Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog
folder

Playing with Roles

By: LORRAINE O'CONNOR

Tuesday 30 May 2017

The complexity of children’s play continues to leave me with many questions. Recently, I was visiting my friend, and her curious 2-year-old who has begun to show an interest in doctors and patients.

On this day, she ran excitedly across the sitting room, and suddenly, progressed into a slow walk with both hands on her tummy. Her head was down as she gazed across the room towards me. Her voice lowered, and she whispered ‘Me not well’. Following her lead, I concernedly repeated ‘oh, you’re not well, what will we do?’. The conversation continued to her needing ‘medicine’. When asked, what did that look like, she scurried to the play kitchen and improvised with the babies’ bottle. Saying in a low tone ‘Me sick, me need medicine’, she handed me the bottle, and lay on the ground in a curled position. Following her cue, I knelt beside her and gave her the ‘medicine’.

In the next moment, I shared with her something which we are all familiar with. A smile. A glisten in her eye. And a look of ‘you know I am not sick, but something is happening here’. Dr Carmel Brennan speaks of this as the ‘I know, you know, I know moment’, or the shared meaning (intersubjectivity). This moment allowed for her to have a shared understanding of doctors and patients. It allowed her to share her experience, and understanding of what it means. In that moment, she became playful. We have all experienced this moment, whether we have drunk a cup of tea from a plastic cup, heard the crying doll, or ran from the scary dinosaur chasing us outside.

Aistear (2009) reminds us, play is at the centre of each child’s journey, and it is within this wondrous world which children bring their own culture, background interests and experiences. Each time she engages, the play is meaningful and relevant to her. And it is guided by her emotions, feelings and imagination. Maria Aarts believes through naming a child’s initiatives, we are affirming they have good play ideas. We are meeting the child where they are at, and positively encouraging what it is the child wants to play.

 

From this experience, it has reminded me to slow down even more. Slow down when listening to children’s verbal cues. Slowing down, and waiting for the cue to enter their world of play. And slowing down, and meeting the child where they are at regarding their experiences, understandings and interests.

Have you noticed how children enter the play frame in your settings?  How they draw us in to their play ideas and how important it is to give time for the play idea to develop.

 

For similar themes read our previous blog posts on "Capturing the Wonder of Childhood" and "How slowing down builds better curriculum".

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

INTO(1) Health(2) bonds(1) Policy(2) Empathy(1) Workplace Relations(3) Workforce(1) Wilenski(1) story time(2) Settling in(4) Exclusion(1) Engagement(1) Building Resilience(1) listen(1) Treasure(1) ReCreate(2) keep in touch(1) Arts(1) EECERA 2016(1) Child mental health(1) worries(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Interactions(2) reopening(1) Iraq(1) Magnavacchi(1) Meal time(1) continual professional development(1) Autism(4) books(4) imotion(1) Family wall(1) Funding(1) Supernanny(1) emotions(2) Mantra(1) Self-Esteem(1) behavioural science(1) Reflective Practice(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Whole Group(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Magic(1) parents(6) awards 2020(1) Drawing(2) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Mayo(1) Mud kitchens(1) Eritrea(1) Academic Skills(1) Snack Time(1) Irish(1) Relaxation(1) Cognitive development(1) National Awards 2019(1) Pen green(1) Leadership(1) ECEC Setting(2) iOS(1) june29(1) Sequins(1) Our Little Seed(1) Irish guidelines(1) Children(4) Affordability(1) Body Language(1) Culture(2) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) communication(4) Family(1) Communicating(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Competent(1) Limerick(1) ICBN(1) play(34) curiosity(3) Valerie Gaynor(1) Sociodramatic play(1) aistear blog(3) Mixed age groups(2) Inclusion(3) National Awards 2018(2) Nuturing interactions(1) dogs(1) child-centric(1) Belonging(3) Workplace well-being(1) Recycling(2) risky play(2) Employee(1) National Holiday(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) play pods(1) Maternity Leave(1) Horizon 2020(1) code of ethics(1) Leargas(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Sleep(1) UD(1) The Jelly King(1) Elders(1) budget(1) Care-giving routines(1) Jenga(1) Blocks(1) Cork(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) dining experiences(1) ELC(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Wonder(1) dublin(2) Buddies(1) keezy(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Administrative Burden(1) Window(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Interests(1) environments(1) Map(1) respect(5) Craft(1) Little Buddies(1) Maths(5) Builders(1) Teamwork(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Learning Story Awards(2) man up(1) maternity health(1) transitions(10) Shoes(1) Queues(1) Educators(2) Trigonometry(1) Dance(1) pablo(1) risk(2) Document Learning(1) Support(1) Halloween(2) educarer(1) Change(1) play pod(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Early Years(1) Loss(1) Reggio Children Network(1) early years learning(1) education(2) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Home Corner(1) Patterns(1) School Age Childcare(1) linc(1) Event Guide(1) Covid pandemic(1) AsIAm(2) preschool settings(1) Engineers Week(2) Sport(1) youdoodle(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Anthony Semann(1) Prexit(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Visual Impairment(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Budget 2018(1) Frustrations(1) Maria Montessori(1) Kids Own(1) Favouritism(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) structure(1) Scents(1) Environment(2) Trick or treat(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Independence(1) healthy eating policies(1) Awards 2019(1) Feeding(1) Mealtimes(1) Digital(1) research submissions(1) overhear(1) Opportunities(1) emotional environment(2) Impact(1) Light table(1) Running(1) Primary School(2) Síolta QAP(1) Grief(1) Biting(1) Communications(1) Visitors(1) educating(1) Vertical grouping(1) Shapes(1) risk assessment(1) Degree(1) blog(36) Ceremony(1) Exit interview(1) ECEC(3) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) UNCRC(2) Care routines(1) Gratitude(1) Arithmetic(1) Thinking(1) Anxiety(2) Gardening(1) DES Inspection(1) Infection Control(1) Trade union(1) STEM(3) value(1) Reopening Childcare(1) Staff Motivation(1) coronavirus(1) learners(1) curriculum(5) MECPI(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Sessional service(1) Children's Rights(3) RIE philosphy(1) Exploring(1) Painting(1) outdoor space(3) Kilkenny(1) Wesco(1) Japan(1) European Project(1) Aistear(122) Role play(1) Participation(2) Exercise(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) DCYA(6) SPICE Framework(1) children development(1) Universal Design(2) Love(2) Mindfulness(2) early childhood educator(2) Malaguzzi(1) play therapy(1) Games(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Pre-School Services(1) GDPR(1) First 5 strategy(1) Albert Einstein(1) Traffic Lights(1) Celebrate(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Thanks(1) Laughter(1) Technology(3) Margy Whalley(1) early years research(2) Maynooth University(2) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Iceland(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Certificate(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Seas Suas(1) Reading Time(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) supportive environments(2) Graduation(1) Children's Research Network(1) Xbox(1) HR(1) racism(1) Traditions(2) Your place(1) Brain(1) Children and families(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Rich Documentation(1) Study Trip(1) San Miniato(4) social media(1) Graduate(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Buddy Bench(1) feisty(1) movement behaviours(1) Design(1) Bereavement(2) National Childcare Scheme(1) Story(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) RTE Investigates(1) interacting(2) Awards(2) Engineering Ireland(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) stories(3) NAEYC(1) New Appointments(1) Inspirational(2) Professionalisation(5) Playschool(1) Thank you(1) Research Seminar(1) Engineering(3) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) purpose(1) Childcare(3) Wrapping paper(1) Adoption(1) CCTV(1) E.coli(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Yoga(1) Upcycling(1) Party(1) planning(1) responsive relationships(1) Investment(2) Mount Everest(1) journey(1) Summer(1) Self Help Skills(1) Laugh(1) experience(1) Wendy Lee(3) Inspections(1) Behaviour(3) trust(4) Santa(2) Creativity(4) Research and Professional Learning(1) Síolta(120) Early Learning and Care(1) lockdown(1) Imagination(3) College(1) ECCE(7) Learning Stories(9) Annual Conference 2019(1) Human Resources(1) Plants(1) Self-regulation(1) Identity(5) Challenges(1) Reggio Emilia(1) TOY Programme(1) apps for children(1) Confident(1) Trade Unions(1) memories(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Montessori(3) Covid19 crisis(1) Art(6) Giraffe(2) Dr. Emer Ring(1) early life(1) Pedagogy(1) Norway(2) toddlers(3) University(1) Playdough(1) Performing(1) Spiders(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Mathematicians(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Budget 2019(2) ears(1) Plastic(1) Reggio(1) Nutrition(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Through the looking glass(1) Awards Night(1) phone apps(1) Scéalta Blog(99) grandchild(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Identity and Belonging(4) COVID-19 Reopening(1) Well-Being(10) science week(2) Siolta blog(8) First 5(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) AIM(2) Stress(2) Youtube Series(1) Online(1) Child Care(1) Mark Twain(1) collaboration(1) Intention(1) Maynooth(1) learning bias(1) meals(3) Syria(1) Italy(1) Training(2) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Breathing(2) Sustainable(1) Arlene Forster(1) Appreciation(1) Positivity(1) Storytelling(6) Inter-generational(2) pets(1) GoToMeeting app(1) scéalta(40) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) SAC(1) PIP(1) Line-ups(1) Book Club(2) Fabric(1) Awards 2018(3) Winter(1) Fee Play(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Sculptures(1) Maths Week(1) show and tell(1) animals(2) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Academics(1) developing motor skills(1) Community involvement(1) Kerry(1) Diversity(1) Quality(4) conversations(1) Masterclass(2) Names(1) MA(1) social science(1) Children's Voice(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Pobal(1) Equality(1) Confidence(1) outdoor play(6) Qualifications(1) Celebrations(4) mushrooms(1) Weather(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Sustainability(3) conference(1) NCCA(3) TRAP(1) Consent(1) Childhood(1) Vietnam(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) IGL(1) outdoors(3) Glitter(2) Early Years Educators(3) Lego(2) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Digital Devices(1) Performance Management(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Twitter(1) life long learning(1) bloom app(1) role playing(1) ERASMUS+(3) childcare services(1) refugees(1) Advocacy(1) documentation(4) Time Out(1) Infectious diseases(1) Touch(1) relationships(17) family time(1) Creative(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Music(3) Valentine's Day(3) Afghanistan(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) science(3) World Health Organisation(1) Snacks(1) christmas(9) Routines(2) Mo Scéal(1) Super Shed Stories(2) art of the relationship(1) Socioemotional development(1) community(5) reading(5) UN(1) reopening ireland(1) Learning Journal(2) Obesity(1) play stories(2) Book Review(1) Early Childhood Ireland(4) Orla Kenny(1) Learning Story(1) Death(2) CIT(1) dining(1) Learning journals(1) staying connected(1) United Nations(1) Social Skills(1) Penguins(1) preschool(4) friendships(1) food(1) Time(1) Capable(1) mental health problems(1) gender bias(1) Mental Health(4) primary education(1) Nonverbal(1) baby room(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Meet the Members(1) routine(2) Interaction(1) Potential(1) under 3's(3) Sweets(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Leprechauns(1) Rituals(1) listening(1) Fantasy play(1) research(6) Recycle(1) Titles(1) Smiles(1) eating(1) Snakes(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Inter-generational learning(2) COVID-19(7) child-centred approach(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Photographs(1) National Pyjama Day(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Oireachtas(1) gender stereotype(1) Magda Gerber(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Easter(1) Christmas Creativity(2) General Data Protection Regulation(1) development(8) Decisions(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) EM Standing(1) Decision Making(1) Facebook(1) annual conference(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) CPD(1) learning(19) Flowers(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Budget 2020(1) babies(7) Treasure Chest(1) Hand Hygiene(2)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine