Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.1: Understand the value of play in Early Years
Learning outcome: Understand different types of play for all children
Assessment criteria: Evaluate resources for: physical play, creative play, imaginative play, sensory play, heuristic play
For this assessment criterion, you will be required to evaluate the different resources that can be used to promote different types of play.
Physical Play Resources
Physical play resources include balls, hula hoops, skipping ropes, sit-on toys, and other sports equipment. It can also include outdoor play areas, such as climbing frames and trampolines. Babies and young children will use equipment such as baby gyms and baby bouncers, as well as large items that they can grasp, throw or knock over. It is important to evaluate the size of the resource and its suitability for the age group in question.
Creative Play Resources
Creative play resources include pens, paint and other mark-making tools. Older children may also use scissors, glue sticks, string and stickers. It is important to ensure that all materials are safe, non-toxic and age-appropriate. There should also be a wide range of colours, textures and shapes available.
Imaginative Play Resources
Imaginative play resources help children to play out real-life situations, so resources such as dressing-up clothes, toy kitchens, toy shops and cash registers might be used. Children may also have baby dolls that they can pretend to look after. For small-world play, dolls, teddies and puppets can be used. Older children may use smaller toys, such as action figures, toy cars and farm animals.
Sensory Play Resources
Sensory play provides children with opportunities to experience different types of sensory input and can include playing with different textures such as water, sand, slime and mud. Electrical toys that produce different lights and sounds may also be used. Food can also be used as a form of sensory play as children can smell, taste and feel different types of food.
Heuristic Play Resources
Heuristic play resources should consist of everyday items, such as spoons, sticks, stones, buckets, bottles and ribbons. A variety of different materials should be provided, including wood, ceramic, metal, fabric and plastic.
In evaluating the resources for physical, creative, imaginative, sensory and heuristic play, it is important to ensure they are suitable for the age group in question. They should also be safe for the children to interact, which will mean that they will need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly. It is also prudent to observe children using the resources to understand if they are actually of interest to the child. The cost of resources will also be something to take into consideration during your evaluation.