Development of play

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Development of play by Mind Map: Development of play

1. What is play?

1.1. A behaviour which is enjoyable, done for its own sake, but which does not have any obvious, immediate purpose. (Slater and Bremner, 2011)

2. Examples go early play

2.1. An infant repeatedly dropping an object.

2.2. An infant banging objects together to make a noise.

2.3. An infant babbling and cooing to themselves.

2.4. An infant laying a dolly down in 'bed'

3. Understanding play and its theories

3.1. Play is action for its own sake vs work that is for a reward or requirement.

3.2. Current perspective on play as a vehicle for learning, skill acquisition, and development. Therefore worthy and necessary of incorporating in educational programmes.

4. Historical theories of play

4.1. • Surplus Energy (Berlyne, 1969) • Recreational or Relaxation (Patrick, 1916) • Practice (Groos,1901) – Experimental Play (games with rules) – Socioeconomic Play (rough and tumble play) – Imitative, social, family games (Dramatic Play)

5. Contemporary theories

5.1. More focused on play as supporting and driving development in cognition, communication, and the uses of symbols (Mellou, 1994)

6. Theories of play

6.1. What do we mean by 'playful' behaviour'?

6.1.1. Fagan (1974), functional approach, defines play as not having an obvious goal or benefit.

6.1.2. – Structural approach • Aims to describe the sorts of behaviour that only occur in play (e.g. laughter and open-moth play face) • Behaviours that are repeated, exaggerated or reordered • Exploration is different from play

7. Attachment and play

7.1. Play- an attachment perspective

7.1.1. Attachment as the bond between a caregiver and infant

7.1.2. A secure attachment supports the child’s exploration of the physical and social environment

7.1.3. Insecure attachment will therefore inhibit play and play development

7.2. Attachment and play

7.2.1. • Secure • Avoidant • Ambivalent/Resistant • Disorganized • Resistant focus on caregiver limits the play opportunities for the child. • Secure children exhibit more complex play (Belsky, 1984).

8. The Childs social world

8.1. • Becomes increasingly complicated and sophisticated with development • Impacts on and interacts with learning and cognitive development

9. Order of play

9.1. • Solitary Play • Parallel Play • Collaborative Play

10. Early peer interaction

10.1. 3-4 months - interest in peers emerges.

10.2. 6 months - overt communication with peers begins.

10.3. 12 months - Shared activity with peers, object centered.

10.4. 20-24 months - Imitation of peers behaviour.

10.5. Toddlers play - Parallel play, Toddler imitation.

10.6. Language play

10.6.1. 16-20 months- pretend play emerges

10.6.2. 18 months - 3 years - focus on social interaction takes over from object interaction. Specific friendships emerge.

10.6.3. 31 months - 3 years- Assignment of social roles in play.

10.6.4. Sign babbling language play with deaf infants.

10.7. Play criteria- flexibility, intrinsic motivation, positive effect, nonliterality. Krasnor and Pepler (1980)

10.7.1. The more criteria raters agree are present, the more likely activity is to be 'play'.

11. Sensorimotor play

11.1. • Characterises early infancy • Repetition of motor acts – e.g., Sucking their toes, dropping a spoon from a high chair – Imitation (particularly of parents) • Initially when parents are present and engaged with the task (e.g. washing up) • Toddlers will imitate acts when on their own

12. Theories of pre tense mental representation humour.

12.1. Humour and play • In play, language play or pretend play, then there are 2 necessary features – 1) Understanding how things are in reality or should be – 2) Intentionally subverting those understandings

12.2. Humour and Incongruity • Piaget (1962) – Incongruous Actions 1-2 – Incongruous Language 2 – Conceptual Incongruity 4 – Word Play 7

12.3. Early basis of humour is surprise about the physical and social world.

13. Pretend play

13.1. • Pretend play marks the emergence of early theory of mind – Decoupling – Separating reality from pretense – Considered to be universal and innate (Lillard et al. 2011) – Children’s pretense is more sustained and complex when they are playing with friends, rather than acquaintances (Howes, 1994).

13.2. Sex differences and pretend play • Bornstein et al. (1999) found that mothers tend to engage more in pretend play with girls than with boys • Holland (2003) – Differences in the themes of pretend play – Girls – domestic themes – Boys – physically active (e.g. superheros) – Girls use language more effectively in pretend play (Goncu et al. 2002)

13.3. Imaginary friends • A companion who does not exist but can feel very real to children. • Up to 50% of children have some form of imaginary friend (Slater & Bremner, 2011) – Usually between 3 – 8 years of age – These children tend to engage in lots of sophisticated pretend play (Taylor et al., 1993). • Children are not confused about the difference between imaginary and real friends

13.4. Pretend play”: cognitive skills • Bergen (2000) – High quality pretend play facilitates perspective taking and abstract thought – Clear links between pretend play and social and linguistic competence • Bergen (2000) argues that pretend play with others elicits – Negotiation, joint planning, problem solving, goal seeking – Bergen & Corscia (2001) – Engages many areas of the brain as it involves emotion, cognition, language and sensorimotor activities – Promotes development of dense synaptic connections

13.5. Pretend play and wider cognition • By preschool there is a shift in play preference from caregiving adults to peers. – Increased theory of mind, increased social capabilities – Dunn & Cutting (2001) – 64 pairs of 4 year old friends – Filmed playing together on two occasions – Battery of ToM tests, emotional understanding and language skills – Sociocognitive skills found to predict co-operative pretend play.

14. Rough and Tumble play

14.1. Rough and tumble play • Involves wrestling, grappling, rolling around on the floor, chasing… • Common in preschool years and middle childhood • Can look like real fighting – ‘we were only playing, miss!’ • Interviews with children and playground observation: rarely leads to real fighting (Schafer & Smith, 1996). • Bjorklund & Brown (1998) – Helps children understand social signals • Dominance hierarchy? – Argue modules may have evolved to process social information

15. Conflict

15.1. Three years to formal boot camp • Experiences of Conflict – Object struggles • Prosocial behaviour increases – Empathy, sharing, helping – Play and fantasy play increases in complexity – Children engage others in their pretend play – Again, links with ToM

15.2. Gender differentiation • Experiences of Conflict – Object struggles • Prosocial behaviour increases – Empathy, sharing, helping – Play and fantasy play increases in complexity – Children engage others in their pretend play – Again, links with ToM

15.3. Primary school gender differentiation • Lever (1978) – 10 -11 year old American children – Boys played in • Larger mixed-age groups • Competitive team games; roles and structure • Competition and leadership roles emphasised – Girls played in • Smaller groups or same age pairs • Emphasis on intimacy and exclusiveness

16. Education and play

16.1. • Importance of play impacting education • Free Play • Dramatic Play • Physical Play • Games

16.2. Play therapy • Where play is used as a treatment approach for children with emotional and behavioural disorders (Bratton & Ray, 2000) • Play is viewed as a vehicle for communication between the child and the therapist • Assumes that children will use play materials to act out experiences, thoughts and feelings that they cannot express verbally. • Not wholly accepted by the scientific community due to lack of empirical evidence (see Reade et al., 1999)