Play as Frame Work

This essay I will discuss the value of play in early childhood education. In looking at two theoretical viewpoints Piaget and Vygotsky I will show how both are helpful to understanding childhood development. I will also show Te Whaariki, the early childhood curriculum helps teachers in their role as educators.

When we see children play, we observe that they play physically with peers or adults or both at the same time. Children feel and express their emotions during play, through play and through their own ideas.

Often when children play they act on experiences from the past, perhaps a birthday, or a growling or other events that have occurred.

During pretend play children can be in control of what happens in ways that they do not have in real life. This helps to give them confidence and a sense of mastery (Bruce & Meggitt, 1999).

In Te Whaariki, Communication Strand, Goal 4, it state that a child will experience an environment where their play is valued. Children develop “An ability to be creative and expressive through a variety of activities, such as pretend play, and drama” (Ministry of Education [MoE], 1996).

Play is a natural process that uses physical, emotional and cognitive skills. Children choose what they want to do and use their imagination. For example, children might play at being, mum and dad, dog or superhero.

According to Piaget’s theory, there are three stages of play that are involved in cognitive development. Firstly the sensorimotor stage combines the senses and movement. The pre-operational involves symbolic or pretend play. The third stage, called ‘concrete operations’ involves being able to play games with rules (Dockett & Fleer, 2002).

The Sensorimotor stage, occurs between zero to two years. During this stage, the child interacts with the environment In infancy babies move accidentally and then intentionally. “Children take in information through mouthing, sucking, banging, smelling and looking at objects in the...