Monday, 24 November 2014

Creative Play

" Play during childhood is, in fact required for children to reach their full potential." - (Stephens 2009) 

From birth, children naturally engage with play. They play with almost anything at any time, including their hands and their feet. Children are naturally inclined to play and it is a lot more than just a 'past time' as it helps to develop a multitude of development functions. These functions include social, cognitive, physical and emotional developments providing experiences and independent learning. Creative play is an engaging and valuable type of play that allows children to develop an understanding of themselves and the world around them. It is an appropriate medium for discovery and experiential learning. 

Robinson (2001) States that 'Human intelligence is essentially creative. We not only find meaning in the world, we interpret it through structures of ideas and beliefs. We each create the world we live in." 

It's through creative play that children show a sense of competence within social, physical and cultural environments. Most things that children learn in early childhood, cannot be taught and are best learnt through experience and self-discovery. 

'Creativity is fundamental to successful learning' -(Kelman, K. 2003) 

In order to fully provide children with learning opportunities, they should be able to access a wide variety of resources, materials, instruments and shown various techniques. When children are provided with opportunities, they are able to expand their communication skills as well as their imagination. By expanding these areas of development, children are able to explore and share new ideas, complete with emotional understanding. 

Teachers and facilitators of creative play should never force an activity onto a child. Although, they should support the child, giving them freedom to explore a desired activity. This provides the child with an opportunity to express themselves freely, without having their actions being directed or influenced by anyone else. 

Here is a video that explains the benefits of creativity -

Wilson (2012) states that creative play should have no agenda, it should allow the child to have their own rules and open endedly be able to work with materials. He goes on to say that, 'Its through play that children learn about themselves, and the world around them.'

Creative play can include such activities like role play, drama, drawing and even playing in the sand tray. All of which allow the child to express their feelings, develop ideas and learn through discovery. 

Cognitively, Wilson (2012) says that ‘play helps children develop in areas of creativity, logic and problem-solving’. Play also contributes to children’s emotional development. As they experience joy, togetherness and accomplishments, they develop a positive sense of self, and a zest for living in an ever changing world.’

Whilst researching creative play, I have come to understand that, by allowing children to develop naturally through the form of creative play, it allows them to learn through self discovery, and make own judgements based on experience. The main asset to this approach to learning, has to be the fact that it is totally natural for a child to 'play' , therefore they learn without realising, reducing pressure they may otherwise feel. It is also beneficial, because it is a for, of learning which caters for children of all abilities. Kohl (2008) also believes that ‘children who feel free to make mistakes and to explore and experiment will also feel free to invent, create and find ways to do things. Grant the lasting gift of freedom to children – to make mistakes and learning from doing. The side benefit is that fostering creativity in our classroom makes teaching more rewarding and fun, and gives children a zest for imagining and learning that will last a lifetime.’ 

No comments:

Post a Comment