How children learn through play

Resources

How does your child learn?

Have you noticed that your child does the same thing over and over again, has fascinations and likes to repeat the same actions? This is called a schema and its how children learn, how they make sense of the world and themselves.

What types of schema are there?

Here are the more common schemas:

  • Trajectory - creating lines in space by climbing up and jumping down. Dropping items from up high.
  • Positioning -putting things into groups and lining them up.
  • Enveloping - wrapping items up or putting them them in containers. Covering up objects or themselves.
  • Rotating - enjoys running around in circles. Likes turning objects around and around.
  • Enclosing - adding barriers to play areas e.g. fences around animals. Creating borders to their pictures.
  • Transporting - moving items from one area to another. containing the objects in bags/containers and taking them from one place to another.
  • Connecting - setting out and dismantling tracks, constructing, joining items together.
  • Orienteering – positioning themselves or objects in different places or positions for example the other way round or upside down.

The CBeebies website has recently published information that aims to help parents understand what's behind their child's play and help them learn by observing their patterns of behaviour or 'schemas', which can help to develop a range of important skills.

Find out more click the link on the sidebar.


Top Tip

Follow your child's lead with their play. Spend some time observing them playing, it will enable you to develop a greater understanding about how they play and learn. Knowing how they play and learn will help you to support their learning. For example if they are transporters they will like moving objects around, so providing them with containers and portable resources in order for them to move the items around such as a buggy, wheelbarrow etc It will also help you understand why they do what they do; for example why they always move the toys around instead of playing them in one place.
More information about schemas
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Age Groups

Find more games, resources, tips and links for your child's age group here.

Games & Resources

Take a look at more of our resources and games to help your child learn through play.

Playdough Recipe – Developing Finger Muscles

Playdough Recipe Playdough can be made very easily using “ingredients”...
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Fluffy and Cloud Dough Recipe – Developing Finger Muscles

The wonders of homemade playdough. The real wonder of playdough...
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Bilingual Families - The Importance of Home Language

Why is home language important? The language you speak with...
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Tips & Links

Discover our bite-sized tips to help your child's development and links to useful websites here.

Hungry Little Minds

Improving early communication, language and literacy development is a key...
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Essex Family and Wellbeing Service

The focus of our service is making sure that everyone...
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At Home

Home is a place where your little one is most confident...
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Frequently Asked Questions

Are you looking for advice about your child's learning and development? We answer your frequently asked questions here.

Get in touch

For further support or advice, please feel free to contact us on the email address below.
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