1. Explain the characteristics of freely chosen, self directed play Freely chosen play is where children are able to choose what they want to do Personally directed play is where children will choose how they want to do what they have chosen to play. Intrinsically motivated is why children choose why they choose certain types of play. Goalless means that children will play for no particular reason in terms of where goals or rewards are concerned.
2 . Explain the importance of observing and analysing children’s and young people’s play. Through observing a child, it helps you to understand and be aware of the child’s interests and levels of capability as well as engaging and stimulating program curriculum. Every practitioner should analyse observations they make of children so they can identify strengths and weaknesses and how far the child has developed. By doing this, practitioners can see where a child requires support and can plan out activities to further develop a child’s needs and are able to make relevant referrals if external support is needed. Observing is also known as a fundamental part of the EYFS, where practitioners are expected to observe children and make notes which helps to keep a record of each child’s progress through the EYFS and enables practioners to plan ahead on areas of learning that need to be more focused upon. “Key to observing children is simply that watching what they do without offering any external direction, or offering only minimal interaction.” (Moonie, 2004)
3. Explain why it is important to collect information, other than by observation in order to analyse children and young people’s play preferences. Practitioners can collect information from children’s parents to see whether there are other preferences that a child may have this will enable the practitioner to have a wider scope upon the types of activities they set out and can help to support and further develop the child’s play as well as asking the child what they like to do.
4. Summarise the main health, safety and security requirements that apply to a play environment The main health and safety requirements consist of keeping all fire exits clear, keeping plug sockets covered when not in use, ensure all wires are tidied away so no one trips or injures themselves, making sure all fire extinguishers are usable and checked regularly (kept up to date), Keep kitchen door closed at all times, keeping a record of children’s dietary needs on the kitchen wall where visible, hands must always be washed when preparing and serving snacks, first aid box must be accessible at all times and re-filled when needed and lastly all accidents must be recorded in an accident book and signed by parents.
5. Explain the importance of risk, stimulation and challenging during children and young people’s play. It is important for children to be challenged and to take risks so they know what they can or cannot do, it gives them pleasure and confidence. They are able to release physical as well as emotional energy and this helps them to learn about themselves and their physical environment.
6. Give examples of five different play types. The five risks in different play types are:
Deep play - A child can hurt themselves from jumping out of a tree or over a fence. Exploratory Play – If a child was exploring and found an object they could use it in the wrong way, e.g. put it in their mouth. Fantasy Play – A child can pretend to be an action hero by pretending that they can fly. Rough and tumble play -Children can be wrestling and can take it too far. Mastery play- Children building dens which can collapse.
7- Explain the concept of acceptable and unacceptable risk in the context of different play types. The concept of acceptable and unacceptable risk are, a child learning to jump higher and higher from a tree, this is an acceptable risk as the child is learning what their limitations and boundaries are. Whereas an unacceptable risk would be two children sword fighting as normally this gets out of hand and can turn serious.
8. Evaluate different approaches to managing risk during children and young peoples play. An approach to managing risk could be to talk to those children involved with e.g. play fighting and if they got too carried away I would stop them from playing together. Another approach would be to provide crash mats if children are playing on an indoor climbing frame, I would place them underneath to steady their fall so they don’t injure themselves too badly.
9. Explain the value of enabling children and young people to manage risk for themselves. The value of enabling children and young people to manage risk for themselves is to get the child to push their own limits i.e. if they were playing on a climbing frame, they would know how high to climb or jump from the climbing frame.
10. Explain how play work organisations seek to balance the health, safety and security of the play environment with children and young people’s need for stimulation, risk and challenge. A play work provision seeks to balance the health, safety and security of the play environment by setting up boundaries for the children to play in, but within these boundaries, play work is set up to stimulate risk and challenge of the children through the use of a variety of activities.