Question 1: Using your own words and the knowledge you have gained over the past 3 weeks explain why play is important to the Holistic development of the child?
Throughout the various different play workshops, i’ve learned that play is a big part in the holistic development of a child. To begin, the observers through out the workshops have supported the children. As seen in workshop 1, the observer was asking the children questions such as “what are you building?” and “how did you come up with that idea?”. By asking the child questions “you are allowing children to think for themselves, and explore their thoughts with cognitive thinking rather than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer” (Foundation Education, 2018, para.3.). Secondly, letting children explore lets “The child have opportunities to explore, manipulate, combine and transform materials”(Anderson,2018,slide#8). This was seen in workshop 2. By letting the children explore the classroom, I as the observer saw that the children enjoyed playing with musical instruments. I now know that the children have a interest and could plan future activities that have to do with music. Lastly, creating an inviting environment for children can aide in the holistic development of a child. This was seen throughout all 3 workshops as the ” design of the environment was attuned to the children’s varied sensitivities, arousal states, and need for maintaining a calm, focused, and alert state” (HDLH, 2014, pg#33).
Question 2: How does play support the 4 foundations: Belonging, Engagement, Well-being, and Expression found in “How does Learning Happen: Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years”?
To start off, play supports the foundation of belonging as it “refers to a sense of connectedness to others, an individual’s experiences of being valued, of forming relationships with others and
making contributions as part of a group, community, and the natural world” (HDLH,2014,pg#7). This was seen in workshop 2 as the children were pretending they were a band, exploring all the
different instruments together. Secondly, play supports the foundation of engagement as ” when children are able to explore the world around them with their natural curiosity and exuberance, they are fully engaged”(HDLH,2014,pg#7). This was seen in workshop 1 as the observer engaged with the children and asking questions such as “what are you building” and “how did you come up with that idea”. The observer “provided support and challenged the children to keep them engaged in learning” (Anderson,2018,slide#5). Thirdly, play supports the foundations of well-being as it “addresses the importance of physical and mental health and wellness” (HDLH,2014,pg#7). Both children throughout the workshops were in a safe environment and were being watched over by the observer. Lastly, expression supports the foundations of play. “Expression may take many different forms. Through their bodies, words, and use of materials, children develop capacities for increasingly complex communication” (HDLH,2014,pg#8). This was seen in all the workshops, but especially in workshop 3 as the two children used the materials given differently, as they created different patterns using their favourite colours.
3) Over the past 3 weeks we have looked at the educator’s roles (observer, prop – manager, provocateur, reflective educator). Explain what your (different) role(s) will be in supporting children in a play – based classroom / environment.
To begin, to be a observer I must “develop an understanding of the child’s developing skills, through collaborating with the child in discovery” (Anderson,2018,slide#14), “observing can help us to determine what the children’s interests are” (Anderson,2018,slide#14). In workshop 2 the observer determined that the children enjoyed playing with the instruments. Another role i’ll play is the prop – manager. This means I will “provide materials that promote active engagement allowing children to stay engaged and focused in the classroom” (Anderson,2018,slide#12). This
was seen in all 3 workshops as the children seemed to be engaged with the materials in the classroom. Another role is the provocateur, I will “take a purposefully curious approach to the child’s new experiences and ideas. Asking questions that will support and challenge the child to continue to explore and create” (Anderson, 2018, slide#16). This was seen in workshop 1 as the observer was engaged in the child’s play and was asking questions to challenge and support the child. The last role I will be fulfilling to support children in a play – based environment is to be reflective. I will ” reflect on what a child did and why they did it, to examine and continue to build on authentic relationships with children and their families in the classroom.” (Anderson, 2018, slide#18). This was seen in all workshops as after we completed the workshops, we reflected on what the children did and what it could mean.
Ontario. Ministry of Education. (2014). How does Learning Happen?: Ontario Pedagogy for the Early years.Toronto, ON: Queen’s Printer.
Anderson, A., (2018) Play PPT 3 Slides #5, 8. Retrieved from
Anderson, A., (2018) Play PPT 5 Slide #12, 14, 16, 18. Retrieved from
Foundation Education. (2018). How can I support the holistic development of children. Retrieved from https://www.foundationeducation.edu.au/articles/2018/03/support-holistic-development-children-early-childhood-education