Time to play.....Time to watch

Posted by Dawn Heaps on Saturday, May 18, 2013
Just wanted to share something that happened the other day when I sat back and did nothing.... the children I thought played separately from each other surprised me when they played co-operatively, creating a wonderful game that had them both laughing that belly laugh that makes you laugh along with them.

It wasn't a normal day as I had a horrible headache and the wonderful sunny weather I had planned for had once again disappeared. With the need to sit quietly yet still wanting the children to have a morning of physical activity and opportunity I decided to take them to soft play. These two children normally go off in different directions, with one requiring much more support from myself than the other, but this day they must have sensed my inability to join in with my normal enthusiasm so off they went together. I sat at a different table to the one we normally chose in order to benefit from the dimmer light and quiet, but what I loved was that this new table allowed me a totally different view of the play area and thus a different view of the children's play.

And what I saw was two two year olds, having wonderful discussions about what they were doing, how they could make things work by working together and laughing/celebrating their achievements and the fun they were creating. They were having such an amazing time I felt I should get closer, try to get more details of what they were doing for my learning journeys, but then I realised that if I did, and I disturbed the connection they had created, then I would be ruining their play/learning for no good reason. Sometimes we need to just let children have undisturbed, unstructured and unjudged play.

I was able to watch from a distance, I could pick up on the play even if the details were vague and I was able to update each of the children's development to state they could and did engage in co-operative play were they considered the needs of others as well as themselves. All the best laid adult planned play in the world sometimes pales in comparison to the best planners of play THE CHILDREN.

About Me

I have a BA in Early Years. I also hold two professional degrees from my previous careers in Careers Guidance and Radiography. I do have Maths and English at 'O' Level Grade C - not that this better enables me to educate children but it is what the government seems to hold dear. I am an active member of the PACEY, a Lead Child Minder for Wigan Local Authority (supporting other child minders) and am accreditted on my local network to offer the early years entitlement. I love to learn and find it difficult to stop myself from taking on training and further education. But I hope my love of learning is passed on to all the children in my care as well as to my own daughter.