In the past few days, I’ve been reading a little about “schemas”: behavioural patterns that suggest how children learn in different ways. Eight different schema have been identified and most children display a couple of different schema in the way that they play.
You can see the table detailing the eight different play behaviours here.
Little O has really been developing rapidly in the past few weeks, especially on the language side, but also in the way that he plays and the things that he does when playing, so I’ve found reading this page particularly interesting. Although it is aimed at preschool teachers, I think it’s very helpful for parents too (in fact, I received it from the Head of his preschool) as it also suggests ways to develop each of these schemas.
For Little O, the main schemas seem to be Transporting, Trajectory and Rotation, with a little bit of Positioning thrown in too for good measure. He loves to wheel different toys around the apartment in his truck, finds it hilarious to spray water all over the bathroom by placing his hands under the running tap, squeals with delight when being spun around and can often be found lining up all his toy cars in a row or carefully placing toys in a specific order.
On the page, it suggests various ways to play to encourage the way that he learns – for example, it says that when it comes to water play, we can use a sprinkler (Rotation), hose pipes, tubing and pouring (Transporting) and bubbles, sprays and squeezy bottles (Trajectory). Although some of the suggestions are for older children (computers, workshops and sewing – eek!), on the whole I’ve found some great ideas here.
Maybe some of these things might seem a little obvious to some, but as a first time mamma who feels sometimes like she’s struggling to keep up with her 20-month old’s development, I think this is great!