These are some of the different theories and approaches to playwork:
Piaget is a cognitive constructivist theorist who believed that development occurred in stages with children using play in order to practice what they have learnt.
Bruner who was an influential theorist in the area of language development thought that children learn by doing and that play is how children are able to practice what they already know and then expand upon that, becoming more able and adept as they grow and develop.
Other theorists such as Brian Sutton-Smith and Donald Winnicott link play to the emotional health and well-being of children.
The Didactic Approach is a practical approach to playwork in that practitioners who take this approach believe that playworker…show more content… These theorists outline the relevance and importance of loose parts to the play experiences of the child. Nicholson and Brown both believed that in order to develop creativity, inventiveness, problem solving skills and ultimately a positive self-esteem, children need to be able to explore, interact with and have some degree of control over their world. By allowing and enabling children to play with a wide range of articles such as boxes, pots and pans, sticks, stones, shells and whatever you have around rather than often expensive toys you are allowing them to decide and control their play. They are able to be creative and use their imagination. Children need an environment that will facilitate different types of play e.g. object and mastery play. Therefore the play environment should contain a variety of loose materials which children can move around, play with and use to make different games and create…show more content… Play is recognised as being the way young children learn best and as such forms the basis of the Early Years curriculum in England and many other countries.
The Playwork Principles are based on the recognition that children and young people’s capacity for positive development will be enhanced if given access to the broadest range of environments and play opportunities. This is the practitioner’s responsibility.
In order to support and extend children’s play, the practitioner must develop a repertoire of responses that are appropriate to each play situation and the needs of individual children. The primary role of the practitioner is to create both a psychologically and physically suitable context in which children feel secure, develop a sense of their worth, and that of others, and have the freedom and autonomy to explore.
Observation is a key tool for those working with young children. It opens their eyes to the competencies of young children, deepens their respect for them as learners (Drummond and Nutbrown 1996) and informs them about development and learning (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority