Exploring the use of Outdoor Play for Children in a Nursery in East London Literature review Introduction A child develops by addressing both his needs and desires as well as adapting to his surroundings. A large part of the child’s development is channeled by way of schools both at the early and later years of education…
Bruce (1998) suggests that Outdoor Play allows a child to exercise what he has learnt and apply his teachings practically and develop not just physically but mentally and spiritually as well alongside employing the practice of making his own decisions. These are characteristics that are vital to his growth into adulthood. Children do not individualize the various academic subjects as effectively in their early years from birth to eight and tend to learn best when allowed to integrate all aspects of learning into one. Eden (2008) likens play to an experience of pleasure (p. 50) which allows a child to develop independently and in an environment he enjoys being in. According to her, play helps a child symbolize and build relationships which is a process intrinsic to the development of language (p. 53). She emphasizes that while primary and secondary education are important, neglecting the early years is simply not an option and play tends to be the best way of enriching that level. Faegre, Anderson and Harris (1958) provide buttressing arguments to the same, acknowledging that a child groomed by varying and encouraging methods of outdoor play helps improve their decision making and mathematical skills along all years of development from birth through to college. According to them, the profound effects of enhanced Outdoor play allows a child to develop progressively in not just their physical attributes such as diet, combating illnesses and clothing habits but also allows them to indulge in self-discipline which is the core feature of adulthood moderation. Of course, this does not take away from the importance of family but highlights how Play is essential to the upbringing of the child. Play: A Historical Perspective Traditionally, Play has been a major part of early development highlighted by the concepts of camping with the family and playing in the park in the early years. The weight of play can be traced as far back as Plato and Aristotle. Plato highlighted the fact that Play arouses and enhances a child’s curiosity and is an essential part of his development primarily because of that self-defined interest in the nursery years (3-6). According to Plato, a child’s development can be deemed into stages all of which have to be complemented by their own version of Play as according to him, a child learns most effectively amongst an environment he likes to be in. It was important to hone the child’s moral standards by teaching him tales of virtue at an early age (Frost 2010, p. 10) and at the nursery stage (3 to 6 years) such teachings were to be engulfed in Play as nursery formed the most important part of education (Plato 1952, cited in Frost 2010, p. 10). Similarly, Aristotle agreed with Plato’s theories and insisted that the first five years were dedicated to Play in order to offset any bad habits that a child may be prone to develop. He similarly believed that a child must find amusement in what he does and the best way to arouse his interest in education was through Play. The medieval times did not consider childhood as a separate stage of life but considered all children to be young adults, a notion that lasted until the end of the Middle Ages (Frost 2010, p. 13). When childhood surfaced as a separate stage of life in the 19th century, scholars of late followed through with similar abbreviations of Play, ...
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Through such engagement a child develops his/her language, social skills, and problem solving abilities. Children’s play has been documented throughout the literature and is much evident across various cultures. Engagement in play has always been the defining feature of childhood and no one particular definition of the term exists that can encompass its broad meaning.
Thus nursery schools generally meant for children aged 2 to 5 (Bruce 1998, p. 21), having assumed the essential task of preparing the child to positively integrate with the world outside the family (Sandler 1998) must provide learning experiences focused on the child’s total development.
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ave adhered to the E105 ethical guidance by ensuring all information is confidential to my setting, making sure that no names of children or my setting have been stated.
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The outdoor learning environment is very dynamic, rich and provides a
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