Play and Early Learning: Some Play Materials and Toys: Outdoor Arrangements (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Some Play Materials and Toys

Design of space is enriched by the different kinds of materials that can be available for children. Children enjoy playing with old bottle caps, crushing newspaper, leaves, pebbles and a variety of objects. It is indeed a challenge to provide range of materials to meet the varying needs of children.

Toys have been classified as:

  • Toys for physical movement and muscular development
  • Toys for constructive and creative play
  • Toys for dramatic action, imaginative and fantasy play

Toys and materials can have an age graded arrangement.

The following chart will provide you an idea of the possible categorization:

  • 4 years to 6 years Balance beams Water play Sweeping objects Materials for group games (cricket, catch) Swings like slides, merry-go round
  • Birth to 2 years - Climbing frames, swings - Sliding objects , Large balls , Run about and pull-along toys, Animals on wheels, wagons and trucks - Boxes with or without wheels , Carts, barrows, push- pull toys, rocking objects
  • 2 years to 4 years - Old tires, Jumping pits, Kitchen kits, Blocks, Picture books, puzzles, Drawing and painting, Play material for reading and writing.

Outdoor Arrangements

Outdoor play area also needs to be divided for particular play activities. The outdoor play equipment should be arranged to give more opportunities for large muscle activities like running, climbing, jumping, sliding, crawling, digging and swinging.

Outdoor Arrangements

In outdoor play area, some equipment like a jumping pit, swings and slides may be fixed permanently. These should be in adequate proportion and accessible to small children. Supervision is very essential for outdoor play activities.

Group and Individual Play

  • Formation of playgroups in early childhood years is very significant. Usually, children want to form groups of the same age and gender. This type of group fosters leadership quality, sense of loyalty and social learning.
  • Play groups are formed on the basis of children՚s shared interests, backgrounds or activities.

Groups can be formed in different sizes:

  • Large group: Large group is formed for teaching, storytelling, music, dance and similar activities. The whole class is considered as a large group with children of a wide range of abilities. For example, circle-time activities are very suitable for a large group.
  • Medium group: Since the children are different from each other, their needs are also different. A larger group can be divided into two or three groups containing 10 - 12 children. The teacher can help the group which needs more guidance and supervision.
  • Small group:-Small groups are formed when individual attention and guidance are needed. This group contains less than six children. Children work in pairs or small groups of three to five children work together to complete a specific task. There should be separate areas to play for different groups and children from one group should not interfere in the activities of the other group. If needed, one can switch to another group.

Children undergo many developmental changes at every stage of their life. Play activities will also change according to that. As age increases, aimless play will become purposeful. Teachers and parents working with children should know about these changes and act accordingly.

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