Children’s perspectives on play
What influences children’s play decisions and creative choices, and how do they show their preferences and have their voice heard through their play? In this free course, Children’s perspectives on play, you will explore children’s play and creativity in a range of different situations, and consider what influences their play decisions and creative choices. You’ll think about children as active learners and participants, fully capable of constructing and communicating their perspectives on their experiences (Mardell and Carpenter, 2012). When children have freedom to choose, they are highly self-motivated and ‘active’ in their engagements with everything around them. You are asked to put yourself in ‘young children’s shoes’, listening to what they think, noting their responses and taking their perspectives seriously.
In Section 1, you are briefly introduced to two studies where researchers wanted to listen to young children’s talk and opinions about their play. In Sections 2 and 3, you are encouraged to think about children’s play experiences in different contexts. First, you will read about Elodie (aged three years) and how she plays at home as observed by Mia, her mother. You will then read an account by Michael, the father of William (five years) and Megan (three years), both of whom are being home-educated. Finally, Section 4 focuses on children’s street play. The street was a place that children once fairly freely occupied and adapted for play in various spontaneous and imaginative ways. Today, of course, streets are, in the main, claimed by moving and parked vehicles. This section includes some memories from adults reflecting on their childhood days spent playing in their streets.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.