Perspectives on play: learning for life
This paper illustrates in detail how learning can be achieved through play. Depth research has been carried out on the correlation between play and its positive benefits on early childhood learning, growth and development. Through this research it has been established that there is a positive connection between creative language and play and the social development of a child. Play has emotional benefits on a child such as enjoyment, relaxation, and fun, love of life, tension reduction and self expression. Developmental benefits of play include cognitive development where imagination, creativity, problem solving, mastery of concepts and perspective taking improves. Socially the child grows which can be seen through co-operation, sharing, turn-taking, and conflict resolution and leadership skills development. The language of the kid also develops that is in terms of communication skills, vocabulary and narration (Brock 2009 p.6-7)
In this issue to bring out the details pretty clear, sharp in-depth look at two chapters has been done, the first chapter being; Authoring books, plays and identities in writing workshops. Key practice: Approximated writing. The first chapter also involves the sub-topic; discourse of creative expression (Gordon 2009 p.23). The second chapter to look at is the: Toy as Identity texts, children as consumers and players. The first chapter mostly handles introduction to writing where kids are taken through a workshop where they mainly engage in writing. The climax of it is when the kid finally authors a book and has a chance to sit on the authors chair and read the book to the class and to be admired and questioned at the end of the writing workshop. The rationale behind choosing this chapter on developing writing is that written communication is a very key skill in life and everyone should have it as a priority developing the skill and becoming an expert in communicating really well through writing. It is thus a privilege and great pleasure learning how a kid or an individual at large develops this skill and also to reflect and see how probably people did begin at it or ought to begin (Gordon 2009 p.25)
Approximated writing is the key arguments in this chapter which symbolizes or represents a range of ways in which children can deliberate within their inner self between their personally invented forms of language understanding and the culturally determined rules for language. Approximated writing is close to the real writing language which embraces errors, incorrect spellings. It is used by children to formulate meaningful messages through their use of their emerging mastery of the language. In the writing workshop the kids initiated their own writing projects and as they wrote they designed and illustrated images and prints for puppet plays, pages for kids-printed books, cards to relatives and friends, storyboards and journals. Graphophonic conventions such as using alphabetic symbols like “tuk” to represent the word took, putting bigger spaces between words, placing marks on words and organizing them in a pattern are very much use in this case. Authoring in the workshop happened when the kids wrote, drew, told and dramatized the texts they had written down. Finally in regard to authoring the kids connected texts for the kids-produced books that they presented to the others through reading aloud from the author`s chair or even short plays that were acted for the class and videotaped (Marzollo 2011 p.39-40)
A number of realizations came from these workshops or activity that was centered on kid’s literacy. The first one being that children are capable writers who are able to actively create and co-create meaning and such activities can be very instrumental in bringing out their literacy proficiency this is so because it is in such that they are challenged to explore all genres of written communication and also get a chance to freely air their ideas through their conversations and writings (Elkind, 2009; p.46). The idea of getting a chance to sit on the author`s chair, present the book to the class, to be questioned and admired at the end of the writing workshop motivated the kids to really come up with a well-illustrated book.
Discourse of creative expression also happens in the conference where free expression of ideas and feelings in the workshop through routine or regular practices is done. The children are always encouraged to share their opinions with their peers and anything they feel the need to air during the workshop. This discourse of creative expression empowers autonomy in writing decisions during the workshop and clearly refers to the kids as a writer mostly because they have written their own creations (Guinagh 2009 p.32). The above situation is really different from a school situation which cannot really be called free expression because the kid is directed, monitored and controlled by the teacher on what to write about. The children also have the permission during the workshop to abandon the projects they were working on at their own discretion without permission from the teacher. In the case of a child also consulting with other children in the case of seeking their assistance and opinions also decides to change their projects and ignore the one they were doing or make revisions on it is still quite appropriate.
The methodology used in this chapter or writing workshop to teach the children how to write is something really great and enjoyable both for them and their instructor. The different number of plays that are used to teach them how to write and encourage them to pursue understanding the genres of written communication are very appropriate for them both for their easier understanding and to make it really interesting to the children without boredom at all. Learning writing is presented in a very simplified way that makes the child to want to do it again and again. The above writing activity or workshop further proves the point that learning happens very effectively through play (Silberg 2009 p.23).
In the second chapter close attention is paid to the chapter on Toy as Identity texts, children as consumers and players. First it is good to state that the rationale behind picking this chapter as the second one to look at to anyone it would mostly be out of curiosity to know and understand the following questions: The reason why kids and toys are almost inseparable? How comes that children want to spend as much as possible time with their toys, which is the language that really exist if any between toys and kids? Dolls in line with toys are texts designed specifically to enable the children to recognise with ease the manner in which it can be used in a play. They are associated with popular children animated films and also television programs which encourage children to play certain character roles and familiar scripts. These toys act as texts calling forth for “possible worlds” which brings about certain character roles, dialogue and stories (Silberg 2009 p.31) Dolls in a way are used to communicate identity and expectations in and from the society, for example the text or identity of a “cool girl” is communicated through the doll`s features such as its hairstyle, clothing and makeup. Popular dolls communicate complex such as concerning taste, social status, culture, roles and position in society and taste. This complex message requires the reader in this case the children to coordinate these messages and understand them (Tizard 2010 p. 55)
The methodology of using toys and dolls to communicate certain texts to the children and ensure that they learn something sounds quite funny. It is after pondering about this manner of using play to teach or facilitate learning to the very young ones that a person will come to the conclusion that it is one of the most amazing ways of learning through play which is really an awesome method. Kids are in a position to learn so much through toys and dolls without even their knowledge that they are learning and this knowledge sticks in their minds for the rest of their lives.
As a wrap up this paper has made it clear through the above examples how learning is done through play. Therefore one would comfortably conclude that it is a matter of fact that children learn through play and exposure to plays enable them to develop their intellectual, social and emotional skills. Plays should thus be a part and parcel of a child`s life so that the child may grow and develop holistically failure to which the development of the child will be hindered (Wood 2013 p.5). More and more learning and play ought to be embraced and others developed so as to ease learning especially amongst children who are easily bored and has low concentration ability and retention capacity of what they learn. The importance and value of learning through play can therefore not be underestimated.
Brock, A. (2009). Perspectives on play: learning for life. Harlow, England: Pearson/Longman.
Elkind, D. (2009). The power of play: learning what comes naturally. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Lifelong ;.
Gordon, I. J., Guinagh, B., & Jester, R. E. (2009). Child learning through child play; learning activities for two and three year olds. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Marzollo, J., & Lloyd, J. (2011). Learning through play ([1st ed.). New York: Harper & Row.
Silberg, J. (2009). Learning games: exploring the senses through play. Beltsville, Md.: Gryphon House.
Tizard, B., & Hughes, M. (2010). Young children learning (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub..
Tizard, B., & Hughes, M. (2010). Young children learning (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub..
Wood, E. (2013). Play, learning and the early childhood curriculum (3rd ed.). London: SAGE.