Adult Roles in School-Age Play (page 2)
Adults have different roles in children’s play when they enter the elementary school. Partly because of a different perspective on the value of play and partly because the classroom environment is more teacher directed than in the preschool years, adult roles are more directed in play. Teachers who use play for learning experiences in the classroom engage children in games, perhaps in designing games. Children might participate in creative dramatics, but this, too, is more likely to have quite a bit of teacher direction. Opportunities to facilitate child-initiated play and to encourage exploratory play are not as common as in the preschool classroom.
Physical education teachers also engage in adult-directed activities with students. They teach games and sports during structured class times. Students have opportunities to engage in play, but they have been planned by the teacher and are supervised by the teacher.
If there is a time for free play outdoors, teachers play a supervisory role for the most part. They do not engage in play activities with the children, and sometimes offer little supervision, as noted in the section on rough-and-tumble play.
Parents also teach their children how to play sports. Fathers, particularly, work with their sons and daughters to learn baseball, basketball, soccer, and other sports. Fathers, and occasionally mothers, serve as coaches for Little League teams or other recreational clubs such as Boy and Girl Scouts and church youth groups.
A major role of parents is to provide transportation to organized play activities. It might be of an informal nature, as when parents take their child to play with a friend at the friend’s house. More time is spent taking children to practice for a team. Parents with several children spend many hours after school and on Saturdays transporting their children to practice and games. A parallel role in these activities is to attend the games and support the child’s team.
Parents also engage in quieter forms of play in the home as the family plays card and board games. This practice has declined with the advent of video games and computer games, which are more likely to be solitary forms of play. Some parents do participate in video games that have more than one player, however.
Overall, parents spend less time in participating in children’s play in the school-age years. This is offset by the increased amount of time spent in the car transporting children to organized sports lessons and activities.
© ______ 2008, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
Washington Virtual Academies
Tuition-free online school for Washington students.
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- Child Development Theories
- Social Cognitive Theory
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- The Homework Debate
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- Problems With Standardized Testing