2.7 Explain how to achieve the balance of child-initiated play and adult-led activities
As introduced into the Foundation Phase children benefit greatly from child and adult-led play, getting the right balance is imperative to successful learning and teaching. As a child’s brain development is highly influenced by their play helping all children learn and develop, child and adult- initiated learning must take place. Adult-initiated teaching and play is based on adult knowledge and experience and is a way of fun teaching, and a way of controlling what a child learns. Child-led learning is led by the child and has a massive advantage on attitude to learning. It is a way a child can learn and play through experiences. First-hand experiences let pupils develop kind and sympathetic emotions of themselves, their peers, and the world that they live in. Child initiated play allows a child to make their own choices, use creativity and imagination and gives them independence in what, where, when and who to play with. It allows a pupil to take risks, solve problems and make decisions.
Adult initiated play involves the organisation of the environment surrounding learning and play to ensure that the pupils get full access to an extensive range of stimulating activities and resources to investigate and explore. Being able to accomplish a successful routine will ensure that pupils have adequate time to achieve their own goals and thoughts and to progress into their own self-initiated play. Ensuring the development of an emotionally safe environment in which the pupils can feel confident to express their feelings, thoughts, and ideas without the fear of getting things wrong, is also an important factor.
Using judgement and facts regarding pupils and their capabilities, whilst providing an extensive amount of playing equipment such as water, paper, sand, wood, and many other products will allow a balance of widespread learning and maximum exploration in child and adult-led play. We can always support a child without interrupting their play.
*”Decades of research has shown that play is crucial to physical,
intellectual, and social-emotional development at all ages.
This is especially true of the purest form of play: the unstructured,
self-motivated, imaginative, independent kind, where children initiate
their own games and even invent their own rules.” Dr. David Elkind