Play Based Learning – Sometimes children need to choose & that’s ‘OK’! :Self Expression & Self Choice!

The central idea of our current inquiry is ‘Creativity is an expression of self’. Sometimes young children need to be given the oportunity to play and create. Structured play in an early years classroom allows children to practise their social skills, challenge their ideas, experiement while developing thier confidence and oral language skills.

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In our very full curriculum, ‘my choice’ play can become something that doesn’t happen very often, even though, as educators we know how important this is in developing many of the skills and behaviors we want young children to have. ‘Choice’ play allows children to choose what they would like to do. Just sometimes it’s nice to break away and let children choose, create and express themselves how they wish to.

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What’s crucial to this, is providing ‘bits and pieces’ for those children who want to create a masterpiece, construction materials for those who want to build, instruments for those who want to create music and dressups for the children who want to be actors. And yes, there is always the shopkeeper, our future entrepreneur.

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As a teacher, I learn so much about my students from listening to their conversations and from watching the types of play choices they make. How they coperate in a group and how they handle themselves when ‘things don’t go their way’.

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I hope that this post encourages teachers to realise that it’s ‘OK’ to sometimes give children the opportunity to choose, relax and enjoy each others company. Friendships are broadened as they find other ‘like minds’ within the classroom.

‘Life can only be understood backward, but must be lived forward.’ Soren Kierkegaard

Ouotes are usually not my thing, but I like this one. One of the great things about being an experienced teacher is that I can see the ‘flowers from the trees’. I’m able to worry less about the ‘unimportant’ (is that a word?) because I know what is important! “Hmmm’ that was profound, I must be getting old!  I also know that I’m not perfect nor have to be!

Cheers Nina

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Play Based Learning – Sometimes children need to choose & that’s ‘OK’! :Self Expression & Self Choice!

  1. jennylu

    I agree and I think we can apply this kind of thinking to students’ experiences right throughout their school lives. Some of my most productive sessions in secondary school settings have been when we have had informal discussions that have acted as a springboard to new learning outside the boundaries of the formal curriculum.

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