Children my placement setting, children are becoming more

do learn best through play and this is very evident at my placement as they
encourage to be a part of their routine this can be both indoors and outdoors. Play
is something so natural in children and it has an important role in the
foundation of their early years. This is evident in my placement when the
children are playing they learn new skills such as
social skills, creativity, hand-eye coordination, problem solving and

can learn best through creative play, they are extremely
expressive from a young age and have the ability for sharing feelings and
emotions, and imagination plays a key role in their knowledge and
understanding. Moyle’s 2007
believes that ‘through play children learn to think for themselves, play
motivates children by stimulating their curiosity developing a desire to find
out.’ Children have the opportunity to enjoy colour,
shapes, textures, sounds and sights, are important aspects of the young child’s
development. As a result of these experiences they contribute to the
development of social, physical, intellectual and communication skills, their
confidence and self-esteem is boosted and children are learning more about
themselves and the world around them.

emphasis has been placed on outdoor play in many early years’ settings and how
influential it can be for the child’s overall holistic development. Helen
Bilton (2005), “Outside is a natural environment for children; there is a
freedom associated with the space that cannot be replicated inside”, page 8.Through
my own experience in my placement setting, children are becoming more
imaginative and creative whenever they play outside. Bilton 2005, “outdoors is
a perfect place to learn through movement, one of the four vehicles through
which children learn, the others being play, talk and sensory experience” page
10. At my placement setting the children would play with a variety of resources
such as pulling a truck, digging, kicking a ball, stacking racks, puzzles and
shape sorters, all of these names exampled require action as a result they
learn though play.

Piaget believed in strategies, for example
learning through discovery which focussed on play and activity. Jean Piaget placed emphasis on active learning and as a result the
children learn by doing. Piaget’s work placed emphasis on schemas. “Schemas are
the building blocks of such cognitive models and enable us to form a mental
representation of the world” (10.12.17) 

Vygotsky believed that the child’s desire to play is so powerful that
it becomes a motivator for learning self-control. Vygotsky believed that the child
accepts and desires the rules of play only because he or she has the option to
quit if they want to.

Like Piaget, Vygotsky
believes that young children are curious and actively involved in their learning
and development of new understandings/schema.  However, Vygotsky believed
in social contributions to the process of children’s development, Piaget placed
emphasis on self-initiated discovery. (10.12.17)

Vygotsky (1978)
views the Zone of Proximal Development as the area where the most guidance
should be given, the child can therefore develop skills they will then use independently.
“Vygotsky also views
interaction with peers as an effective way of developing skills and
strategies.  He suggests that teachers use cooperative learning exercises
where less competent children develop with help from more skillful peers –
within the zone of proximal development.” (10.12.17)


Scaffolding is a principle of Vygotsky for the
sociocultural perspective. Scaffolding involves providing the learner with
hints or clues for problem solving in order to allow the student to better
approach the problem in the future (Woolfolk, A., 2004). Vygotsky stresses the importance of play
in the shaping and moulding of children’s cognitive development. According to Vygotsky (1978), the value
of play materials is that they help children separate themselves from concrete
reality and distinguish between actual objects and what they are intended to
represent. Fergus P. Hughes (2009) page 215 “Psychologists who study children’s
intellectual development report that numerous underlying cognitive skills are
enhanced during play. ”

Piaget emphasised for discovery learning with
little adult intervention, while on the other hand Vygotsky promoted for
guidance in the classroom. Piaget and Vygotsky provided educators in settings
with important views on cognitive development in the child. Marilyn Fleer (2008) states that ‘Piaget’s
constructivist theory focusses on cognitive development forming through play,
however Vygotsky believed that a child’s learning is assisted by the help of
other individuals’.

conclusion to my essay I have presented a theoretical discussion and used
examples from my placement experience and relevant reading stating that
‘Children learn best through play.’ I used a wide variety of resources
supporting both Piagetian and
Vygotskian theories of play and their views and opinions towards how children
learn through play. Today’s early years settings use various approaches
which have been greatly influenced by the research of Jean Piaget and Lev
Vygotsky. Both theorists have contributed significantly to the field of
education through explanations of children’s cognitive learning styles and


I'm Mary!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out