Schematic play in action

At Kirkgate Childcare we see Schemas in action everyday… but what are they and what do they mean for your children’s learning and development both at home and in setting?

Schemas can often be described as patterns of repeated behaviour which allow children to explore and express developing ideas and thoughts through their play and exploration. They are the urges children have to do things like climb, throw things and hide in small places, they are natural, uncontrollable and necessary play-urges that all children have there are many different types. Sometimes the activities may seem a little strange, irritating to adults or even the child being difficult but to the child, it’s a necessary step in their understanding of the world and themselves.

They can come one at a time, in bunches, some are really strong urges and last for a long time and some children show none at all, every child is different.

Here is some of what you can expect to see:

Trajectory – The urge to throw, drop, climb, jump or placing hands under running water.
Positioning – The urge to line items up and put them in groups.
Enveloping – The urge to cover themselves or objects completely. Wrapping items up or placing them in containers.
Rotating – The urge to spin items round and round, run around in circles or be swung round, watch the washing machine go round, turning lids and drawing in circles
Enclosing – The urge to add boundaries to play areas e.g. fences around animals, climbing into cardboard boxes and filling cups with water
Transporting – The urge to carry or move items from one place to another; carrying items in containers or bags.
Connecting – The urge to set out and dismantle tracks, constructing, joining items together with tape or glue.
Transforming -The urge to transform can come in many forms; holding all your food in your mouth for a long time to see what it turns into, mixing your juice with your dinner, mixing water with soil, exploring the changing states of materials
Orienteering – The urge in positioning themselves or objects in different places or positions e.g upside down or on their side.

Activities to support Schemas at home……
~Make paper planes from folded card/paper
~Drop different objects onto a target
~Post balls, cars, natural materials, water down different lengths and sizes of tubing
~Locks and keys
~Cogs (construction toys)
~Spanners and screwdrivers
~Rotary whisks in water
~ Drape a sheet over a frame to create a den
~Use large cardboard boxes for children to hide in
~Wrapping paper, newspaper, coloured cellophane, wall paper, string, sellotape and paperclips could be used to make parcels
~Posting toys, Russian dolls, nesting toys and shape sorters
~Use diggers, tractors, wheelbarrows, trolleys and dumper trucks in the garden to transport sand, bark, pebbles, balls, cones and natural objects
~Build a train track or road
~Construction toys that connect in differing ways e.g. lego, interstars, sticklebricks
~Lining up toys or materials
~peg boards to create patterns
~ Outside support spinning, twisting, rolling or spinning

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