The paper framework of play

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on June 2, 2012

in Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Framing up Play, Mathematics, The Value of Play

Sometimes, something as simple as a paper picture frame can create new interest in materials that have been sitting in a basket for some time now…

Before the children arrived, I set out paper frames and two types of tiles for the children to explore. The tiles have been in my classroom but the children just didn’t seem all that interested in them. I decided that the children needed something a little different or interesting to help facilitate their play…

When the children first came to the table, they asked “What are we supposed to do here?”  Don’t you just love that question? To me it is a good sign that the materials on the table are both inviting and open ended…

I didn’t have to actually answer their question because as soon as each child came to the table, they quickly formulated their own plan for play and each plan looked different. You might be thinking, “what are the children learning from all of this?” so let’s take a look. This little girl spent time working on the space between her tiles so she could get the desired domino affect. She reset her tiles many times over and considered how much space she needed to adjust the tiles in order to get them all to fall down…

This little boy took a different tactic in his play. He spent time stacking the tiles as he built a tower of tiles. In order to build this complex design, this young man had to start with a foundation then through trial and error, determine how many tiles could fit together to create each layer of his structure. Although this child began working inside a frame, he soon chose to move the frame because he felt it was in his way…

Each child chose to explore several different methods of play and throughout the experience, the children talked with each other and continued to revise and put into action their plan for play…

The frames served as a way to facilitate interest in the tiles, personal play space, and different kinds of cognitive planning and critical thinking as the children determined how the materials on the table could work together to achieve some sort of outcome…

Sometimes, just adding something as simple as a frame can bring new dimension into a play experience that leads to new understanding and greater problem solving…

And time for play gives children the chance to explore what is possible which ultimately leads children towards their greatest potential…

 

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Sharing the wonders of early learning in action!

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