Children’s perspectives on play
Children’s perspectives on play

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Children’s perspectives on play

1.4 A different approach to play

Keep in your mind the way children were playing in the forest school and now watch the video of Grace and her friend painting in a more structured, indoor environment. The children are demonstrating similar skills in both videos, but are very different.

Activity 2

Timing: Allow 45 minutes to complete this activity

By the time you have completed this activity, you should be able to:

  • understand that children’s play experiences can be very different
  • consider play from a child’s perspective.

Watch the short video clip of Grace and her friend painting in a more structured, indoor environment.

Download this video clip.Video player: Children painting
Skip transcript: Children painting

Transcript: Children painting

GIRL 1
Can I take it home later?
GIRL 2
[INAUDIBLE]
GIRL 1
Can I have your work?
GIRL 2
[INAUDIBLE]
GIRL 1
Do you like mine? I like yours.
Mine – do you think mine is really pretty? Oh, thanks.
GIRL 2
Grace?
GIRL 1
Yeah?
GIRL 2
[INAUDIBLE] mix up colours?
GIRL 1
Yeah. Do you?
GIRL 2
Yeah.
GIRL 1
And me. I'm getting white, purple, green, orange, purple, blue, red.
GIRL 2
Green, orange, purple, blue, [INAUDIBLE].
GIRL 1
White, pink, blue, purple, red, orange.
End transcript: Children painting
Children painting
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  1. What are the similarities and differences between the two play situations?
The similarities are …
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The differences are …
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  1. Click on the link to view five statements about the play environment. Rate to what extent you think the environment is influencing what Grace and her friend are doing in their play.
Rating the influence of environment on the children’s play
  1. Now put yourself in Grace and her friend’s shoes. What do you think they would say about their play experience?
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Comment

In the two videos, you watched children mark-making, but in very different ways. The children in the forest school were using large sticks in the mud on the forest floor, whereas Grace and her friend were mark-making using paint in a more structured situation. The children in both the videos are practising the same skills through play, but having very different experiences. This key observation highlights the need to allow children to have multiple opportunities to play in different contexts or situations so that they can experience new ways of doing things. This experience will help them to develop their preferences on where they enjoy playing and what they like to do in that play environment. Arguably the children in the forest school had more choices about what they could do within the forest space, although Grace and her friend looked happy to be painting and were focused on what they were doing. From the children’s perspective, they were exploring and testing out what they could do, for example Grace mixing the colours of the paint. In both videos the children were experimenting with the resources they had available to them.

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