четверг, 6 ноября 2014 г.

Pay Attention to the Play of Young Children

The activities of children when they play dolls, robots, automobiles and other toys, build “whole” streets of cubes, write narratives and make illustrations to them seem to adults  naive.
Such play is called imaginative: children are free in the expression of their feelings, emotions, imaginations and creativities. This play is sometimes considered in the opposition to the games with rules, to the training and to the sport.
 I (as the sociologist of childhood) want to show that our children are not torn off» from the real life in their imaginative play. Look at the several examples which are represented below.

1.          In the first photos, there are the representations of children's stories, illustrations to them and also the comics. Nobody made the given child take pens and pencils, write and draw. Owing to the children's imagination, the one popular serial has been transformed into the “extremely topical story”, the understanding of the child what the modern children's magazine must include became the series of comics for peers.

2.          In the following photos, it is possible to see the heroes which were cut out of paper. The boy decided, that the heroes of the one well-known book for children and the heroes of the one famous movie should look like these represented characters. The child also added several heroes which, according to his opinion, scriptwriters and artists have forgotten in the movie.

3.          This little man is the reflection of a super popular computer game. It was vital to make this man since the child wished to continue computer actions in the real play.

4.          Perhaps, the children's construction with the using of cubes or improvised materials is one of the vivid examples of children's subculture and the necessity of a personal space. However, children build of cubes for the characters who have also been learned by them from books, etc., and in the street, the children build of cardboards for themselves in the attempt to create the place "like an adult".
The considered examples show us that through the imaginative play the children reinterpret messages from the world of "adults" (from a real life, mass-media, computer games, books). Besides it, through play the children try to solve the children's problems, to overcome fears, etc. Unfortunately, in my researches, the percentage of imaginative play of the children is decreasing.
Imaginative play "is generated" by the child and does not exist separately from the social world, it is the children's interpretation of the world of adults. It is erroneous to speak, that the imaginative play is very far from rules, that it exists in a "parallel" reality. Through the prism of children's culture, it is possible to understand, that we must consider the imaginative play seriously and do not refer to it as the waste of children's time. 
So what are the conclusions of the blog post? Observe what the child builds of cubes, «overhear the conversations» of dolls, learn, what characteristics your child gives to the drawn heroes and then you  will understand your child more.

You can also read the following blog posts:
1.Is Children's Creativity under Threat?
2.How to "Measure" the Creativity of Child?
3.Winter Activities of Children and Adults.
4.Do Children and Adults Have the Identical Perception of a Concrete Toy?

Please do not sell, post,  publish, or distribute all or any part of this article without author's permission.

4 комментария:

  1. John Nairn
    (Early Childhood Practitioner) commented (Research in Early Childhood group, Linkedin):
    Enjoyed reading your post Maria; I have always held the view that imaginative play holds the key to grasping an authentic lens through which we can build up the thinking process of our youngest learners. It is very important that adults remain out of sight during these activities for as you said they are constructing their imaginative play around the adult world that we have created for them so it's important not to interfere any more in their thought process. I have found that choosing the right moment to interact with them is crucial so as not to disturb their creative thought process. Some of the little chats that I have had with my little ones have had me unpacking what I was taught in school and by my parents and peers as well as the image of a child that I had when starting to teach.

  2. Dear John,
    thank you for your comment and opinion. I agree with you.
    But I think that we must not meet with other extreme measure: according to my researches the percent of adult's participation in children's play and games is decreasing. And to find balance between participation and not participation is crucial.

  3. Dr. Anbumani Bala (consultant pediatrician / child psychiatrist) commented (Child Development News group, Linkedin);
    I always feel play is the essence of childhood. But in today's world which is flooded with electronic gadgets children are drawn towards monotonous play which is restrictive. Our society should encourage more and more of ' free play 'so that our children grow mentally healthy

  4. Dear Anbumani Bala, thank you for your comment. I think that in modern world we can not refuse from the gadgets, because it is our reality. But I definitely agree that we must encourage 'free" play of children.


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