Play and Early Learning: Play-Based Activities for All Domains (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Play-Based Activities for All Domains

Since children learn, grow and develop through play, the activities which are organized for children should be based on play encompassing all domains of development. There are three divisions in the development domain. They are:

  • Cognitive and language domain
  • Affective (socio-emotional) domain
  • Psychomotor domain Activities for cognitive domain: Children gather information about basic concepts like time, number, space, position, shape and sound.

Activities for cognitive development comprise activities for proper use of senses, concept formation (concept of color, shape, size, number, space, volume, length, weight, speed and time) and basic cognitive skills.

  • For basic cognitive skills, it is better to do activities like puzzles, story completion, picture completion, science experiments, memory games, stories, logical sequencing (thinking, reasoning and problem solving) , making patterns, recalling of sequential activities, etc.
  • Language development can be fostered through reading and writing readiness activities, e. g. , oral expression, listening skills and vocabulary as these are components of language. Reading and writing can be cultivated through use of pictures, picture books, etc.
  • Free conversation e. g. , conversation using pictures and objects, telling stories, role play, creative drama, puppet play, doll play, etc. are used for oral expression. Listening games, auditory discrimination, following directions by listening and stories are the best way to develop listening skills.

Activities for affective domain

Children develop interest, attitudes, appreciate beauty and internalize values.

Some activities suggested are:

  • Dramatizing stories
  • Singing songs
  • Reciting poems in rhythm
  • Dressing up dolls imaginatively
  • Speaking about something

Children imbibe social and emotional skills when they play in groups. They learn how to share, take turns and understand that each person has a special identity. While engaging in play, they also learn to recognize their limitations as they may ‘have to wait for their turn’ . Such moments provide understanding emotions and regulation of feelings. It is important to know that many social and emotional capacities are acquired while engaging in group or individual activities.

Activities for Psycho Motor Domain

  • Children develop different skills through the activities given to them. Therefore, the tasks should be planned in such a way that these will in calculate accuracy, precision, concentration and develop fine and gross motor skills in children.
  • Objects fostering pushing-pulling, throwing, catching, pedaling, crawling, jumping, stretching, walking, rocking, swinging, sliding, rolling, hopping and kicking are activities undertaken for the development of physical and large muscle coordination.

Planning Play Activities Across Themes

  • There are a variety of themes related to the environment of children like trees, animals, birds, flowers and insects. Various activities are planned and developed across themes.
  • Small children always like to play. We cannot impose any knowledge through any subject. Therefore, theme-based play activities are the best way for this purpose. The theme must be planned according to the age and interest of children.
  • The topic for the theme should have a close relation to the environment of the children. It will give an opportunity to promote their innate capacity to broaden ideas about which they are very familiar. They express their opinion from their firsthand or concrete experiences and experiences from sensory perception.

Role of Teachers as Facilitators in Children՚s Play

Teachers as Facilitators in Children՚s Play

In order to make play meaningful and purposive, the teacher should also be a part of the activities. Proper direction from teachers affects the quantity and quality of play.

  • Teacher as an observer: The teacher observes the activities of the children in the classroom as well as outside the classroom. S/he observes how children interact with each other, how they handle objects, whether they have any problem with their group, etc. The length of time children spend with play materials also is observed by the teacher.
  • Teacher as a facilitator: Mere play is not enough for children to develop. It is the role of the teacher to direct the play activities for learning. S/he has to create a climate and arrange the equipment according to their need and purpose. Teachers should allow children to speak freely. S/he should encourage children to ask questions to invoke curiosity.
  • Teacher as a reviewer: After every activity, the teacher has to determine how the particular type of play met the needs of each individual child. Teachers should be able to communicate with parents, administrators, etc. about the changes and improvements.
  • Teacher as an organizer: As a teacher, the first and the most important duty are to organize and prepare a playful environment for children. The teacher should provide the materials and equipment for meaningful play activities. The classroom and the outdoor area should be arranged in a safe, happy and healthy atmosphere.

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