During the inset day we welcomed a Speech and Language Therapist to the pre-school to give staff a two hour introduction to Makaton. Makaton is sign language which really benefits all children, especially as they start learning to talk. Associating an action with a word helps to embed and recall language which therefore aids communication. If you have signed up to a stay and play session keep your eyes out for staff using Makaton.
Kirsten attended a very stimulating course on Schema’s at the end of last term and she fed back about what she had learnt at the inset day. Schema’s are repeated patterns of play, fascinations, or a child’s ‘go-to’ style of play. Schema’s very closely link to a child’s learning style and their ability to have control over their environment through the use of heuristic play. Children may switch between Schema’s and also may lose the need to apply a schema to their play. Children can display several types of schema at any time (however there is usually one prominent one in their play). The different types of schema are:
- Trajectory – climbing and jumping, dropping items, throwing
- Positioning – lining up and placing things into groups, putting items in particular places
- Enveloping – covering themselves or objects, wrapping items or putting in containers
- Rotation – enjoys spinning items, runs round and round, loves to be spun
- Enclosing – adds boundaries to play, borders to pictures, putting things in containers
- Transporting – carrying or moving objects from one place to another, especially in bags/containers
- Connecting – setting out and dismantling things, joining things with tape/glue, tries to connect anything and everything with string
- Orienteering – positioning themselves or objects in different places or positions, loves the notion of everything being ‘upside down’
- Transforming – adds water to dinner, messy play, adds sand to water
It is important to embrace a child’s schema as it encourages adults to observe a child more closely, seeing the child as a competent ‘thinker’ and ‘doer’.
So have a look and see if you can identify any repeated patterns of behaviour in your child’s play. Here are some practical ideas for embracing your child’s schema:
- Trajectory– obstacle courses, throwing balls into hoops, paper into bins, tea bags soaked in paint can be thrown at fence or large piece of paper outside
- Positioning– jigsaw puzzles, sorting things
- Enveloping– big boxes to play in, wrapping presents
- Rotation– spinning tops, mark making with circles, ring games, cars dipped in paint
- Enclosing– putting things into containers, marking physical boundaries for an outdoor game
- Transporting– A child could have a special bag they can fill each day. This bag would be specifically theirs, and they could help empty it at tidy up time.
- Connecting–Duplo, mobilo, train tracks, junk modelling with lots of glue and string
- Orienteering– Hiding things for others to find, treasure maps, ropes or bars they can swing from, experiment with moving their bodies in different ways in space
- Transforming– lots of messy play, outdoor kitchen, cooking, playdough