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Classical Theories
Surplus Energy theory
Relaxation Theory
Re-exercise/instinct theory
Recapulation theory

Surplus Energy Theory
Children have more energy than needed for work so excess is used to play
Relaxation Theory
Play is used to create energy for work
Re-exercise/instinct theory
children's instinct to play to prepare for adult behaviour
Recapitulation Theory
Play resembles primitive evolution
Psychoanalytic theories
Freud and Erickson: social-emotional. Play reduces anxiety and resolves issues
Developmental theory
Jean Piaget: assimilation and accomodation of mental schema. Constructivism
learning by building on previous experience
Stages of development (PIAGET)
sensorimotor stage 0-2
early preoperational stage 2-4
Stages of Development PIAGET (GOOD)
sensorimotor stage 0-2
early preoperational stage 2-4
late preoperational 4-7
concrete operational stage 7-12

sensorimotor stage
0-2. functional play. Interacting with objects in physical environment. Exploring objects. Repetitive (practice) actions. Dev'p motor skills.
Early Pre-operational Stage
2-4. Learn to use symbols in play. Pretending objects are something else. Satisfy own needs. Reflect everyday actions (cooking etc.)
Late Preoperational stage
4-7. reproducing past events and creative complex symbolic play. More social and different roles. Less realistic props. Can be drawing or making up stories.
Concrete operational stage
7-12. games with rules. Can think abstractly and objectively. Less egocentric. Group projects. Play with rules.
Mental Schema
childs understanding of a concept. (image)
looking at new experience in terms of what already understood
adjusting previous understanding to accommodate new information
when experience doesn't fit with schema, accomodation occurs. Then equilibrium is achieved. Need for equilibrium motivates accomodation
Styles of play
functional play
Constructive play
Symbolic Play
Games with rules

Functional play
mostly in sensorimotor. Includes:
repetitive play
exploratory play
testing play

Constructive Play
Blocks lego clay etc.
(re)productive play
constructive play (creative)

Symbolic Play
early preoperational. includes:
imitative play
pretend dramatic play
sociodramatic play
fantasy play

Games with rules
7-12 includes
rule bound play
competitive play

Repetitive play
repetition of physical to master skills. Babbling/following with eyes
Exploratory play
when exposed to new material.
pushing, pulling, filling, emptying, knocking down, piling up, climbing over and under, language, what to do with new things, arranging blocks, spread out tracks ..spacial concepts

Testing play
toddlers test reaction of their actions on objects. kicking balls..what happens when I? How high, hard, far, testing ability.
(Re)productive play
around two yrs. simple materials used to construct something. Satisfying own need. Building things (ie: tracks)
Constructive (creative) play
3-5. practice symmetry, designing with things. aesthetics.
Imitative play
sensorimotor: pretend games with adult. Patticake peekaboo back and forth imitating adult
Pretend dramatic play
preoperational. solitary. version of adult behaviour. Symbolic use of objects. Pretend to be a family member. Prop that clearly represents symbol. Square-phone. Familiar props
Sociodramatic play:
group of children to express emotion. remember events. more realistic looking. acting out a drama. collaborate/social play. more complex
Fantasy play
not based on real events. Being imaginary characters. Early preoperational. Acting out a story
Rule bound play
arranged around rules. make up rules before playing and learn to use the rules.
Competitive play:
opportunity to dev'p abilities. learn sportsmanship 9-10
Social context of play..types of play
solitary play
parallel play
associative play

watching and engaging mentally. sometimes imitate after play is over. sometimes want to join
solitary play
playing alone when there is a choice to play with others. Young and egocentric. Also in all stages this can be chosen
Parallel play
Playing side by side but not interacting. Using same materials. Talking to selves. Toddlers beginning to interact.
Associative play:
loosely defined group. Similar materials. Own agenda but do interact. No group plan. Talk or share material (ie: mural with no plan) 3-4
Cooperative play
group play with common goal (mural with a plan) complex and lengthy
Vygotsky areas of development

Vygotsky vs. Piaget
stages of play and interrelationship rules and play. Fantasy governed by rules as well for self regulation vs. games with rules later.
Components of imaginary play
rules attached to roles and scenarios. Helps practice self regulation. Acting according to rules.
zone of proximal development. Assisted and independent.
Play development
imaginary situations
rules (hidden or implicit)
language permeates

how to foster mature play
sufficient time
help plan play
provide props that are multipurpose
help enter play
change structure to fantasy
appropriate dispute resolve negotiating

Adults provide
space: dividing sections, proximity tone
material: amount, relevance, symbolic distancing
support: decisions to be involved, how to support
planning: teacher initiated, suggest or direct

why get involved:
approval for play, building relationship, persistence, go longer and keep focused on play, stretch attention span
indirect to direct involvement
artist apprentice
guardian at the gate
parallel player
match maker
story player
play tutor

artist apprentice
gives prop or material to introduce to play. Adds new ideas to play and extends time and complexity. saves work to extend later

kids arguing: give idea or new material/role. Model flexibility in thinking as well. Help learn to resolve. Suggest other roles (vs. good bad) encourage to recognize what others feel or think
Guardian at the gate:
help new child enter play once established. When good time change in play. Give strategies (prop or role) go with the child if worried and gradually withdraw
Parallel player:
sit beside play and do something diff to see if they notice. If not, suggest
interject ideas from sidelines, timing sensitive
take role in play but not main role
Match maker
pair children together. Peer scaffolding. One can help other etc.
Story player
write down stories dictated by child. support play by recording. revisit and go deeper
play tutor
model how, active participant, help learn, extra support needs or with barrier towards playing
effective ece
willing to take risks
pragmatism (compromise)
love of learning
high energy
sense of humour

dispositions to acquire
delight in and be curious about dev't and learning
value play
expect change and challenges
take risks make mistakes
take time for regular reflection and self evaluation
welcome collaboration
be advocate, watch dog and whistle blower

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