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Identify types of environment:

Physical environment

Social aspect

Cultural aspects

Personal attributes

Explain how the environments support play.

Explain how to work collaboratively to provide enabling play environments in early years settings.

Describe the role of the early years practitioner in supporting children’s socialisation within play environment.

Analyse strategies to support children to manage their own behaviour in relation to others.

Explain how the early years practitioner provides for:

  • Group learning
  • Socialisation  

Explain the characteristics of an enabling:

  • Indoor play environment
  • Outdoor play environment

Explain how the environment meets the age, stage and needs of children.

Identify types of environment

The environment can have a high impact on Children’s learning, play as well as development. It is vital for the children to feel comfortable to play freely and express themselves in their environment.

The three main kinds of environment include:

  •    Built environment
  •    Natural environment
  •    Social environment

Physical environment: Location may be indoors or outdoors. It must be exciting and welcoming to encourage children to play and explore. The environment must also be appropriate to age as well as the stage of development. It should also contain accessible toys and sized furniture to enable children to explore and play (Campbell et al. 2014 p.86). Lastly, the environment should be diverse to encourage children to attempt different things and by varying resources, layout etc. There will prevention of boredom.

Social aspect: An important child feels a sense of belonging in the environment since it provides them self-confidence to make relationships as well as play. The environment is capable of supporting emotional or social development only if it allows children to play as a group (Richter et al. 2017 p. 105).

Cultural aspects: It should consider inclusion, equality and cultural diversity to stimulate an individual sense of belonging. This can be done by use of display, books, materials that illustrate multiculturalism, and different languages and abilities. A sense of belonging will help in developing confidence.

Personal attributes: The beliefs, experiences, and values of an individual can change the feel of play environment. An individual need to be welcoming and friendly, have fun and a sense of humor, be patient, confident, adaptable, creative, effective communicators as well as dedicated. These will enable children to respond and hence participate for a mature adult (Feller et al.2016 p.207).

The environment plays an important role in supporting the needs of children’s development and learning.

Enabling environment contains equipment and toys for children to play with; it also offers room for them to play. Different children love to imagine, explore and invent. Any environment that is safe can support play. The environment where children play needs to be welcoming and positive for children to play freely. The environment should also be stimulating, and it should not be too busy, as it will distract children while they are playing (Slot et al. 2015 p.72).

EYP and parents can work as a group to establish a suitable play environment for all the children. The team can work in collaboration to change the environment’s layout to make it more suitable for all the children that use it. The setting may also seek outside professionals with the required skills to come in and help in redesigning the indoor and outdoor play environment to make it more stimulating and exciting. Parents and practitioners may work together in creating a home corner that shows the diversity of the surrounding community. Parents, professionals, and practitioners work together with the intention of meeting the needs of the children. The society also plays essential role in children’s learning as well as development. Practitioners need to work with different people, for example, working in collaboration with general practitioners, health visitors, physiotherapists, social workers, as well as language and speech therapist. All these will help support children as well as their families.

Explain how the environments support play

EYP performs different role in supporting socialization of children within the play environment. They were involved in encouraging children to socialize in different ways. They promote social development by encouraging the children to involve with others from time to time. Practitioners also plan for activities that enable children to work together thereby encouraging socialization.

The child begins to discover how the social Universe works as from their birth. Exploring as well as learning to manage behavior, feelings, responsibilities, and rights is a complex process. Educator performs an essential role in assisting children to control their behavior. Positive and respectful interactions with children may help them learn about independence to become understanding citizens (Bradman et al. 2014 p.103).   

Self- management assists children learn to manage their behavior because it enables them to know what they should do. Teaching a child how to behave well can be a hard task for any parents, but it is a process that brings great rewards. Classroom teachers and parents want children to use suitable social interaction skills and play to complete tasks, classroom and home routine, as well as engage in various activities such as instructional activities. Self-management techniques enable children to become accountable for their action as well as learn to control their behavior.

Create a behavior chat: The behavior chat will allow children to know when they have misbehaved or behaved well. Bad behavior should be marked on the chart with a red dot, and good behavior with a gold star. When the children see their development on a chart, they will be encouraged to behave appropriately more frequently to earn more rewards.

Acknowledge good behavior: it is quite more comfortable for parents to notice the bad things that their children are doing. Parents should, therefore, acknowledge the proper behavior to motivate them. They should also reward and praise them when they do something positive.

Empathize with your children: when the children react inappropriately or misbehave, parents should show empathy to their children. And that does not mean that they should not discipline their children. Parents should also inform them that their actions were wrong, as well as explain to them how they should behave well with others (Blackwell, Lauricella and Wartella 2014 p.65).

Signs of a change in behavior: It might not take long, but children should be monitored closely for a sign of any change in behavior. Signs that show that children manage their behavior include: not engaging in conflict with violence, as well as being true to their actions.

How to work collaboratively to provide enabling play environments in early year’s settings

Visual support: children should be given close attention, and their level of self-management skills should also be asses by both the parents and teachers. What do the children need? What steps are the children missing? This is the two examples of how the technique can be used to assist the children in learning the steps required for preparing for snaps and or for hand-washing (Perlman et al. 2016 p.97). The steps should be reviewed to ensure that the children know what is expected of them. They should also be displayed visually and described clearly. The children should also be praise to encourage more appropriate behavior and independence. The children should also be told how to relate with one another. As time elapsed, most of the children will need less assistance from their teachers and parents, and they will be able to finish the job quickly as they manage their behavior (Rand and Morrow 2018 p.73).

Group learning

An important role of the practitioners is to encourage children to improve positive partnerships. Practitioners do this by offering opportunities for socialization and group learning (Hohmann 2018 p.104). They provide opportunities for children to play as a group. The children will share toys and resources. Group learning also provides opportunities for different children especially older children to work together in groups for example board games or role play. Group activities provided by practitioners, for example, a nature walk encourage communication.

Practitioners involve children in smaller group activities, for example taking children to a weekly playgroup, or library story time. Practitioners also help in organizing children into group play. This enables them to discover and gain different skills when they are in groups (Heiskanen, Alasuutari and Vehkakoski 2018 p.45)

Practitioners help in planning of activities that stimulate children to play and work in groups. Most of the children find it easier when they are with other children. Teenagers are mostly nervous and shy in a group situation. EYP often observe children and help them to socialize with other children. Most of the teenagers who join the setting may lack experience of playing with others. There may be one teenager, and some may have sisters and brothers at home, and this may make them used to play with other children (Gehris, Gooze and Whitaker 2015 p.75). Practitioners should be aware of this information so that they can plan accordingly.

EYP can stimulate a child to play in different ways.  The practitioner can make use of daily jobs, for example, snack time to assist children to play in groups. They can also plan activities that enable teenagers to work in groups, for example, large block play.

The role of the EYP in supporting children’s socialization within the play environment

Indoor play environment:

The environment influences the quality of children’s development and learning. This environment directly affects the learning as well as the development of the children. Rich environments are interesting; comfort the able, attractive as well as suitable for the use of a child. For some children indoors become their home where they sleep and eat (Takahashi et al. 2018 p.29) Environments should, therefore, be attractive as well as make children feel secure and safe. They should be places where they can confidently learn and play.

  •    Safety
  •    Room design
  •    It provides rooms for sleep and rest
  •    Age-applicable resources
  •    Variety of activities
  •    Language-rich environment
  •    Attractive presentation as well as tidying up
  •    Display as well as interest tables
  •    The significance of mathematics is recognized

The outdoor environment provides a multi-sensory, productive environment that is stimulating, motivating, and meaningful for all children. In an indoor environment, children can take a risk and move more freely (Sandseter 2014). The environment also encourages children to develop their strength and health as well as coordination. Outdoor environments provide an opportunity to experience as well as improve varieties of skills with a greater sense of independence and freedom than those experienced in another type of environments such as indoors (Britto et al. 2017 p.45). Outdoor spaces, as well as learning environments, give contact with the natural world permitting children to their senses. Outdoor learning environment gives children the opportunity of experiencing risk-taking and problem-solving in a safe environment. This environment enhanced physical activity of the children, therefore, enables them to grow up actively.

  • Child-centered
  •   Accessible
  • Checked for hazards
  • Space for exercise
  •    Safety-sun protection
  •    Provide opportunities for all areas of learning

A place that makes children feel secure, safe and welcome is known as enabling environment. An enabling environment has to be appropriate for the age, needs, and stage of all the children that are using it (Black et al. 2017 p. 72). Different activities and areas within the environment will challenge and stretch children. There should also be spaces that allow children to have a free choice to play and use their imagination. It is not necessary that the enabling environments should be full of costly equipment. The home corner of the room should be covered with a large blanket to change it into the dark area to enable children to explore dark and light. Placing junk modeling materials inside the sand will also offer the children opportunity of experimenting with different materials (Cohen and Gadassi 2018 p.45).

Effective adult support: the Rich environment is made up of adult and practitioner that support children as they grow up. They encourage children to play together. They also help in including the children in a social gathering.

Adequate resources and equipment: The environment provides sufficient resources and equipment that meet the requirements of the age, needs as well as a stage of all children. The material and resources enable children to learn and develop their skills.  

Analyze strategies to support children to manage their behavior about others

Promoting independence and choice: Enabling environment allows children to choose lifestyle and friends.

Promoting socialization: Enabling environment encourages socialization and interactions among children. It encourages children of different age sets to interact with others. Through the promotion of socialization, children will be exposed to different culture, manners, language, and learn about society.

References

Britto, P.R., Lye, S.J., Proulx, K., Yousafzai, A.K., Matthews, S.G., Vaivada, T., Perez-Escamilla, R., Rao, N., Ip, P., Fernald, L.C. and MacMillan, H., 2017. Nurturing care: promoting early childhood development. The Lancet, 389(10064), pp.91-102.

Slot, P.L., Leseman, P.P., Verhagen, J. and Mulder, H., 2015. Associations between structural quality aspects and process quality in Dutch early childhood education and care settings. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 33, pp.64-76.

Perlman, M., Falenchuk, O., Fletcher, B., McMullen, E., Beyene, J. and Shah, P.S., 2016. A systematic review and meta-analysis of a measure of staff/child interaction quality (the classroom assessment scoring system) in early childhood education and care settings and child outcomes. PloS one, 11(12), p.e0167660.

Feller, A., Grindal, T., Miratrix, L. and Page, L.C., 2016. Compared to what? Variation in the impacts of early childhood education by alternative care type. The Annals of Applied Statistics, 10(3), pp.1245-1285.

Campbell, F., Conti, G., Heckman, J.J., Moon, S.H., Pinto, R., Pungello, E. and Pan, Y., 2014. Early childhood investments substantially boost adult health. Science, 343(6178), pp.1478-1485.

Sandseter, E.B.H., 2014. Early childhood education and care practitioners' perceptions of children's risky play; examining the influence of personality and gender. Early child development and care, 184(3), pp.434-449.

Black, M.M., Walker, S.P., Fernald, L.C., Andersen, C.T., DiGirolamo, A.M., Lu, C., McCoy, D.C., Fink, G., Shawar, Y.R., Shiffman, J. and Devercelli, A.E., 2017. Early childhood development coming of age: science through the life course. The Lancet, 389(10064), pp.77-90.

Richter, L.M., Daelmans, B., Lombardi, J., Heymann, J., Boo, F.L., Behrman, J.R., Lu, C., Lucas, J.E., Perez-Escamilla, R., Dua, T. and Bhutta, Z.A., 2017. Investing in the foundation of sustainable development: pathways to scale up for early childhood development. The Lancet, 389(10064), pp.103-118.

Bradman, A., Castorina, R., Gaspar, F., Nishioka, M., Colón, M., Weathers, W., Egeghy, P.P., Maddalena, R., Williams, J., Jenkins, P.L. and McKone, T.E., 2014. Flame retardant exposures in California early childhood education environments. Chemosphere, 116, pp.61-66.

Gehris, J.S., Gooze, R.A. and Whitaker, R.C., 2015. Teachers' perceptions about children's movement and learning in early childhood education programmes. Child: care, health and development, 41(1), pp.122-131.

Blackwell, C.K., Lauricella, A.R. and Wartella, E., 2014. Factors influencing digital technology use in early childhood education. Computers & Education, 77, pp.82-90.

Heiskanen, N., Alasuutari, M. and Vehkakoski, T., 2018. Positioning children with special educational needs in early childhood education and care documents. British Journal of Sociology of Education, pp.1-17.

Hohmann, U., 2018. Found in translation: an analytical framework to explore national and regional Early Childhood Education and Care systems. Early Years, pp.1-13.

Rand, M.K. and Morrow, L.M., 2018. The Impact of Pivotal Research on the Role of Play in Early Literacy Development. Pivotal Research in Early Literacy: Foundational Studies and Current Practices, p.238.

Takahashi, T., Kulkarni, N.N., Lee, E.Y., Zhang, L.J., Wong, G.C. and Gallo, R.L., 2018. Cathelicidin promotes inflammation by enabling binding of self-RNA to cell surface scavenger receptors. Scientific reports, 8(1), p.4032.

Cohen, E. and Gadassi, R., 2018. The function of play for coping and therapy with children exposed to disasters and political violence. Current psychiatry reports, 20(5), p.31.

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