Symbolic Play: Symbolic Play

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Notebook Activity #6- Symbolic Play
Summary of experience: I really enjoyed observing for this notebook activity because for the first time in my whole life, I had to determine which toys fostered symbolic play and then I had to analyze why a certain toy was beneficial in promoting symbolic play. I observed three different classrooms for this experiment: Cherub’s Preschool, Bethel’s Mom2Mom group, and Mrs. Dexter’s kindergarten class. In the Cherub’s Preschool, the children had multiple toys that promoted symbolic learning. For example, Brody found some farm animals in a bin and he took them out and began to make the sounds that those animals make. This demonstrated symbolic play because he was able to place a symbol (the sound of the animal)
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Symbolic play allows children to construct meaning of their everyday life through their activities and experiences. They begin to understand the world by using their imaginations to practice some of the connections that they are making from their observations of it. By engaging in symbolic play, children will learn how to do certain tasks on their own. For example, in the restaurant example mentioned earlier, children who participate in this activity by pretending to be a customer at a restaurant, will help them practice ordering food that they would normally eat, and then eventually helping them overcome their fear of talking to the waiter or waitress. Once this happens the child will be more apt to order their own food when going to a restaurant, which will ultimately make them feel more independent and self-sufficient. In fact, the third stage of Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development, initiative versus guilt, “Children who successfully accomplish the developmental tasks of this stage will emerge confident and competent. They will believe that they can plan and complete a task independently” (Pg. 68, Chapter 3- Erik Erikson). As a future teacher, it will be vital that I allow children to learn on their own and if they make a mistake, it is okay. Research shows that children are likely to feel less competent and take fewer risks in learning when they are constantly reprimanded for their actions. Of course, I cannot just observe two children getting into a fight, but I can help them work through it in a way that will be a learning experience for the both of them. So basically what I am saying is that it is crucial that as a teacher I remember that every moment can be a learning moment, no matter if symbolic play is involved or
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