Explain the characteristics of: child-initiated play, adult-led play

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 play at different stages of children’s development
Assessment criteria: Explain the characteristics of: child-initiated play, adult-led play

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Child-initiated play is when children take the lead in their own activities, with minimal adult interference. This type of play fosters creativity and encourages independent decision-making by the child. It allows children to explore their interests and develop problem-solving skills. Child-initiated play can also contribute to the improvement of focus, confidence and perseverance.

Adult-led play involves a more structured activity led by the adult. This type of play allows adults to provide guidance and support while still allowing children an element of choice in their activity. It also allows adults to introduce new concepts, skills and ideas to the child that may not be possible without intervention. Adult-led activities help children understand boundaries and rules as they learn how to interact with others in a socially acceptable manner. It also supports language skills as children communicate with adults and their peers.

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