Play Schemas - What are they & how can you support your child while exploring them

Have you ever wondered why your little one repeatedly throws their cup of water or keeps pushing over the block castle you just helped them build?

Repeated patterns of behaviour in childrens play are called schemas. So what are play schemas and why are they so important?

While it might just sound like a fancy word, schemas are an important concept when it comes to the development of our little ones. Schemas are patterns of repeated behaviour that allow children to develop their understanding of the world around them, and how it functions. Quite often your child will be completely engaged with an activity when they are exploring the repetivie nature of a schema.

So what are these patterns and how can you notice & support your child exploring them?

The 8 common play schemas include:

* Positioning
* Connecting
* Orientation
* Transporting
* Trajectory
* Enveloping
* Enclosing
* Rotation


Positioning is all about discovering & exploring spacial awareness, through ordering and arranging objects. 

What it might look like?

Your child will be enjoying positioning objects in a line or on top of each other. They may be sorting objects into size or colour, or they might be very particular about where certain things should be placed.

 Activities to encourage, promote and support your child? 

- Dominoes
- Stacking blocks
- Sorting or lining up loose parts
- Matching games like card games
- Lining up toys or objects and tracing their shadows
- Puzzles
- Create a stone mountain
- Collect leaves and help your child place leaves according to size or shape. 

Keep your eyes peeled as the remaining 7 schemas will be explored in the coming weeks. 



Does your child show Interest in things that spin and turn including themselves? Learning how things move using their fine and gross motor skills is all apart of the rotating schema.


What it may look like:

Your child might love spinning around in circles, twisting things, turning wheels, rolling balls/hula hoops, drawing circles.

Activities to encourage, promote and support your child?

- Spinning tops
- Locks & keys
- Rolling playdough
- Ring a round the Rosey / duck duck goose
- Ball maze
- Clocks
- Using a whisk in bubbly water