Play is a wonderful thing. It’s not just about having fun, it’s about learning and you can help. As children play they give you insights into their behaviour and how they are taking in the world around them. These behaviour patterns and behaviours show you how they are working things out, they are examples of schemas.
Behaviour patterns begin from birth. They begin with sucking and grabbing things and as the child grows the schemas become more complex and increase in numbers. Researchers say there are different schemes include:
- Vertical – up and down
- Circular – Round and round
- Enclosure – Putting things inside things
Twirlywoos, the popular children’s television show on Cbeebies are based on schemas. A particular schema is the focus of each episode, complimenting and ecouraging natural development through play and entertainment. Each of the schemas give children basic skills that they will need throughout life, as they progress to learning to write and even learning to drive.
Parents and carers can help by watching children play and identifying the schemas they are exploring. Once a schema is witnessed the parents can provide toys and organise activities that fit in with the schema and will help the children to work through that stage of their development. Here are a few examples to inspire you.
Vertical Schema – Children who enjoy building tall towers, playing on the climbing frame, jumping and looking up at the sky.
Play with a ball, through it up in the air or roll the ball down a slope or a slide.
Visit the shopping centre and go in a lift and on the escalator.
Circular Schema – Children who love to be spun or spinning toys, drawing circular shapes and rolling playdough.
Play with cars and watch the wheels go round and round.
Visit the park and play on the roundabout.
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