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Play Leadership

Course CodeVRE101
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

STUDY PLAYLEADERSHIP ONLINE or BY TRADITIONAL DISTANCE EDUCATION

Learn to be a play leader

Play leaders are people who create and manage play opportunities. Sometimes play leaders are people who are fulfilling a duel role. They can be parents, teachers, pre-school teachers or nannies, who look after both the play needs, and other needs of children in their care.  Some play leaders are employed specifically to concentrate on managing the play needs of children. They may be an assistant to a teacher or care worker, or they may be employed in a supervised playground, play centre or other facility that focuses on play.

This course will develop valuable skills in anyone working, or wishing to work with children. Our staff have experience training play leaders since the late 1970s, our knowledge in the industry is extensive and current. We have devised this truely fantastic course which will challenge you and arm you with the skills you need to succeed in this vitally important industry.  Children deserve the best!

 

Lesson Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course:

  1. Understanding Play
    • To explain the purpose of play in the cognitive, physical and social development of a child.
  2. Leadership Skills
    • To determine the skills required to carry out a play leadership role in different situations.
  3. Planning Play Programs
    • To develop a plan for a supervised children's play program.
  4. Child Development through Play
    • To develop a basic understanding of the impact of play upon the psychological development of a child.
  5. Play Safety
    • To determine appropriate measures to take to protect a child's safety when at play, while minimising any interference which might diminish the quality of the play experience.
  6. Physical Play
    • To develop an understanding of options for physical play activities, including games and sports, in a supervised play program.
  7. Social Play
    • To develop an understanding of options for social play activities, in a supervised play program.
  8. Adventure Play
    • To develop a basic ability to plan, establish and manage a supervised adventure playground.
  9. Play Apparatus
    • To develop an ability to evaluate a range of different play apparatus, including playground structures, toys, sports equipment, commenting on quality, safety features, appropriate applications and cost benefit.
  10. Activities
    • To broaden your scope of opportunities that can be offered for children to play, appropriate to a wide range of different situations.
  11. Special Project

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Explain the purpose of play in the cognitive, physical and social development of a child.
  • Determine the skills required to carry out a play leadership role in different situations
  • Plan a supervised children's play program.
  • Describe the impact of play upon the psychological development of a child.
  • Determine appropriate measures to take to protect a child's safety when at play, while minimising any interference which might diminish the quality of the play experience.
  • Explain options for physical play activities, including games and sports, in a supervised play program.
  • Explain options for social play activities, in a supervised play program.
  • Plan, establish and manage a supervised adventure
  • Evaluate a range of different play apparatus, including playground structures, toys, sports equipment, commenting on quality, safety features, appropriate applications and cost benefit.
  • Expand your knowledge of opportunities that can be offered for children to play, appropriate to a wide range of different situations.

Uninterrupted play is important for a child’s social, physical and mental development; play encourages brain development, stimulates creativity, increases a child’s academic ability, and enhances quality of life through to adulthood. Children who have learnt how to play, will have a more playful and creative approach to life as adults.

This course focuses on the provision of play opportunities for children, and teenagers.

Play leaders are people who create and manage play opportunities.

Sometimes play leaders are people who are fulfilling a duel role. They can be parents, teachers, pre school teachers, or nannies, who look after both the play needs, and other needs of children in their care.

Some play leaders are employed specifically to concentrate on managing the play needs of children. They may be an assistant to a teacher or care worker, or they may be employed in a supervised playground, play centre or other facility that focuses on play.

Planning for Play

While free play is a very important part of the childhood experience, it is not always possible or desirable that children are just left to play when, where and how they wish. Sometimes, their situation does not encourage or support free play. Sometimes, lack of social skills, shyness, cultural differences or other factors can limit the child’s ability to initiate play or to interact in a relaxed and enjoyable manner with other children. Often, working parents rely on supervised programs to provide safe and enjoyable care after school hours or during holidays.

Play programs can take a variety of forms. Some can be loosely program, providing resources and opportunities for free play in a supervised and contained situation. Others can involve structured play activities. Structure is not necessarily an impediment to play, but it must be carefully planned and managed to avoid losing the vital ‘play’ aspects of intrinsic motivation, optimal arousal and control.

Aside from the benefits of structure and predictability offered by play programs, there are other important benefits, some of which are listed below.

  • A degree of structure can introduce children to play options that they might not otherwise have considered.
  • A program can provide a range of stimuli and experiences for the child
  • A program can increase children’s opportunities for socialising with others of the same or other age groups
  • A program can make it easier for children to participate in group activities
  • A program can provide support for those children who need it, when they need it
  • A well-designed program can improve inclusiveness by providing a range of activities that meet different children’s needs
  • A program can provide an adult presence that can be very reassuring to young children, and agreeable to older children  who have been shown to seek out responsive adults for conversation)
  • And very important, a program, if properly managed, can decrease the likelihood of anti-social, bullying or excluding behaviours (such as not allowing another child to join in or to even watch).