Stages of Play

While we may be well-versed on gross motor or language stages of development, the sequence unfolding in a child’s play is often overlooked.

It was Parten in the early 1930s who theorized that children progress through a series of six different types of play sequentially based on their maturity and social experiences. These stages include:

1. unoccupied play
2. solitary or independent play
3. onlooker play
4. parallel play
5. associative play, and
6. cooperative play

The final stage- cooperative play- tends to draw the most attention.

For cooperative play to unfold naturally, the child must be willing and able to let go of his own urges and desires, preferring instead to negotiate a middle ground where two or more may work together towards a common goal.

This is not something that can be taught by an adult. Rather it evolves over an individual’s personal uninterrupted cumulative play experiences with himself, his family, and the groups with which he is associated.

The disagreement in Parten’s Play Stage Theory lies in whether these stages evolve in sequence- for if they were, it would be uncommon to witness something like Toddler Cooperative Play. Cooperative Play activities are often reserved for the more mature elementary age child who has developed the ability to self-regulate to this complexity.

Yet, when children have grown up together in the center under the gentle guidance of a Primary Caregiver, we witness these cooperative play activities much earlier. Toddlers who are not only cared for by one primary adult, but who also have remained in consistent peer groups over an extended time, demonstrate the natural aptitude for cooperative play much earlier than the anticipated six year bench mark.

Without adult pressure to “share” and without redirection to adult guided activities, children supported in free, uninterrupted play activities evolve through the play sequence at a seemingly accelerated rate. This cooperative model amongst peers translates to the child’s desire and interest to work cooperatively with the adult- be it in a caregiving, academics, or simply keeping the classroom peace

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

Photo David Vigliotti
Photo David Vigliotti
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“We can hope that men will understand that the interest of all are the same, that hope lies in cooperation. We can then perhaps keep PEACE.”
Alva Myrdal

Meet the TEAM

Master Mentor Teacher and Early Childhood Intern contribute equally to the daily experiences at Little Learners Lodge and the Montessori School of Mount Pleasant under a collaborative teaching model. Carefully selected for their individual talents and strengths, together the MMPSchool faculty members demonstrate the implementation of best practices in center base care. Meet the team…

MEGAN Head of School AMI Early Childhood RIE Parent Facilitator Pikler Trained Orton-Gillingham Trained RCB Certified GOOD Finalist 2013
MEGAN
Head of School
AMI Montessori Early Childhood Credentialed 
RIE Parent Facilitator
Pikler Trained
Orton-Gillingham Trained
Redirecting Children’s Behavior Certified
GOOD Finalist 2013
Darkness to Light Trained
MALINDA Assistant Director AMS 0-3 Certified RIE Foundations Graduate Pikler Trained
MALINDA
Assistant Director
AMS Montessori 0-3 Credentialed 
RIE Foundations Graduate
Pikler Trained
Darkness to Light Trained
DSC_9328
ELISE
Toddler Mentor Teacher
AMS 0-3 Montessori Credentialed
RIE Foundations Graduate
Darkness to Light Trained
ALEX Infant Toddler Supervisor RIE Foundations Graduate Pikler Trained AMS Montessori Assistant Trained

 

KAREN – Mentor Teacher
AMS Montessori 3-6 Credentialed
RIE Foundations Graduate
Darkness to Light Trained 
DSC_9354
NOMI
AMS 0-3 Montessori Intern RIE Foundations Graduate
Darkness to Light Trained

 

 

AMY Mentor Teacher NMACTE Trained RIE Foundations Graduate Orton-Gillingham
AMY – Mentor Teacher
NMACTE Montessori 3-6 Credentialed
RIE Foundations Graduate
Orton-Gillingham Trained
Clemson Master Naturalist Certified
Darkness to Light Trained

Supporting Instructors resourcing us on a weekly basis:

Masters of Music under Dr. Douglas James Suzuki Certified Founder LowCo Guitar
GREGORY
Masters of Music
Suzuki Certified
Founder LowCo Guitar
Yoga Teacher YA Certified and Registered Mindful Schools Trained
STACY
Yoga Teacher
YA Certified and Registered
Mindful Schools Trained
DSC_3184
BRENDA
Gardener

Supporting Resources:

NICOLE VIGLIOTTI Owner, Program Development AMS 3-6 RIE Associate Pikler Trained AMS 0-3 Intern
NICOLE VIGLIOTTI
Owner, Program Development
AMS 3-6
RIE Associate
Pikler Trained
AMS 0-3 Intern
DAVID VIGLIOTTI Owner, Director AMS 0-3 RIE Foundations Pikler Trained Master Naturalist Master Gardener Photographer
DAVID VIGLIOTTI
Owner, Director
AMS 0-3
RIE Foundations
Pikler Trained
Master Naturalist
Master Gardener
Photographer
BEVERLY KOVACH MMPSchool Founder AMS 0-3 Teacher Trainer RIE Associate Pikler Trainer, USA Author
BEVERLY KOVACH
MMPSchool Founder
AMS 0-3 Teacher Trainer
RIE Associate
Pikler Trainer, USA
Author

My new self talk when responding to testing toddlers

After the newness wears from the start of the year, toddlers feel safe to explore and test out their environment. This includes limits. A wonderful reminder to keep calm and teach on!

Advocate for Infants

Responding to testing behaviors Responding to testing behaviors

Today I read Janet’s latest post, Don’t leave a testing toddler hanging, she could not have written this at a better time (at least for me!). I have to say this week was a little tricky in my classroom, a LOT of testing behavior was happening. In times like these, when the testing behavior feels like it will never come to an end, I have to remind myself that it is a good thing that the children are testing us. This type of behavior shows us they feel safe and comfortable enough to push the limits. I also am so thankful for the wonderful co-teachers and co-workers I have. I have a lot of people to talk to about how to respond to testing behavior. I feel very blessed to have such a great support system. It’s really important!

After reading this post, I have decided…

View original post 139 more words

Sleeping on One’s Own (with video)

Being able to let go and release oneself into sleep in center base care requires the infant to feel safe, secure, and at home with her environment and the people around her.

How else could she put herself into such a vulnerable state of being?

Unlike home,  babies in daycare must find their rest amongst a group of others..  At first, this can be a frightening and intimidating experience for the child.  Over time, however, infants cared for in centers practicing the RIE way will come to know their Primary Educarer;  be refueled during body care routines;  and acclimate to the sounds, sights and smells within the center community.

In time, she’ll learn how to sleep on her own not only at home, but also at the center.

Take a peek as Baby A lays herself down to sleep-

(Note: Placing two cribs in our mobile play space allowed us to observe the quality of sleep of a crib baby versus a floor bed baby while at the center. The cribs were placed in play space to observe the child’s initiative to self-regulate. Based on our observations, we now wait to utilize floor beds while cribs remain reserved for designated indoor/outdoor sleep spaces.)

How is Baby A able to fall to sleep so peacefully all on her own while her friends continue to play nearby?

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

This baby is cared for under the primary direction of a highly trained and experienced infant practitioner.  She shares her care with three other babies with whom she will come to know deeply as they grow and development together under their caregiver’s guidance.   In her relationship with her caregiver, Baby A has grown to trust that her needs will be met to their fullest..  Their interactions together during body care- be it sleep, eating, or diapering- refuel not only her physical need, but also those involving her social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

 

Little Learners Loddge
Little Learners Loddge

Baby and Caregiver are in sync- when the infant is laid down to sleep it is because she has indicated to her Primary Teacher that she is tired.   She knows where she is headed as the environment and routine have been the same.  While some activity may continue around her, the group size remains small, minimizing the disturbance. On her own scheduled, rather than one prescribed by the adult, an infant ready to sleep knows what to do.

This baby has learned to trust.
Her caregiver, her environment,
Herself.

Recommended resources:

Towards Independent Sleep

In Magda’s Words- YSCB

The Parent “Go To”- Janet Lansbury