It seems that I have been talking about play non stop these past few days though it has been at the centre of my life ever since I decided to study Early Childhood education over 25 years ago.
I sometimes forget that I know what I know when talking to others about play.
Did you know that there are stages of play?
Play actually begins from very early infancy as connections are established through the attachment of a baby to those who nurture and protect them. There are connections made as communication begins. This continues as children grow and develop as they interact with the world and the people and objects around them.
Once children reach ‘toddlerhood’ then children explore play often in solitude even though there are others around them. It is at this time that there is a desire to experience everything all at once!
Solitary play is an immersive process where the player learns to explore and connect with the things around them.
As children progress and their needs and wants change and they identify themselves as social beings play moves into a parallel experience. An opportunity to start to recognise that others may share the same interests although this does not always mean that the individual participants will have the desire to interact verbally.
Co-operative play occurs when two or more players intentionally share their ideas and experiences and often want to reach a similar outcome from their activity. This is also a time when children get to establish deeper connections with others and explore concepts like turn taking, learning that we all have our own perceptions and relationship building.
“Enter into children’s play and you will find the place where their minds, hearts and souls meet..” Virginia Axline