Play Facilitator: Observing parallel and social play

This week we had a playroom rearrange and a new kids table came upstairs that we perfectly positioned in the middle of our kids zone aka The Command Centre. Cars, airports, an animal farm and of course some cooking were simultaneously and creatively played using it. The construction of our Lego City started and was soon the most played with which included a Post Office, Fire Station, Police Centre, Hospital, Ice Cream Parlour, a set of traffic lights, a tree, shops, a Bridge for the many cars and trains to drive under.

When an activity sticks it really sticks as this Lego City was played with throughout the day many times and was left as is overnight to be explored again and again over the week. Why did this activity stick so much? It captured my little charges current imaginative thoughts. Their attention span – 2.5 years old – is growing and their exploration of how things work, recognising their own abilities in building and manoeuvring objects as well as engaging in using language in their play is becoming more apparent to them.

My Role as a Play Facilitator is to modify this activity into a play experience using different mediums to further their skill development. Starting at play based activity and parallel play I direct my little charges into social play and observation based learning. An example of this is:

Play based activity is watching what my little charges steer towards in self initiated play, let’s say it is lego. From my observation I would set up activities that foster their fine motor and cognitive skills with the lego blocks. i.e. place all the red lego blocks in a pile and enquire about separating the other colours; build a car; make tower; carry the blocks in a bucket and use them to cook with in the kid kitchen. Social play comes naturally as children explore but to foster it a bit more I make suggestions of play and ask questions to each of my little charges to show them how to include each other.

 

Happy Play Facilitating!

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