Importance of Play and role of an adult in Play in Early Childhood.

We will learn about what is play in early childhood years, its characteristics, types and social aspects. We will also cover the role of an adult in play.

#1 What is Play in Early Childhood?

Children love to play; play often mirrors what is important in their lives. Play can be of different types: quiet or noisy, funny or serious. Children play for different reasons. Sometimes they explore or learn new things. At other times they experiment with existing learning or practice a skill. Play can also be a way of building a relationship with others. Children often play simply for fun and enjoyment. 

Importance of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in 2020 ( The new guide).

What is Play?

Play is a way of doing things, or play can be anything children are doing without any rule or restriction. For example, If the child is running here and there in the garden/park/home this is play, but if the child is running with peers in school having a finish line and a straight track to run. It is not a play.

  • Characteristics of Play:

1.     Active

2.     Adventurous and risky

3.     Meaningful

4.     Communicative

5.     Involved

6.     Enjoyable

7.     Sociable and Interactive

8.     Voluntary


  • Types of Play

1.     Creative

2.     Physical

3.     Pretend, Imaginary, Dramatic, Make-Believe, Fantasy

4.     Exploratory

5.     Manipulative

6.     Construction

7.     Games with rules


  • Social aspects of the early play

  • Solitary

·         When the child plays alone

  • Spectator 

·         When the child watches others playing without joining. 

  • Parallel

·         When the child plays side by side with another child, often with similar materials, but without interacting with each other.

  • Partnership play

·         Children begin to play together

  • Cooperative

·         Children interact, wait for their turns, share and decide how and what to play together.

What is the role of adults in play?

  • Planning for play

·         Prepare, plan and organise activities based on aim and learning goal.

·         Provide play experience that is safe, challenging (each day), inclusive, and enjoyable.

·         Organise the indoor and outdoor environment so that it reflects children’s individuals’ strengths, interests, abilities and needs.

·         Continually build on challenges and extend children’s learning and development.

·         Provide children with choices about what to do and when.


  • Supporting play

·         Talk to children about their play, recognise, respect, and support children’s play choices.

·         Support those without interfering, take part in the play when invited to or when they can make a positive contribution, and help children develop the skills for play.

·         Aware of and respectful of children’s feelings, the language he or she speaks their ability, their background, and their culture during play.

·         Help children deal with difficulties such as when they are disengaged or need help getting started.


  • Reviewing play

·         Observe, talk to and listens to children when they are playing

·         Identifies the types and quality of children's play, knows the style and the pattern of each child’s play and their preferences, interests and friendships.

·         Observes and documents through notes, photographs and video clips. What is happening in the play

·         Uses the information gathered in planning future play.



Importance of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in 2020 ( The new guide).

So far we have discussed what is early childhood, why early childhood education, and the importance of play in early childhood care and education. We also discussed the roles of adults while organising or creating activities for children.

As there are multiple things we should keep in mind while arranging playful activities for children in order to teach them new skills. Here comes the role of an Early childhood Professional educator.


While selecting the educator, you should keep some factors in mind as this is about the future of your child, The educator should have the following characteristics:

·         A professional degree in the early childhood education field.

·         He/She should have good experience of working with children (recommended at least 2-3 years)

·         He/She should be friendly with children, short-tempered, and have a lot of patience to work with children.


These are the minimum characteristics an Early childhood Educator should have.

I have also covered the "Early Childhood Educator Job Description" you can check that as well.

I hope you find this information helpful.