond to each other. They begin valuing each others feelings thus, they can collectively choose what they would like to do. This unified mode of playing is common among children and normally exists until the children reach nine years. It allows them to learn the process of forming dialogue. Also, it allows them to learn how to use their emotions by responding to each other in expressive ways. In turn, this enhances their social skills.

According to Piagets theory, play is an act of assimilation, which children use to make the environmental stimuli equal their own concepts. In his theory, Piaget argues that play alone does not help a child form his or her cognitive skills. This is because although play may allow children to practice things they have learned in the past, it rarely helps them learn new things. Hence, play should be seen as more of a pleasure gaining activity. On the other hand, Vygotskys theory asserts that play helps to create a childs thoughts more than it helps the child reflect them. Hence, according to Vygotsky, play facilitates a childs cognitive development (Oliver & Azkarai, 2017).

Piaget and Vygotskys theories can be supported using real life observations. For instance, a child who wears attire similar to a firefighters uniform and rushes to rescue a teddy bear from made-up flames in his or her playhouse is performing what he or she has learned previously. This illustration supports Piagets theory. However, when another child who is seated in a block center manages to make a rectangle out of blocks, he or she has realized something new through play. This illustration helps to support Vygotskys theory. Hence, whether children are practicing what they have learned or realizing new things, it is evident that play is of value to children.

A childs involvement in play activities is something that teachers should also monitor. Observing children play helps teachers assess the social, cognitive, motor, language, and emotional developments of the children. In turn, teachers can identify those children with special needs (Bredekamp, 2011). It is important for children to have indoor and outdoor playing grounds. These playing grounds should be designed in such a way that they provide all the children with space and material to play with.

Play Activities

Birth-36 months

Activity 1; Playing with colored buttons

The materials needed for this activity include a plastic tray with spaces inside it and different colored buttons. The role of the teacher will be to provide the materials and to guide the children. This type of activity is a cooperative play activity. The teacher will divide the children into groups of four and place a tray and a number of buttons in front of them. The teacher will show each group how to move buttons of a similar color and place them in one space inside the tray. Then the teacher will ask the children to pick another color and place all the buttons with that color in another space. The teacher will then leave the children to place the colored buttons by themselves as he or she observes and guides them.

Activity 2; painting with ice

The materials needed for this play activity include plain canvases and frozen paint cubes. The role of the teacher in this activity will be to provide materials and to guide children. This type of play is a solitary independent play activity. The teacher will show the children how to paint using a paint cube. He or she will then ask the children to paint freely on the plain canvases using the frozen paint cubes. To ensure the safety of the children while using the material, the teacher will have to observe the children closely. The teacher may provide some shapes for the children to try to paint.

Activity 3; Playing with jelly

The materials for this activity will include jelly, a number of trays, and random tiny objects. The role of the teacher in this activity will be to provide the materials. This type of activity is a parallel play activity. The teacher will put tiny objects in same amounts of jelly and pour the jellies in trays. The teacher will divide the children into groups of four and provide each group with a tray that has four jellies. The teacher will ask the children to squish the jellies and find the tiny objects placed in their jellies.

Activity 4; Making Fluffy snow

The materials required for this activity include soap flakes and a strong polyethylene tub. The role of the teacher will be to provide the materials, to illustrate, and observe. This type of activity is a parallel play activity. The teacher will pour soap flakes in the polyethylene tub and then ask the children to get in the tub. The teacher will show the children how to make fluffy snow using their hands. Then the teacher will ask the children to make fluffy snow using their own hands as he or she observes.

Activity 5; Playing with edible finger paint

The materials needed for this activity include edible paint and white manila papers. The role of the teacher will be to provide the materials, to illustrate, and observe. This type of play activity is a parallel play activity. The teacher will group the children into groups of four and provide each group with a set of edible paints and a manila paper. The teacher will show the children how to use fingers to make shapes using the edible paint. The teacher will then ask the children to dip their fingers in the paint and make shapes on their paper as he or she observes.

Preschools ages 3-4

Activity 1; Brush up

This activity requires a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a hard-boiled egg. The role of the teacher will be to provide the materials, to illustrate, and observe. This type of play is an onlooker behavior type of play activity. The teacher will place the materials on a table and ask the children to gather at the table. The teacher will show the children how to brush the hard-boiled egg using a toothbrush and toothpaste. Then the teacher will ask each child to brush the hard-boiled egg as he/she observes. The other children will be asked to look as the other child brushes the egg.

Activity 2; mud bricks

These materials needed include soil, water, and plastic troughs with spaces. The role of the teacher will be to provide the materials and to guide the children. This type of play is a parallel play activity. The teacher will place soil and water in the middle. The teacher will pick a trough and provide every child with a trough. The teacher will ask the children to fetch water and soil and put it in the spaces in the troughs. Then the teacher will show them how to make mud by mixing soil with water. The teacher will then ask them to pour the mud if it is well made.

Activity 3; Blow painting

This activity will require a manila paper and blow paints. The role of the teacher will be to provide the materials, to illustrate, and observe. This type of play is a solitary independent play activity. The teacher will provide each child with a manila paper and some blow paints. Then the teacher will show the children how to blow the paint on their manila papers. The teacher will then ask the children to blow paint on their own manila papers to make shapes.

Activity 4; Making bubbles

The materials to be used include soapy water and a few circular cords. The role of the teacher will be to provide the materials and to guide the children. This type of play is an associative play activity. The teacher will dip a circular cord in soapy water, take it out, and then breathe into it to make a bubble. The teacher will then provide the children with circular cords and a bowl of soapy water. The teacher will ask the children to dip their cords in the soapy water, blow into them, and try to make a bubble.

Activity 5; Making gloopThe materials needed for this play activity include a gloopy mixture, childrens dungarees, and a number of troughs. The role of the teacher will be to provide the materials, illustrate, and observe. This type of activity is an independent solitary activity. The teacher will put gloopy mixtures in troughs and place the troughs on a table. The teacher will dip his or her hands in the gloopy mixtures and show the children how to make gloop. Then the teacher will ask the children to dip their hands in the gloopy mixtures and make their own gloop as he or she observes.

Kindergarten ages 5-6

Activity 1; alphabet bottle

The materials needed for this activity include bottled water, a lens, and small plastic plates labeled with alphabets. The role of the teacher will be to provide the materials and to guide the children. This type of play is an associative play. The teacher will put an alphabet bottle on a table and call the children together. The teacher will give each child a chance to look into the bottle using a lens. Then the teacher will ask the children what they see. If they spot any alphabet, they can say it.

Activity 2; number dash

The materials needed for this activity include a permanent marker and a manila paper. The role of the teacher will be to provide the materials and to guide the children. This type of play is an associative play. The teacher will draw numbers in order on a manila paper on the floor. The teacher will ask the children to step on the first number, and then the next in that order. This will help the children to learn to identify numbers in order.

Activity 3; tin can phone

The materials needed for this activity will include a set of tin cans and a rope. The role of the teacher will be to provide the materials and to guide the children. This type of play is a cooperative play activity. The teacher will pair the children, and give each pair a tin can phone. The teacher will ask one child to put one can on his/her mouth and the other child to put the other can on his/her ear. Then the teacher will ask the child with the tin can on his mouth to speak and the other to listen. The teacher will then exchange the roles of each child so that they both speak and listen.

Activity 4; Cloud Dough

This activity will require dough and a plastic trough. The role of the teacher will be to provide the materials, illustrate, and observe. This type of play activity is a parallel play activity. The teacher will put enough dough in a single plastic trough. The teacher will ask the children to come together around the trough. Then the teacher will show the how to make a cloud using the dough. The teacher will ask the children to make clouds using the dough as he or she observes.

Activity 5; Writing secret messages

This activity will require a set of crayons and a drawing book. The role of the teacher will be to guide the children. This type of play is a solitary independent play activity. The teacher will ask the children to take out their crayons and drawing books. Then the teacher will ask the childre...

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