I made a unicorn


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Play, for children, is not just recreation – it’s their approach to life! Every action is undertaken with the whole being: mind, body, and spirit. Play is basic to children’s wellbeing; it’s their way to discover the world around them and to express how they feel and, sometimes, to cope with difficulty. Because of all this, children’s play must be respected. This short course, aimed at early years practitioners and those working with children, looks at how children play, and how adults can interact with and support them. This course may also be of interest to parents and carers.

Learning outcomes:

  • The learner will gain an understanding of the play opportunities found in materials and nature, and the importance of a relaxed, no-pressure approach to time in open-ended play
  • The learner will know how to support children using unit blocks and small-world play, and appreciate the positive effects this type of play can have on child development
  • The learner will be introduced to the twelve features of play, as defined by Tina Bruce
  • The learner will understand why children of all ages need abundant time for active free-flow play, and how adults can show the children they support that they respect this
  • Electronic activities for children and their usefulness and relevance to child development will be explored, and questions will be asked about the long-term effects of such play
  • Ideas and activities for different types of play will be suggested to learners, as well as practitioner accounts of play activities they have initiated with the children they support

Advantages of this course:

  • A wealth of open-ended play can build a foundation of confidence that enables children to take responsibility and meet life with determination and joy. This short course will help you to create, lead, and reflect on play opportunities for children.
  • With the increase in electronic activities being used for play, this course will consider their usefulness and relevance to child development. Ways to encourage children to play in more natural environments, and interact with peers will be considered.
  • Reading texts, case studies, website and video resources are utilised to explore play in more detail and additional activities encourage the learner to reflect on the learning

This course was created in partnership with Community Playthings