Play including games (7-12 years) epoch
Playing is one of the major hobbies of children. From play activities, children gain a lot of skills on how to interact with others and fit in the society (Langbein, 1989). It is through such play activities that children develop habits and realize their talents. I made a visit to my nearby primary school to make play observation on a child named John Clay. John is in class five and has eleven years (Bandura, 1991).
During my visit, I spent some time with John’s Play history teacher who gave the following information concerning John. He said that John is an aggressive child and loves playing with others a lot. He engages in behaviors that are rule bound including playing of basketball, book puzzles, woodwork and card games. He cooperates with others and learns a lot from others. John engages in high quality play which involves games with strict rules and cooperation considering that belongs in the epoch of play including games. Considering that he engages in many game activities, the quantity if his play is a bit high (Galef, 2005).
According to my observations during the visit, John was playing basketball with his colleagues and his play was organized with inherent rhythmicity. He also seemed to be very confident and comfortable in the play environment. He seemed to be well conversant with the rules and regulations of this game and enjoyed it a lot. Considering the level of arousal, the child demonstrated an elevated level of arousal. May be he was so aroused because of the enjoyment that he feels when playing basketball. He shouted and laughed a lot with his fellow play mates during the game. This shows that the child was happy and enjoyed playing with others. Although there were some periods of disorganization during the playtime, the child demonstrated a good ability of regaining his composure shortly after the disorganization. The disorganization was mainly due to disagreement between the opposing sides of the game in which he seemed to involve himself but with good self calming ability afterwards (Zentall, 2006).
The environment in which these children were playing was an open free interactive field where they had all the freedom to interact and share ideas with their fellow friends. Although there was a form of supervision during the playtime, its main purpose was to restrict the children from harming one another and ensure that they are playing peaceful. According to my observation, the supervision was not very strict to inhibit the children from free interaction. Therefore, the environment generally supported play interactions. The population around including teachers and other groups of children present valued the play a lot. Some enjoyed watching the play and giving advice to the players they support. Most of them seemed to support a friendly kind of play though there was some form of competition. The logic was to enjoy the play at the end of the day but not to witness any form of friction among the players. The play interactions and responsiveness to the child’s cues was evident since the child demonstrated satisfaction in terms of enjoying the pay and becoming familiar with the rules of the play. He also seemed to enjoy a play that involves other people other than playing alone.
Considering this school environment, the child had a lot of opportunities to fully interact with other people including his fellow schoolmates and teachers. He enjoyed playing basketball with his classmates during play time and this is the event that I concentrated on when making my observations.
In conclusion of my reflections, this was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed each and every minute of the whole event. The teachers also felt good about the whole event and it acted as a source of encouragement to them especially to play history teachers. The child played well with others and I was able to asses a positive report for him although he seemed to be so much into play than any other responsibility. I observed this after the play time. He did no want the play time to come to an end and go back to class for studies. This seems to be an age bracket where children start to realize their talents in sports and seem to enjoy spending most of their time playing games that are rule governed and organized. The advantage of this phase or instrument is that it helps asses what exactly the child enjoys in terms of playing but the problem is that it does not reveal a lot of information on child’s performance in other areas like academics for comparison purposes. It can be applied best in children’s play grounds (Check, 1997).
Bandura, A. (1991). Children play observation models. Journal of Social Psychology, 6 (3), 575-582.
Check, A. (1997). Social Learning Theory. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Galef, B. (2005). Social learning in children: children play observation. Social science, 5 (2), 489-499.
Langbein, W. (1989). Child Observational Behavior, Learning by observing the behavior and knowledge of children. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Zentall, T. (2006). Play history of children. Journal of social interaction, 8 (6), 335-353.