Schematic Play

Schematic play refers to the behaviours typically demonstrated by small children as they play. These behaviours can be recognised as ‘repeatable patterns of behaviour’

How You Recognise a Schema.

Small children may have a preferred way in which they like to play.

They might like to line all their toys up in a straight line. They might like to stack items one on top of another or may love to carry small items in bags or pockets. These schemas are completely natural and indeed can be witnessed by children the world over. Occasionally a child may be frustrated in their schema. They may have no resources to enable them to fulfil this inner desire. The schema is not something a child carries out consciously but rather it is an inner drive or determination. When a child is frustrated in their desire then occasionally poor and unwanted behaviour can be witnessed. For example the child who is interested in things that twist and turn or stir may have a ‘core and radial’ schema. If the child has no way of fulfilling this schema or of working through it then he/she may become fascinated by flushing the toilet to watch the water disappear in swirls and turns.

Caring and knowledgeable adults understand schematic play and skilfully promote and support a child to fulfil their schema in appropriate ways. The adult role in high quality settings {and at home} is to provide sufficient resources to support schematic play whilst protecting children’s desires from the disturbances of others.

At Shrewsbury Prepatoria we understand the need to create an inspiring and provoking environment which allows for a multiplicity of schema to be fulfilled.

If you need to know more about this fascinating topic please feel free to contact us.