One of the things I really like about Playcentre is the way that it really slows me down and makes me take real notice of my children’s learning. Often in the day to day business and need to get jobs done, the house clean, dinner made etc, etc, it’s easy to pay too little attention to the details of the way they play and the learning that’s going on through play but at Playcentre, that’s just what we are there for.
The whole focus is on learning through play and we provide the children with so many different ways to explore, develop and build on their learning. To be honest, a lot of the messy things we do at Playcentre are not things that I’d be so keen to do at home because slime, gloop and paint are not so good with couches and carpets, and so Playcentre gives my kids a way to experience those things on a regular basis.
I’ve really enjoyed learning more about the sorts of things they’re learning through play, too. I always knew play was important but it is amazing how much they grow and learn as they have fun. The lastest thing we’ve been exploring is learning schema which are patterns of play that show a particular interest area for a child. Most kids go through all of the schema but spend varying amounts of time on each one or can mix them up. They’re basically those things they do over and over and over again. The wee lad’s just starting transporting things – he likes to move things from place to place, post things into boxes, fit puzzle pieces etc. He’s also into trajectories – throwing things. Well, he’s just one, so that’s not unusual! Miss Three is exploring transformation and enveloping. She likes to completely cover herself and other things in paint/glue/glitter, for example.
I like that I can now notice their behaviour and understand the learning behind it. It makes me feel like more of an expert in my children’s lives, when so often I’m just making it up as I go along!
(More on schema here: http://www.flyingstart.uk.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Schema.pdf)