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Explain the innate drive for children and young people to play. The Playwork Principles (2006) state “All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate”. “Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. Children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play by following their instincts, ideas and interests in their own way and for their own reasons. The child chooses when and how to play and this is seen as a biological drive, essential to health and well-being. ”

This means that play is seen as a natural instinct for a child and is their way of understanding the world around them. Play is something that a child chooses to do and will do whenever and wherever possible. Play takes place in all aspects of a child’s daily routine whether they are eating, walking, talking or in the classroom. This shows that they have a natural curiosity and sense for adventure, exploration and excitement. Children do not even need to be given toys to play, they have the ability and imaginations to turn even the simplest of objects such as a cardboard box into anything they desire such as a castle or racing car. Analyse how play is necessary for children and young people’s development and well being. Play is crucial for a child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Play is a child’s way of learning about their own body and the world around them. Through play they exercise key skills and qualities such as independence, creativity, curiosity and problem solving. It is an important part of exploring feelings and developing social skills. Children will begin by playing with inanimate objects such as dolls or cuddly toys, role playing and interacting with them which helps them to practice their language skills.

This allows them to then have the confidence and vocabulary to move on to playing and interacting with other children as they learn to share, take turns and begin to learn emotions and emphasise with others. * Explain what is meant by play being a biological, psychological, sociological necessity. Unstructured play enables children to find and pursue their own interests, giving them the freedom to be who they are. It allows them to discover their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses in their own time.

Free play allows them to become risk takers who make decisions for themselves, helping them to learn from their experiences and failures. Every child’s natural instinct to play needs to be nurtured to enable them to develop. Through play children learn and develop as individuals and as members of society, if children are not given enough opportunity to control their play this can cause them to have the feeling of a lack of control in their lives or to lack essential social and life skills and can lead to a low self-esteem as they have not got the confidence to do and discover things for themselves.

Through play children learn and develop as individuals and as members of the community and play also increases health, happiness and well-being. This shows that play is a biological, psychological, sociological necessity as a lack of it can have a serious affect on children and young people’s development. Task 2 * Evaluate the importance of the UN Convention on the rights of the child in relation to play provision. Play for children is a primary need to explore, learn about and make sense of their world.

Article 31 of the UN Convention recognises children and young people’s right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to their age and participate freely in cultural life and the arts. To support these principles Play England has produced the charter for children’s play which offers eight statements of what play means for children and what we should do to promote their right to improve it. – Children have the right to play. – Every child needs time and space to play. – Adults should let children play. Children should be able to play freely in their local areas. – Children value and benefit from staffed play provision. – Children’s play is enriched by skilled play workers. – Children need time and space to play at school. – Children sometimes need extra support to enjoy their right to play. These are of great importance and are essential to the development and well being of a child, having the rights of the child set in place helps us as playworkers to have something to follow and ensure that they are being put into practice and achieved within the setting. Explain how playwork organisations seek to meet the rights of all children and young people for play. As a playworker it is important to have a good knowledge and understanding of children’s rights and the legal framework relating to them. We need to be able to evaluate existing policies to ensure that the rights of children and young people are being met, this includes consulting the children and young people on how the setting can best meet their rights and making them aware of how to assert them.

Children should be given the opportunity to freely express their thoughts and ideas and it is important that these are acted on where possible as this will show the children and young people that you respect and value their opinions and allow us as playworkers to provide a play space and play equipment that they will be happy with. For example allowing children to choose what equipment they would like to play with and what activities they want to do. Task 3 Explain the importance of a team approach to supporting children and young people to create play spaces – It is important to have a team approach to supporting children and young people to create play spaces as everyone working together will help to ensure the goal is met and playwork principles are upheld. It is easier for tasks to be accomplished quickly and more efficiently if everyone works well as a team. It also allows consistency for the children and young people and sets a positive role model and good example to them as it shows them how they too can work together as a team.

Every individual is different and has various qualities to contribute to the team, each member can benefit something from another member of the team. It is important that praise is given to other staff members who have done a good job as this will help to build the teams morale and make each play worker feel respected and a valid member of the team. Working as a team creates a pleasant play space environment for staff, children and their families. * Explain the role of play workers acting as advocates for play.

The playworkers core function is to create an environment which will stimulate children and young people’s play and maximise their opportunities for a wide range of play experiences all the while ensuring that we are safeguarding the children. Advocating for play means understanding and allowing play to be child centred and personally directed by the children, allowing them to play with what they want and in the way that they want. Adults involved in play should always promote equality of opportunity and seek to develop anti-discriminatory practice and positive attitudes to those who may be disadvantaged.

Play should offer the child opportunities to extend his or her exploration and understanding of the wider world. * Evaluate different inventions a playwork team can use to support children and young people’s play. * Explain the importance of balancing needs and rights of individual children and young people with the needs and rights of others. As a playworker it is important to provide for the needs and rights of each individual child and young person and balance it with the needs and rights of others. Each child and young person is different and has individual preferences and requirements.

We need to ensure that adequate activities are provided to suit each child’s likes and preferences and that they are all given equal play opportunities appropriate for their age. This may mean adapting an activity to be easier for a younger child or more challenging for an older or more able child. Each child’s ability should be praised and encouraged and playworkers should always promote equality and opportunity. * Evaluate the impact of playworkers on the play space. It is important for playworkers to recognise their own impact on the play space and to be keenly observant in order to recognise and respond to play ues from children and when to intervene on an activity choosing the best method to suit the situation and always ensuring that by doing so we are not restricting play in any way. We work to create an environment in which children and young people are free to choose how and what they play and do this by providing access to materials and equipment, facilitating play opportunities that children may not be able to achieve on their own and empowering the children to have control over their own play environment.

As playworkers we should be constantly adapting or modifying the environment to suit the needs of the children and to ensure that play will continue to flourish. The more flexible and changeable the environment is, the more we are allowing the children to take control of what happens in their environment and gain confidence. We also understand the importance of children experiencing challenge in their play and ensure that we balance risks with protecting children from injury. * Evaluate the impact of children and young people’s play on members of the playwork team.

Sometimes children and young people’s play can have a positive effect on a playworker in a good way. Children and young people can be remarkably insightful and understand things that a playworker doesn’t, or show us a different view, they may even have strengths in a certain area that a playworker doesn’t. This can include having a different cultural background or language or different life experiences that they can share with the playworker and teach them or a skill such as a football trick that they can show the playworker how to do. Sometimes children and young people’s play can have a negative effect on the playworker.

Depending on the personal circumstances of the playworker they may feel uncomfortable with a certain activity, type of play or a certain child’s behaviour and this can affect their judgment towards the situation. There may also be a child that is displaying particularly challenging behaviour and this can be stressful for some playworkers who may not have experienced such behaviour before. * Explain the concept of reflective practice in the context of a playwork team. It is important to reflect on our own practice in a playwork team as this enables us to identify any areas where improvements may need to be ade. By looking back at an activity or situation, this allows us to learn from it and use our new knowledge in order to help in future similar situations in order to better meet the ever changing needs of children and young people and their families. Reflective practice also allows playworkers to see which areas we are good at and doing well in and identify any training or guidance that may be required in other areas. This ensures that we are performing the best we can and that we are meeting all standards and procedures within the settings policies.

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