just playing? the power of a pen


This post is the second in the series called "Just Playing?"

Please join fellow bloggers in the series as we offer photo prompts of PLAY to provoke group reflective practice and give voice to the developmental values that are imbedded in play.
Thanks to Amy from Child Central Station for starting this series which is a weekly blog hop for anyone [scroll to bottom of post to link up!]. Bloggers will be sharing photos - usually without supporting text - to allow readers to view and interpret Children At Play with a thoughtful, intentional lens.


Just Playing.
We have all heard this before, and maybe even said it ourselves:
The children are "just playing".   [gasp!]

However, as early childhood educators,we really do know better than that.
Research knows better than that, too. Play is the healthiest and most authentic way children learn about themselves, about others and about the world they live in. A great Play resource is The National Institue for Play led by founder Dr. Stuart Brown.


This week's 3 highlighted photos focus on the opportunity for small motor development and representational work during children's choice time in class.
What happens when children have access to writing tools?
What IS the power of a pen?
Questions for consideration:
What is happening in the photos?
Who are the players?
What materials are present?
What are the developmental values embedded - possibly - in the scenarios?
Why is any of this play important?



WHAT IS THE INTENTION HERE?

SIX MONTHS EARLIER THIS BOY HAD NO INTEREST IN DRAWING. TRUE?















































WHAT CONCEPTS HAS THIS CHILD STARTED EXPLORING?

























just playing
This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!

9 comments:

  1. Wow! I love this! I especially love the child tracing inside the spiral stamp and circling letters in the name "Cole". Lauren found the letters for her name and stamped them (I'm guessing). If the boy drawing the second picture has just discovered an interest in drawing, he is showing wonderful growth! He is experimenting with changing ink colors within words and learning the correlation between the text and the pictures he is drawing. The figures are at a fairly early stage with a head and legs and a few facial details. I'll bet he offered a fair amount of verbal details about what the picture symbolizes.In the last picture, the child has started to explored written numerals. Are they practicing their phone number perhaps? In any case, they are all great examples of exploring print and writing! Love this!!!

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    1. Ayn
      Thanks for your reflection! The children here are young 5s so they have had some time to experiment with lines and their interest in words/names were developing. The colorful airplane is tremendous development for this boy who when he had started in my class had minimal drawing experience thus minimal mastery. Because he had such an interest in building, we used 'blue print' planning and big clip boards in the block area to start his integration of drawing alongside building. The numbers example shows a child's initial attempt and often backwards version of writing numbers - they are tricky!

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  2. Practicing letters, numbers, shapes, and exploring different ways to make markings. I like the way the child is using markers inside the stamped spiral.

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    1. Lots of intentional work here by all three children! Hand-eye coordination, starting and stopping lines and using specific space on a paper are all in play here. Thanks for the reflection!

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  3. Practicing letters and mark-making. Such creativity! My daughter is just starting to try to draw letters and pictures so this one hits home for me. :)

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    1. Thanks Emma
      Isn't it remarkable to see children's literacy start taking form as they experiment and explore the complicated system? !!

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  4. I see tremendous pre-literacy skills learning happening in this play!
    I see children gaining an appreciation of art and also of reading and writing in these photos.

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    1. Stephanie
      Yes, it seems having a variety of materials to use for representing one's ideas on paper allows for creativity as well as demonstrated development in letter or number formation.

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  5. I see fine motor skill development, keen observation and imitation skills being developed. I also see experimentation with tools- and the development of self - regulation (knowing when enough is enough, when to stop and when to continue).

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Please share your ideas, comments and feedback! Thanks!