Support children’s participation in a planned play opportunity

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.2: Plan, lead and review play opportunities which support children’s learning and development in relation to current frameworks
Learning outcome: Be able to lead and support playopportunities
Assessment criteria: Support children’s participation in a planned play opportunity


Planned play opportunities must be sufficiently engaging for children to participate in.

This means that they must be interesting to the child and provide them with some form of satisfaction. Activities that are too difficult will result in children becoming frustrated, whilst activities that are too easy can lead to children becoming bored.


Early Years practitioners can support children’s participation in planned play activities by ensuring that they are at the right level for a child’s age and stage of development, as well as meeting the needs and preferences of the individual child.

For example, a child with a keen interest in Fireman Sam, will be far more interested in a dressing-up/role-playing game if there is a firefighters costume they can wear.


Practitioners can also support a child’s participation by ensuring sufficient resources are available for an activity. For example, if there are not enough paintbrushes for the children to have one each, they may become bored whilst waiting for one to become available. Similarly, children may become bored if they have to wait for long periods for an activity to be set up.

Practitioners should also observe what the children are doing and offer suggestions that can enrich their play and support them in learning new knowledge and skills. For example, if a practitioner observes a child counting balls up to three, they might give the child a fourth ball and see if the child knows the next number in the sequence.

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