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Observe and explain two different play activities

While discussing literature and play ideas, criticallly analyse the play shows observed. Play may take many different forms and can have various aims. Play can be solitary, in pairs, parallel, in a group and communicative among other things. Desire to can be simply fun, to learn physical engine skills, to learn to be imaginative and creative, to develop teamwork, to learn communication skills and problem solving.

Studies show that all young animals play to acquire the necessary skills for life. Play comes with an enormous impact on the child's development. Many believe it is "one of the primary needs of a kid and is also often reported to be a child's work" (Tassoni & Hucker, 2005, p. 1). It helps the kid for his development in:

  • Social skills,
  • Physical skills,
  • Emotional skills,
  • Language skills and
  • Cognitive development

Play can be either structured or free. More often than not, the organized play is sorted out by a grown-up or an older peer. It is usually led and planned, and very often there's only one way to do it. For the time being, free play is often self-initiated which stimulates the kid to be creative and imaginative. "Play involves exploring thoughts, ideas, materials, connections and jobs, making relationships between one experience and another and representing ideas, things and surroundings. " (Pound, 2000, p. 74)

The Observations of the Structured and Free Play activities occurred in a class room environment. The category consists of twenty four children, the professor and a Learning Support Associate. This is an inclusive university and there is one child with special needs. At the time all twenty four children in the course were using the same things. They are all females and aged between 4 years and 5 years. Six children were detected during these two activities. The classes lasted between 20 minutes and around 30 minutes each. Photos were used of the children playing. The individual observing the children sat to the side and didn't take part in the play. Communication with the children was maintained to the very least and the children's actions and some dialogue were observed.

Structured Play

In Structured play activities the adult usually has "a higher account role" (Tassoni & Hucker, 2005, p. 74) and the child has a more unaggressive role. The adult shows or displays to the child how the activity must be achieved and the kid follows instructions. Very often the activity can only just be completed in a single way, for example completing a puzzle or painting a specific art job and the children have a tendency to be less involved with organised play and loose interest more quickly. However there are benefits in structured activities. "They permit the adult to focus children's attention on a specific idea, skill or knowledge"(Tassoni & Hucker, 2005, p. 73) and by using organized activities the adult can also ensure that the child is developing specific skills like hands and attention coordination and fine motor unit skills.

Observation of a Structured Play Activity

Wooden jigsaw puzzles of varying difficulty were used because of this activity.


Improve side and eyeball coordination

Fine electric motor skills

Attention span

Develop reasoning and problem dealing with skills

Understand forms and colours

Spatial awareness

The teacher released lots of jigsaw puzzles for the children to choose from. The puzzles were put in the middle of a large desk and the kids were able to choose at will and prompted to talk about and swop puzzles when ready. The children started playing by deciding on a puzzle each and tipping the bits up for grabs. The professor said that was not the very first time they have used these puzzles so these were positive in their actions and didn't need her to guide them in what these were doing. The teacher walked about the class room supervising their play. After a few minutes of playing the children were observed talking about the puzzles that they had chosen for themselves and commenting about those were difficult and which were easy. FA and P wanted to play with the puzzle L acquired picked so, after a short discussion, they emerged to an arrangement; once L finished using her puzzle, she'd give it to P to experience with and when she was ready from playing with it she would then pass it to FA. This type of negotiation serves as a public play since "nearly every facet of play in a cultural group includes negotiation and dialog over the ownership of bikes and blocks" (Riley, 2007, p. 46).

TD also required the same puzzle so the teacher intervened and informed her that she must await the others to finish playing with it and then it might be her switch. TD accepted this compromise and continued playing with the puzzle she possessed actually chosen. Although this play activity could be quite solitary with each child having their own puzzle, in reality the children were observed posting, discussing and cooperating in their play.

K was assisting TD and P as that they had similar puzzles plus some of the items were confusing. She exhibited them which parts easily fit into which puzzles plus they extended to complete their puzzles following her instructions. This is among scaffolding where "more competent others provide assistance to learners" (Wood & Attfield, 2005, p. 94).

R and FA were participating in parallel to each other with no communication initially, and they started to talk and joined their play by contrasting puzzle pieces and speaking about the characters in it.

The children used the puzzles in a structured way for about 10 minutes. Out of the blue the play activity didn't remain structured any more among the children began to use the jigsaw portions in symbolic play. Symbolic play occurs

when the kid either "pretends to be something that he or she is not or uses a material as something that it's not normally used for" (Charlesworth, 2008, p. 73). In this case P began to pretend to consume the pieces of the puzzle she was using (her puzzle was of an bear). The tutor played additionally and asked her what it tasted like and P replied "of the bear". She then sustained with her symbolic play and pretended she was cooking the puzzle pieces in the range. The table she was playing on took on the symbolic role of the oven and P began putting the completed wooden puzzle within the table.

P, who seemed to be an extremely popular girl, had taken on the role of head and it was seen that she was very creative. Within a couple of minutes some of the other children took up the theory and R and FA began cooking their jigsaw puzzles within the desk too.

P then transformed the game and tried out to encourage the other females into a competition insurance agencies a competition. "Let's see who's going to be the fast one!" she said. Nevertheless the other females either disregarded her or were too busy considering their play and no person took on her behalf challenge.

FA improved her play. She was neither cooking food nor placing the pieces in their place. She was making the puzzle pieces stand up. Her puzzle portrayed a engineering site complete with people and machinery. She used the items in a type of small world play, where the figures became people in an imaginary world (Tassoni & Hucker, 2005, p. 274). At one point FA became a little bothered as her pieces kept dropping down so she requested P's help, who then joined up with in the game.

After a few minutes of playing in this manner, they transformed their play again. This time around it became celebratory play. This type of pretend play symbolizes a form of party whether a birthday, a feast, or a holiday. In this case the two girls started out to pretend that the puzzle pieces were the candles on a birthday cake. They pretended to blow out the candles and FA began singing the Happy Birthday song as the other girls round the table; R, P and K joined up with in. Another girl who may have special needs and who was participating in on another stand heard the passion of the group and emerged to join them too.

It will probably be worth noting that right before this play took place some teenagers from another school came to your classroom with bits of a birthday cake to offer to the instructor and LSA. The educator said that this is a common incident which the youngsters are being used to, she also said that it is a tradition for everyone children to bring a cake to school on the birthday and celebrate with their course friends.

Free Play


Communicative skills

Developing the thoughts and creativity

Personal and public development

Very often during free play, children imitate life situations and be a part of role play. Individuals can provide play opportunities and make recommendations. They are able to organise materials and equipment as well as listen and be a part of the play, however only if they are simply asked to.

It is important that people support free play or the children will get the theory that free play is not as important as organised play and wrap up associating play with "work-related activities", which damages the complete experience for the child (Tassoni & Hucker, 2005 p. 5). Free play is also very very important to the child's self-confidence and for his overall development (Tassoni & Hucker, 2005). This is because when two or more children are given the opportunity to self-initiate play, they'll be encouraged to speak between themselves and develop their socially interactive skills, which really helps to steadily develop their self-concept. Additionally being permitted to play freely, provides them the chance to make decisions and selections for themselves, which enhances a positive self-esteem. Above all, communication between them contributes to the increase with their vocabulary off their peers and from the individuals watching or taking part in their play.

Usually during free play, the children concentrate longer as the play and the ideas are chosen by themselves (Bruce, 2004). Frequently through the self-initiated play, children tend to play by using their imagination which include pretending, illusion play and symbolic play (Tassoni & Hucker, 2005). Inside our observation, pretend play was the most common one alongside the symbolic play. Illusion play had not been rehearsed in our observation. It was very clear that all the play was part of these life experience, what they came across when they were at home or when they were with their moms or other family members. The "imaginative play produces self manifestation as well as giving children the possibility to explore their experiences. " (Tassoni & Hucker, 2005, p. 10). Sometimes this is observed when the child expresses anger or maternal good care during their play.

Observation of a Free Play Activity

Six young ladies were observed participating in in the various regions of the class room. These areas were the home corner, the reading area and the toy box area. The children used various items in their imaginative play and their role play. They transferred from one play scenario to some other fluidly and possessed no problem changing tasks as they proceeded to go along. They used the things in their playing areas symbolically to represent something else relating to their play like a tiny doll used as a hairdryer. The adult observing sat aside.

The teacher advised the girls that they could play wherever they wished. Some females who were relaxing at the same stand received up and went to the reading area. TC pretended it was her birthday. The other females became a member of her in associative play where they used one another and came mutually because they shared a pastime. They offered her books from the reading area, that have been symbolically changed into presents. Among the wooden puzzles that that they had been playing with earlier, was turned into a birthday cake. FP went round with the puzzle pieces pretending to give cake to the rest of the girls. Girls pretended they were having a party and the educator was asked to sit down and interact the play.

The girls helped bring cups and plates to the instructor who sat down near them. They pretended to provide her all types of food, the educator got part in their play by pretending to consume what she was given and requesting questions about the meals, aiming to expose new vocabulary throughout their play.

J was mixing up the imaginary food utilizing a cup and a spoon. Then she poured it in the teacher's plate for her to eat.

MC pretended that it was her baby's party and used a booklet to symbolize the wedding cake.

MB, who was cooking, pretended to drop sauce on the professor, who played out along by pretending she was a mess and needed to get cleaned up.

This comment made the girls change their play. While the teacher sat on the same couch in the same place, the girls started to put cream and constitute on her behalf face. Glitter was also brought up. They used 'Teletubby' plastic toys as their tools and started styling the teacher's scalp.

J imagined having a scalp dryer in her side and styled the teacher's locks while making a humming sound. Another girl associated a toy in the field with the play situation and received a toy hairdryer and began doing the same movements.

In the meantime C and FP visited the collection area where they found a huge plastic container and sat in it pretending it was their cot. They imagined they were infants, and one of them said "Trid tirrabja mieghi? Int il-mummy!"

MB pretended to place nail polish on the teacher's toenails and then she started out painting the teacher's hands. The teacher discussed that through the school bazaar, which was presented the month before, some children were allowed to have their face decorated and other parents preferred that their children have just their hands painted rather than their face, so that is exactly what this lady was doing to her educator using the 'Teletubby' toy as her tool.

At once MC and TC were playing doctor and patient. MC was laying on two chairs while TC was examining her back with a toy toaster which she symbolically used as a medical tool.

During the observation it turned out mentioned that during free play the students were participating in imaginatively and preferred using the provided gadgets symbolically alternatively than using them with their original play intentions; like the 'teletubby' toy being truly a hairdryer and the toy toaster being a medical device.

The theme of a birthday celebration was observed in both the structured and free play activities. The children were fascinated with the festive environment; the items, the meals and above all the cake. They were engrossed in their pretend play and the teacher might use this to great benefits by planning learning activities for this idea. The instructor might use the birthday theme and provide many opportunities for literacy, numeracy, creative and cultural skills. She can do this by planning activities such as painting, story telling, encouraging children to create cards to each other, as well as planning the class room environment to match her goal.

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