In this assignment I plan to explain how play helps to improve the development of children and young people. Play is extremely important for the development of children. It is important that from a young age children play with things like toys and even with other children. Between the ages of 0 – 3 is when children develop the most. Through play children can improve their fine and gross motor skills by using toys such as shape sorters and using musical tables which have buttons and things to turn.
This helps to develop fine motor skills. Gross motor skills are developed through crawling and learning to walk. If children have toys that are spread out whilst playing then it will encourage them to either crawl or try to walk to retrieve the toys that they want to play with. It is important that also at this age that children start to use cutlery, for example being given a spoon as a baby so that they can learn to feed themselves, and this also helps to develop their fine motor skills.
Also playing with toys such as shape sorters can also help with intellectual development as children begin to become more aware of which shape is which, They may not know what they are called but they begin to recognise a pattern in the shapes and which hole they need to sort them into. Also this is a good toy to use as parents can praise their child and this will improve their self-esteem.
It is also important at this age for children to play with other children as this will teach them to share and also they will learn to manage their own feelings as parents cannot always be there to remind children to share so the child will have to figure it out on their own sometimes in situations such as play groups. Also play can help children to learn to interact with other children. This develops their social development by them being able to make friends. Also this can develop their language and communication skills as when children make friends they will engage in conversations and develop their communication skills.
Also if children attend things like play group they will interact with their careers and they will also learn to ask to do things that they want to do. For example in Bizzy Bee’s playgroup if a child was unsure of what they wanted to do we would give them a choice. ‘Would you like to play in the sand or colour? ’ This makes it easier for children to make decisions and they have had the support from a staff member. Children thrive from praise and encouragement so I always make sure that if a child has done something good that I praise them and in some cases give stickers or treats.
For example, If my 1:1 completed all of his work he would be rewarded with a sticker and praise. This is a strategy that we use to encourage his good behaviour as he needs constant reminders that bad behaviour is unacceptable. He is constantly developing his communication skills, I have seen that since his communication skills have improved he is less likely to just scream and act out in anger and he will try and tell you what is making him upset, as a lot of the time he cannot explain what the matter is and therefore gets frustrated.
There is a difference between adult directed play and child initiated play. For example adult directed play is telling a child what do play with whereas child initiated play is when a child chooses what they want to play with. By an adult telling a child what to play with this can seriously affect them being able to make decisions later on in life as they will learn to expect to be told what to do so when it comes to making choices such as which college to go to or what subjects to take they won’t know what they want and will be expected to be told.
They will not have a sense of independence and also this can affect their ability to make friends as they will tend to just ‘follow the heard’. However, in situations such as play groups there will be adult directed activities such as painting or making models as this is part of their curriculum and will also help them to develop their skills. Whereas children who are encouraged to do what they want when it comes to play tend to be more free and able to make friends. Also they can tend to become bossy as they are used to doing what they want.
This is why it is important that children have a healthy mix of both adult directed play and also child initiated play. Child initiated play is a very good way of observing children. This is when we see children being themselves and also we are able to see if there are any problems that the child may have with development such as communication or forming relationships with peers. In any type of play there are always risks for children, even when they are supervised. We can make situations as safe as we can for children but there are always risks.
For example a baby playing on the floor with toys could pick something up and put it in their mouth and they could choke. Children, especially babies are constantly putting things like small toys ect into their mouths as this is how they learn through using all of their senses including taste. It is best when babies or small children are playing that any toys with small parts that could be swallowed are removed so that there are no accidents. However it is impossible to eliminate all risks for children as there is always going to be something’s that you cannot prevent such as falling over.
You can remove any objects from the floor which children could trip over but children, especial children of 2 and 3 will often just fall over their own feet which cannot be prevented. As children become older they begin to have better coordination so that they are able to run and walk without doing things such as falling over their own feet, however this happens at any age, but as we get older it will happen less often. An unacceptable risk is a risk that could have been prevented by a care worker within a care setting.
For example a knife being left where children can reach it and the child cutting themselves on it is an unacceptable risk. It is a priority in my work place to make sure that all unacceptable risks are removed from children. For example during a cooking lesson the children will be made to stand well back from the cooker or any hot surfaces as they could burn themselves. Children are discouraged from doing things such as touching hot surfaces or sharp objects during a cooking lesson as this could seriously hurt them.
For example during a Christmas cookies cooking lesson the children were allowed to partake in mixing the mixture and cutting the shapes with cutters however when it came to cooking the cookies I turned the oven on and also put the cookies in the oven and took them out of the oven and put them to cool as this is a dangerous task for a child because they could burn themselves. An unacceptable challenge for a child is setting a child a challenge that you know they will have no way of carrying out.
For example, asking a child of 3 to write a sentence independently about their weekend if you know they are incapable of doing so. It is important as a child care worker that you help children to realise potential hazards and how to avoid them. Children are very curious and most of the time if you tell them not to do something they will do it anyway, this is why we must make children aware of all the dangers of things like hot surfaces and sharp objects, also things like crossing the road and talking to strangers.
It is important to remove all objects that can cause harm to children, for example remove sharp scissors and replace them with safety scissors, also if you are using a sharp knife during an activity such as making fruit kebabs making sure you remove the knife from the children’s reach. It is also important to teach children that running in the classroom can be very dangerous. For example, a little boy in the 3 year old setting was running back to his seat, tripped over his own feet and banged his head on his chair.
All of the proper procedures were carried out to ensure that the little boy was okay and since then he no longer runs in class. In my setting we have made it very clear that you only run outside or during P. E but we never run in class or in the corridors because you can fall and hurt yourself. It is very important that children become more independent as they get older and that we as carers don’t have to keep reminding them of things like don’t run in class or don’t touch hot surfaces.
For example at the beginning of a cooking lesson I will ask the children what we should and shouldn’t do during that cooking lesson and the response is normally don’t touch anything hot, don’t run and don’t touch anything sharp. With younger children I would go though with them at the beginning of the lesson what they should and shouldn’t do and get them to repeat it so that they learn not to do the wrong thing that could potentially hurt them. 1. – The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is based on what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential. They apply equally to every child, regardless of who they are, or where they are from. Although this is a government required set of rights the Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parents and carers to direct and guide their child as they grow up, so that they enjoy their rights properly. This also states that all children are entitled to a voice.
They are entitled to have a valid opinion and make their own choices as long as they are not endangering themselves or others. UNICEF also states that every child has the right to an education. This means that every child must have their needs met in order for them to have the education they deserve. 4- It is important as a child care professional that you always give the best of yourself to see that the children you care for are receiving the best possible care.
It is important to review situations such as leading an activity with children to look for ways that you can improve. Also it is important if you have certain children that struggle with things that you provide them with a way of doing things which is easier so that they feel a sense of self worth and pride. In my setting we have weekly meetings in which we discuss activities to do with the children and themes that we can do in the class with the children so that they feel school is fun and that they want to come back.
It is important to have these meeting with staff as we can all discuss what works with the children in our setting and what doesn’t work. We can look at ways to improve activities or change them to make them more accessible and enjoyable to the children. We can discuss how to deal with certain situations if they occur again and how to deal with situations differently. We can also suggest things to each other like different ways of teaching certain children things. This ensures that the children in out setting are always receiving the best possible care.