Is it a good idea to connect with a small child through play? Of course yes. Should we interact with a child as soon as he starts playing? Of course not. So, what to do or not to do? Start by being aware of your own relationship with the game, both in terms of your childhood memories and your playful attitude today. Observe the player while watching yourself play, and ask yourself, as a professional, if we let the child have control of the game. And above all, try to adapt better to the smaller players in the opposition. Gestures, rhythms, comments, initiative.
Only one condition: availability and sincerity, because according to child psychiatrist Bernard Golus, “Our play can only be useful for a child if the joy it brings to us is genuine. “He mentioned, in the same book (Children, from the sense of existence, Érès, 1001 BB, 2019),” Play is a place for mutual storytelling, even with children. Everyone “says” something to others through the source of the previous description of shared joy. A A word of advice: Remember that not all children necessarily have parents who can play with them, due to lack of time, educational policy or when no one plays with them when they are young. Also, on a day spent away from his or her family, each child should be entitled to a short period of time to have a playful interaction with an adult who is interested in him or her. Especially since, if we are too intrusive or too present, most children (not everyone) know how to take control or let us know that they want to continue their humorous quest on their own.
Playing with it is therefore not going back to childhood without protection, it is only in verbal and non-verbal interactions with emerging players. Knowing how to play with one or more children, but also knowing when to stop playing, is part of professional skills that cannot be learned overnight.
Create game: When adults are helpful
With audiences of all ages, it is possible to play, that is, to decide what to play and who to lead the game. With little kids, more than just creating instructions and guiding players step by step, that’s a question. Arousing interest and a desire to work without expecting results. Playing means taking things in hand because we know kids well and we know how to identify when they are waiting for an offer. Make her book and dream with baby. Activities in Childhood (Social Chronicle, 2018), Christine Schuhl writes: “ The animator manages the game, refining the surprise, fun effects. He plays spontaneously, while mastering his animation course perfectly. The animation then becomes a space-time, where the complexity between children and adults disappears without haste.. A
This description relates to games in which adults set up players and, without ever pressing anything, endanger children no longer playing: Adults propose, children decide. For example, the game of throwing the ball in a basket or keeping it on the ground: adults set it up, explain the rules of the game, handing the ball to the first player. He evaluates each case on a case-by-case basis, during individual reactions, whether he can tell his turn to wait, whether he counts the number of well-received balls, or whether he needs to change the game quickly. Even if he plans an animation curve, at any time, he can change the progress of the session. He can also free himself from the rules of the game given to listen to children’s ideas: play with the basket without the ball or vice versa. Some other situations where adults, as far as he likes and invite children to play, have a place to play: musical discovery, motor skills course, modeling clay and pot, sticker, doll toilet, building block … once by adults Once the game situation is created, he must balance his intervention and accept the surprise of the children’s initiative. So it’s not a decision for the child to play, it’s a matter of picking a series of toys or having an idea about the activity because there is always a moment in the day when children, individually or as a group, are waiting for adults.
Let play: When adults guarantee freedom of play
In contrast to forcing people to play, another way is to let them play, not to leave very young children on their own devices, but to allow them to play freely with minimal interference from the adult part. . Betting everything on a playful environment, both materially and humanely, is a way for each child to count on his or her internal resources to meet the need to be active in his or her own way. The first year, the result of a progression in learning how to play, from the adults enjoying the act of thanking him to playing next to him, without asking him anything but benefiting from his presence (described by Winnikot as a playful description). . As the child grows older, he develops a sense of inner security that results from the balance of attachment / exploration, and which is reflected in his ease of playing away from an attachment image.
In allowing play, all adult initiatives are upstream: playroom layout, whether or not to allocate space in areas devoted to different sections of play, equipment including toys and other play equipment. Another important point is the good distribution of adults in the room. To this end, the contributions of developmental psychologist Anne-Marie Fontaine help us to think about their place, as she used an image when addressing childhood professionals during her research-action work: “ For children, you are like a lighthouse. He came up with the idea that headlights, such as at sea, illuminate and protect an area, a playground, whether it is the position and attitude of adults that make a particular place attractive or not. After all, doing nothing to be allowed to play is quite the opposite. We must anticipate and do everything possible so that the welcomed children have the opportunity to play alone and with others without leaving their fate as players in the hands of adults. Then, we must pay attention to the individual actions and interactions as they provide the formula for improving our system.
A custom pose for each player
With young children, just like adults, adults benefit by changing hats after a quick analysis of the context: sometimes a partner, sometimes a helper, sometimes a guarantor. This distinction, valid at the group level, also applies at the individual level. In front of a puzzle, in a dinette or with a bin full of cubes, a child may need an adult to share his discoveries (to play with), but may need to be with him and even guide (play them) or vice versa. Feeling existent in a beneficial way (let play) During the day, each new situation is faced, depending on their age and personality, each child expresses a different expectation. It is up to the adult to correctly decipher the symptoms that will make him or her, at this particular moment, a game partner, a game leader, or the person responsible for the game.