In practice, Early Childhood Education is considered as one of the best environments for preschool age children based on a multitude of learning opportunities that it provides (Clark & Moss, 2005). This kind of early childhood education helps the children to foster in their language development, physical development and social ability in every dimension (Fasold, 1990). It is important that childhood teachers examine the trends in the today's society that influence the way the children play. Children's play behaviours will always be different depending on various contextual facts. For example, changes in the way technology get driven including children playing with the mobile phone installed games (Fasold, 1990). Therefore, the dynamic changes in technology have also influenced highly how children's life and behaviour at any place get influenced. These changes affect the child as a person as whole in the future. Therefore, soft play areas offer facilities that profoundly help parents and caregivers regarding developing the mind of their children in both social, cognitive abilities, as well as various aspects of physical development (Trawick-Smith, 2014). Through the soft plays initiative, children tend to develop socially, cognitively and emotionally. This development gets bound by the capacity to develop activities imaginatively as well as enhancing physical development (Trawick-Smith, 2014). Pre-schoolers build the tendency of peeking into the past experiences to more complex and allow the ability to become more associative. Additional through soft games, it is often that children at preschool age would develop the assimilative functions thereby consolidating their experiences and construct a subject knowledge from it (Clark & Moss, 2005).
It is essential to have the soft play for children at all ages in their lifetime. The vital role of playing in the early childhood development and how this impacts their behaviours later in their lives as preschool aged children affect children psychologically (Fasold, 1990).
Play Development in Early Childhood
According to research, play is essential for a child to understand the day to day occurrences in the environment (Clark & Moss, 2005). When a child develops, the experiences at any particular stage of the play become essential in the development of expertise in the mind of children. Therefore, in the context of soft play it is important that every play scaffolds an experience and a foundation for the future, this results into a more complex feature of the development of a child. Children use their experiences of play to develop an understanding of social constructs which can then be applied in other contexts. When these events occur in a more a usual way, the child builds a learning experience that will enable him or her to conceptualize the cause and effect. If a child is deprived the game experiences in any environment, there is a possibility that the cognitive development and learning abilities of the child may be impaired through his or her entire preschool age (Lockhart, 2010).). The kind of games administered in soft play areas should get directed towards increasing the awareness of the child to his environment (Henry, Joannie & Monica, 2013). This environment is in isolation with another subject including people. Soft play areas understand the complexity of the game into child development. A recent study conducted by the Harvard School of Medicine, during the basic forms of play, activities tend to be nonsocial for most kids (Berk, Mann & Ogan, 2006). The language development of children improves with time as they interact in their areas of play (Fasold, 1990). This is important to the current study because it highlights some of the benefits that children can draw from soft play. This interaction acts a socio-semantic perspective. For most kids that get taken to soft play areas, they tend to develop pre-symbolic acts that generate a form of communication between infants under the discussion bracket. This perspective on soft plays, allow the hypothesis of continuous development of communication between them.
Role and Benefits of Soft Play
Importantly, this research tries to assert on the importance of play in a child's life which takes center stage of soft play areas. Therefore, the deprivation of the game in the early childhood development tends to have adverse effects about the brain development. Research conducted by The Center for Child Development at Harvard University shows how a human brain get wired for cognitive, social, language, emotional and physical development (Fasold, 1990). The development of synapses in the brain occurs majorly when a person is young. However, as the child grows, the number neurons and synapses formed become less. Therefore, it is important to note that the development of these activities should be encouraged through plays (Dickson & Porche, 2001). Soft play areas, therefore serve as an entertainment spot for families by offering ideal entertainment spots and environment. These areas allow children across all ages to practice and improve their communication skills, interact and play in an atmosphere that is safe for other kids (Clark & Moss, 2005). Therefore, some of the importance that comes about through having soft play areas. Some of the advantages include: ideal for children to play, the running plays help children develop mentally, social life improvement through meeting new friends (Clark & Moss, 2005). These soft play centres are designed for kids and therefore, parents should expect the safety of their children. In summary, children should, therefore, play in an environment that gives time to others and safe space that allows physical movement (Berk, Mann & Ogan, 2006). Soft play was designed to enhance that children spent time away from the close supervision of the adults so that they can interact with their peers, an aspect that fosters independence as well as cognitive, social, and physical development (Berk, Mann & Ogan, 2006). Space should also provide ample space for play activities and development that is mentally based. This characteristic gets influenced by the use of very elaborate playing materials in the playground (Dickson & Porche, 2001).
Significance of the Study
As with any technological advancement in the field of education, facility expansion should be enhanced to allow the incorporation of these establishments. According to research, it has become established that most tools used by the children in the soft play areas improve their learning abilities in a wider dimension. Therefore, this is associated with the capacity to make judgments that allow these kids to make decisions that are culturally appropriate. Unfortunately, few limitations largely depend on the scope of study that got undertaken. There is limited data that can be accessed based on the playing materials that these children get access to when they get home and stay with their parents (Bandura, 1977). There exists less empirical evidence on how the media also affects the development of kids during this age of technological development. The media, therefore, plays a significant role in making children develop socially and emotionally. The current study is significant because it seeks to fill this gap in knowledge as well as contributing to the understanding of the benefits that soft play to the development of children.
Among the preschool children, how does having soft play affect the emotional development of each of them?
Are there differences in the cognitive abilities among the preschool children?
The methodology of this study involve components that get described in this chapter. The specific areas of discussion include the participants, materials, transcription procedures, setting and data analysis.
The inclusion of participants on the research methodology should get based on the subject matter which is soft play. The participants are to be within the range of four to five years. The study will use 10% of the study population. The researcher will draw a sampling frame of all the eligible participants. From the sampling frame, the researcher will use a systematic random sampling technique to select the participants to take part in the study. The parents will serve as the proxy for the participants during the administration of the questionnaire. The parents would offer the required data from their kids upon request if they agreed to the terms of the research conducted. The pairs target group would, therefore, be arranged in pairs and assigned to a teacher to allow easier access to the required information. The researcher will also observe the children to determine their behaviour and change of facial expressions at different times.
The setting selected for the study is at the Parents' Paradise, Watford. With permissions from the school principal, the research is to get conducted at the school's library located close to the children's classrooms. The advantage of this is that the rooms are familiar to the children since it is a usual place they access. Therefore, conducting this would provide the best results possible.
Data Analysis Procedures
The data will be entered into Microsoft Excel which will be used as the data entry platform. The data will be cleaned and coded in readiness for analysis. The analysis of the data will be done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The researcher will use both the descriptive and inferential statistics to manipulate the data for reporting as well as hypothesis testing. For descriptive analysis, the behavioural change and facial expressions of the kids who undertook the research were compared, and the reports tabulated. Through this careful data analysis, it was possible to answer the hypothesis stipulated in this research.
The researcher will present the dissertation proposal to the institutional review board as a prerequisite for the approval to collect data from the participants. Upon the receipt of the approval from the institutional review board, the researcher will begin the collection of data. The researcher will require an informed consent from the participants prior to collecting data from them. To enable the participants to give an informed consent, the researcher will explain the aims of the study, what will be done to the data, and how the findings of the study will help them (Bandura, 1977). The researcher will also explain the safeguards taken in the study to ensure the confidentiality of the information given and the anonymity of the participants. The researcher will also inform the participants that they reserve the right to withdraw from the study at any point without any reprisals. As an indebted reciprocity, the participants during this research got candy for the kids and coffee for the parents that accompanied their children to the study area.
This finding is based on the research questions discussed in the literature review. In investigating the research topic here mentioned tends to encompass the complexity of the soft play areas and how they affect the development of a child both mentally and socially (Dickson & Porche, 2001). Often, soft play areas can be described as an essential venue that allows kids to interact with their environment based on the variation of the situations that include people and materials. Therefore, play allows children to understand the meaning of their world. According to research, early childhood development is essential and is the core relationship that establishes the children's interaction with the environment. The environment in this context includes situations, peers, and materials. This perspective on soft plays, allow the hypothesis of continuous development of communication between them. A response that is purely generated from the relationship is based on the fact that children participate in a non-verbal and social exchange. Therefore, it is important to have soft plays at any elementary school (Dickson & Porche, 2001).
Bandura, A. (1977) Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Bergen, D. (1977). Stages of play development, In D. Bergen (Ed.) Play as a medium for learning and development (pp. 30-47). Harvard University Press.
Berk, L., Mann, T., & Ogan, A. (2006). Make-believe play: Wellspring for the development of self-regulation. In D. Singer, R. Golinkoff, & K. Hirsh-Pasek (Eds.), Play and Learning: How play motivates and enhances children's cognitive and social-emotional growth, (pp. 74-100). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Clark, A., & Moss, P. (2005). Spaces to play: More listening to young children using the Mosaic approach. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Dickinson, D., & Porche, M. (2001) Relation between languages experiences in preschool classrooms and children's kindergarten and fourth-grade writing and reading abilities. Child Development, 82 (3), 870-886.
Fasold, R. (1990). Sociolinguistics of Language. (pp. 132-133). Oxford: Blackwell.
Trawick-Smith, J. (2014). The physical play and motor development of young children: a review of literature and implications for practice. Retrieved from http://www.easternct.edu/cece/files/2014/06/BenefitsOfPlay_LitReview.pdf.
Lockhart, S. (2010). Play: An Important Tool for Cognitive Development. Extensions. 24(3): 1- 17.
Henry, E., Joannie, F. and Monica, G. (2013). Using Games and Simulations in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Teachers. New York. Routledge.
Dissertation Ethical Approval Form
Ethical Research Issues Checklist - to be completed by the student
Please review the following and complete the appropriate sections and tick as appropriate:
Have the BERA guidelines have been consulted to inform ethical practice
Has the research proposal identified any of the following research procedures?
i). Gathering information about human beings (and organisations) through;
Observation of human behaviour
Interfering in normal physiological and/or psychological processes
ii). Using archived data in which individuals are identifiable
If any of the above are identified, does the proposal satisfactorily identify the ways in which the following will be dealt with the following (tick boxes for “Yes”):
Voluntary participation without inducement;
Procedures for providing participants with full awareness of the objectives of the research, the procedures to be followed, and the anticipated outcomes particularly in respect of publication of findings;
Proposal has met the criteria for respect for confidentiality and publication
Informed consent by head teacher/setting manager completed
Do the procedures identified in the proposal necessitate full formal risk assessment? YES / NO
Has the risk assessment been carried out? YES / NO / NONE REQUIRED
Centre Manager/ Head Teacher Approval – to be completed by the organisation hosting the research
Day 3,4,5: Check at how the children interact with each other during their play sessions
BA Early Years
MODULE No: EYTL62 MODULE TITLE: Dissertation
This form MUST be COMPLETED and uploaded to MOODLE by 1:00pm on the day of the deadline.