The themes used to describe the children’s observed actions were: Physical, emotional, mental/cognitive, imaginative and communication. The actions that fell under the physical them include; climbing, dragging, rolling, dancing and so on. I considered singing, caressing and dancing as involving emotions and hence the theme “emotional” emerged from these actions. In my view, building the legos house involves reasoning so I gave the theme “cognition” for the activity. Children speaking to themselves and to their toys were given the theme communication, and the boy’s shooting of his toy and the girl saying she was going on vacation were considered to be imaginative.
PhysicalIt can be said that through the play, the children showed which physical activities they can perform, they also showed how they are physically developed. The activities such as climbing, picking toys and dragging helped them to improve their psychomotor skills. climbing, dragging, rolling enhance the gross motor skills development whiles picking, toys, building legos house can also aid in the development of their fine motor skills. Overall, these activities enhanced their physical development.
Cognition and ImaginationAgain, the building of the legos house, for example, involves the ability to reason and deciding where to place the legos in order to get the design of the house they have imagined. Thus, play helped the children to develop their cognitive and imaginative skills. The case of the girl pretending to be a mother taking care of her children and household clearly shows how imagination is enhanced through play. Encouraging children to play therefore can strengthen their imaginative and cognitive abilities.
EmotionalIt can be observed from the data that in their play, the children expressed emotions and also reacted to emotions. The girl cuddling her dolls, the small boy crying for the legos house and how his brother handed it over to him all illustrate how the children learn and react to other’s feelings. Through the play, the girl demonstrated empathy to the two toys she left home when going on vacation by saying “I miss you, I will give you special treat for you were left alone for three days”. Again, the boy saying “damn it” when the theme music of the show they were watching on television ended was his way of showing his disappointment.CommunicationBy speaking to themselves, to others and to their toys, the children were showing and enhancing their communication skills. It was observed that even when they were speaking to their toys; they asked the toys a question remain silent for some seconds before they either give the answer themselves or ask another question. That is a great skill to acquire for better communication in our social life; giving others the opportunity to speak in a conversation/discussion.
Decision-MakingIt was also observed that the children in their play took their own decisions about what to do at every step. No adult/parents gave them directions in their play. Example, the girl decided she was going on vacation with her children (dolls), and when she returned after three days (as she said) no one told her to prepare food for her children, she took those decisions on her own.
Thus, the children showed their decision-making abilities. Through play, the children learn to become assertive.