Unit 15: Support children and young people’s play
The word ‘play’ means different things in different contexts. We speak of children’s ‘playtime’, of going to the theatre to see ‘a play’, of ‘playing’ a musical instrument and of children ‘playing up’. In the context of this module, ‘play’ refers to the activities of children and young people that they willingly and voluntarily engage in as a means of recreation, leisure and pleasure. During play children are in control of their own learning. In terms of theories of learning, play relates to Vygotsky’s concept of the ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (see pages 33-4) in that children are extending their thinking and activities in keeping with their capacity to develop.