young people

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Play in childs early development

This report will give you detailed information on the advantages child will gain through playing in the specific interest areas in a childcare setting. It will also give you a better understanding of importance of play in child's early development. This report describes how each interest area engages children in different ways and provides them with further developmental learning. This report concludes that the interest areas provide an environment for the children to explore, discover and experiment new things which helps them to grow. Interest areas also support children’s learning styles and encourage children to give ideas, interests and questions.

INTEREST AREAS IN A CHILDCARE SETTING

Introduction:

Interest areas are the key factors that help children develop through play. These interest areas are mainly arranged in the indoor physical environment, of a childcare setting. These interest areas are also available in some homes and are often setup in a child's room (not all of the interest areas). There are five main interest areas and each interest area has a tremendous impact on child’s development. The five interest areas are:

Art Area

Blocks Area

Home Area

Computers Area

Library Area

The purpose of interest areas is to give children choices to explore and make new things, experiment and follow their ideas. Interest areas should accommodate limited children at a time and it should also have enough PlayStations for each child. “A Play station is a place in the classroom/interest areas that provides enough materials and space for one child to play “ (Lockwood, 2011). Interest areas should challenge children’s thinking but it should not be overwhelming and frustrating for children. Interest areas can be successful when the materials provided to children are appealing and appropriate to their culture and experience.

Interest Areas for Children

1. Art Area

“Children express their individual ideas and feelings with art materials such as paint, clay, markers, crayons, paste and collage materials” (A, 2009). When they make and see their own creations and those of their friends, they learn to value and understand differences. Young children give importance to the process, and not the final creation. They express their feeling and emotions through art when they cannot express them in words. Art activities helps children to release stress and engaging in art activities benefits in child’s development. Art also encourages child’s learning. Some of the learning goals that support child’s development are:

Creativity and imagination

Supports children to express their feelings and emotions

Develops ability to describe shape, objects and colour

Continue developing fine motor skills and eye hand coordination

2. Block Area

“Blocks are open-ended play materials; there is no right or wrong way to build with them” (A, 2009). Children can put the blocks into patterns or randomly to make their own creations. Often children build the things they have seen. In the block area children play together and share ideas and experiences with others and that is how learn problem solving and they also learn the benefits of co-operation. Children learn a lot of different things through block play such as they learn about different shapes, sizes, colors, number and order. Blocks are the important play area in the childcare setting and it helps children in their physical and social development. Some of the learning goals that support child’s development are:

Helps children to share and learn co-operation

Helps in developing problem solving skills

Helps developing the skills of classifying and sorting objects by shapes, sizes, colors, number and order

Helps developing mathematics skills (e.g. counting blocks: adding or subtracting)

3. Home Area

For children’s development and learning pretend play is very essential. This area gives children an opportunity to try out families roles and experience them. “Although this area of the room may be called the house corner, it can be transformed by the children or teacher into a supermarket, restaurant, and post office the choices are endless!” (A, 2009). Children develop different skills by acting out variety of roles. Children play together in this area and share experiences, ideas with each other and they also continue learning problem solving skills. This area also allows children to act out their past experiences which might have been difficult to deal with at some point. Some of the learning goals that support child’s development are:

Helps children improving their fine motor skills

Helps children to try out different roles and experience the difficult situations

Helps children in identifying problems which occurs during the play which leads them to advance their problem solving skills

Helps children to remain and concentrate on a task

Helps children identifying roles and planning the dramatic play

4. Computers Area

In today’s society, children should have access to computers and they should also become comfortable with computers. “Children who have access to a computer and are encouraged in computer play, discover open ended play that are both rewarding and enriching” (A, 2009). Computer area in the childcare setting allows children to meet their computer skills needs. Computer software and programs encourage children making choices, creativity and problem solving. It also encourages children to improve their fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. Computer area helps children to learn, create, explore and imagine over all developmental areas. Some of the learning goals that support child’s development are:

Encourage children to work co-operatively with others

Identify and sort objects by using computer programs

Helps children improve their visual skills by following objects which are moving on the screen

Helps children continue developing creativity

Helps children develop early learning skills by matching words to graphics

5. Library Area

Library area is an important part of the childcare setting since it gives children an opportunity to “listen to stories and poems, explore books and a variety of reading materials. The library area can include: a writing centre and listening area with story tapes for the children to listen to, felt boards and puppets” (A, 2009). These material and storytelling promotes children’s language and cognitive development. It also helps them to progress growth and development in other areas such as science, history and maths. For developing literacy skills a library area is very important. Encouraging children to predict the story and repeat words can help them in improving their literacy and language skills. Some of the learning goals that support child’s development are:

Helps children increase their vocabulary

Helps children recognize objects, colors and shapes in the books

Helps children develop their storytelling skills

Help children develop fine motor skills

Helps children understanding the sequence by turning the pages in order and opening the book

Conclusion:

All the interest areas I have covered has given proper information on the benefits the child will achieve through playing in interest areas which are Art Area, Blocks Area, Home Area, Computers Area and Library Area. I hope that this report has given you a better understanding of how important play is as part of a child's early development. This report also mentions how a physical environment of the interest areas that is safe, encouraging, attractive and comfortable allows children to engage in the activities and, explore and discover new things. Supporting and encouraging children in their play can also help them achieve their goals and development new skills


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