I just finished reading a section of the Saskatchewan Kindergarten Curriculum entitled Children (Play and Learning). I found this reading quite interesting as it directly relates to a class that I took this summer for my Masters program. This class was about Play, Art and Narrative and how these three things are very important in Early Childhood Education. While reading this chapter of the curriculum I was able to see my students in various stages of play. There were a number of different types of play that were discussed in the article that I would like to further read about to see what advantages each type has. The types of play discussed are the following:
- Associative play (where the children play with each other)
- Cooperative play (where the children play together for an organized purpose)
- Solitary play (where the children play independently)
- Onlooker play (where the children sit back and watch others play but don’t join in)
- Parallel play (where the children play side by side with similar materials)
It is interesting to read about the different types of play but what I would really like to know is what I should be doing as the teacher. This chapter of the curriculum talks a bit about how every teacher is different and sets up their classroom according to their own program but I would like to know what is expected of me. Should I sit back and let the kids explore play in whatever way is comfortable for them? Should I encourage them to try different types of play? How do I know if they are ready to try different types of play? etc. I find that if I sit back some students include me in their play but only in specific situations. The children in my classroom like to include me in playing with the puppets or the kitchen play but I am never asked to join in in making a tower out of blocks or playing with cars. As I research these different types of play, I look forward to seeing how my role in the classroom needs to adapt to the various types of play of the children.