Our previous blog post gave you an introduction to the play schema – its definition, origin, purpose, and types.  We continue with the different schematic plays, supporting play and practical activities, and learning the children gain.

What are the Types of Play Schema?

Previously, we discussed the Trajectory, Positioning, and Enveloping schemas.  Here are the other six play schemas your child could be on.

·       Rotating

Does the machine washing grab your child's attention?  Or is your child fond of spinning around, rolling on the mat, or twirling the pencil?  Your child may be in the rotating schema.  This schema covers anything related to circling or rolling. 

Play Activities that Support the Rotating Schema:

·       Playing with transportation toys or anything with wheels.

·       Twirling batons or streamers.

·       Making and blowing pinwheels.

·       Turning keys in locks and doorknobs.

·       Rolling out playdough.

·       Drawing spirals and circles on paper using crayons or on using the sand using their fingers.

·       Learning gymnastics.

·       Observing a kaleidoscope.

·       Spinning tops.

Practical Activities that Support the Rotating Schema:

·       Beating eggs.

·       Whisking ingredients.

·       Rolling out the dough.

·       Washing clothes in the washing machine.

·       Painting using rollers.

Kids learn about cause and effect, observe how things function and move, and use their fine and gross motor skills.

·       Enclosing

Enclosing schema is similar or related to the enveloping schema.  The main difference is that children set up boundaries to enclose themselves, their toys, or other things.

Play Activities that Support the Enclosing Schema:

·       Playing with blocks to create fences.

·       Creating houses or forts using different materials such as pillows, blankets, or cardboard boxes.

·       Creating habitats for animals. E.g., Creating a barn with a fence with farm animals, or sand in a tray for dessert animals,

·       Create drawings.

·       Creating picture frames. E.g., macaroni picture frames.

Practical Activities that Support the Enclosing Schema:

·       Putting the grocery items away.

·       Enclosing snacks or leftover food in containers.

The activities help the children put their fine and gross motors to use, learn about object permanence, and gain experience in measuring and predicting.

·       Transporting

Does your kid enjoy moving objects from one place to another?  At first, you may notice them holding on to the things as they transport them to a different area one at a time.  Soon they will progress to moving multiple objects at a time using a basket, bag, wagon, or truck.  Loading, moving, and unloading is a cycle that is engaged in.

Play Activities that Support the Transporting Schema:

·       Playing with sensory bins with sand and trucks

·       Pretend play: Placing goods in a shopping cart as they pretend to be a shopper in a supermarket or serve you with play food as they pretend to be a waiter in a restaurant.

Practical Activities that Support the Transporting Schema:

·       Bringing the grocery to the pantry.

·       Loading and unloading the laundry.

·       Bringing the dirty dishes and utensils from the table to the sink.

·       Pouring and transferring activities. E.g., Use cups, syringes, pipettes for water moving activities. 

·       Packing away toys and putting them back on the shelf.

Children gain body and spatial awareness, learn about object permanence, improve their fine and gross motor skills, and learn about measurements.

·       Connection

Childs hands threading beads and making bracelet

Children in the connection schema are engrossed with activities that involve connecting and disconnecting objects. In addition, kids are interested in trying to figure out how things fit and align together. 

Activities that Support the Connection Schema:

·       Building Train Tracks

·       Putting together objects that fit together, such as blocks and Lego.

·       Creating pasta jewellery by threading pasta into a yarn.

·       Creating artwork through glueing and sticking pieces together.

·       Buttoning a shirt.

·       Solving a jigsaw puzzle.

·       Creating a maze using string.

·       Stacking cups according to size.

·       Threading beads or pasta.

·       Creating paper chains.

·       Magnetic board and letters.

Practical Activities that Support the Connection Schema:

·       Opening and closing a container with a lid.

·       Opening locks with keys.

·       Weaving.

Children strengthen their fine motor skills, gain spatial awareness, and understand how things go together through these activities.

·       Transforming

Transforming schema involves changing or combining materials.  The colours, shapes, and form changes fascinate the kids and make them eager to see and know more.

Activities that Support the Transforming Schema:

·       Modeling using clay or playdough.

·       Painting using different colouring materials.

·       Creating recycled art, E.g., Using pencil shavings or melted crayons.

·       Repurposing carton boxes for pretend play.

·       Mixing different colours

·       Performing science experiments.

·       Tie-dying shirts.

·       Planting seeds.

·       Creating playdough.

·       Observing sensory bottles, glitter jars, or lava lamps.

·       Observing nature.  E.g., Observing the leaves turn orange, watching the weather changes.

Practical Activities that Support the Transforming Schema:

·       Freezing water to make ice to show the transformation of liquid to solid.

·       Observing melting ice after placing it on a drink.

·       Cutting fruit or vegetables to see how they can change in size and texture.

·       Preparing drinks to see how a fruit becomes a juice or how a powder dissolves in water.

·       Gardening, E.g., filling watering can and then watering the pans, repotting plants.

·       Baking to see how different ingredients transform into bread or pastry.

Children strengthen their fine motor skills, understand cause and effect, practice keen observation, and feed their curiosity.

·       Orientation

Kids love to experiment and see things from a different perspective, literally.   Why do you think kids are fond of hanging upside down, lying on the floor, or peeking inside the box?  Their minds of curious about how things will look like from these different angles or points of view. 

Activities that Support the Orientation Schema:

·       Learning gymnastics.

·       Playing in monkey bars in playgrounds.

·       Looking through a binocular, kaleidoscope, or telescope.

·       Using a magnifying lens to observe small objects.

·       Crawling inside a tunnel.

·       Climbing trees.

·       Exploring and climbing a pikler triangle.

Practical Activities that Support the Orientation Schema:

·       Practicing yoga.

·       Using the learning tower or stool to do kitchen and bathroom activities.

Kids gain body and spatial awareness, strengthen gross motor skills, and stimulate their senses.

Now that you know the nine different play schemas, which schema do you think your child is in right now?  What are your next steps to support them?

We'd love to hear from you!  Place your comments in the comments section below.

Tiny Steps

We play, learn, and grow with children.

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