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Write an essay on Protection Practices for Children’s Rights to Play?
In the early years of childhood, playing is considered as a natural practice for children. Playing games and similar recreational activities are touted to have implications in teaching the children things about decision making, socializing, working as a team, and also helps in body development (Alderson, 2008). However, in the case of schools and other institutions that have the ability of controlling the activities that a child takes part in, sometimes burden of studies can limit provisions for play time. Due to these reasons, The United Nations has also noted a 'right to play' in article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 (UNICEF, 2014) and similar arrangements are also made in the early years' learning framework.
In practice as an educator, I experience that the article 31 of UCNRC serves a very important role on a global scale to raise awareness for the importance of playing for children and also serves as a credible precedence to potential changes in the school curriculum which otherwise might end-up having low emphasis on play activities (PlayEngland.org.uk, 2010). On the foundation of the UCNRC rights for children, many countries and school systems adopt critical measures of protecting the right to play for children as incorporated by Australia's early years' learning framework.
The foundation of this definition of children's right to play has its roots in the changing ways society started to treat play activities of children in the late 1980s, and showing indifference to the sheer importance of playing activities (Brooker & Woodhead, 2013).
I have experienced in use of early years' learning framework that playing activities do not just function as a pass-time activity rather have contribution to physical and physiological development of children. In teaching sessions, I frequently adopted open-ended play activities that encourage creativity by letting the children use a wide variety of tools like Legos, clay, paint, blocks, and sand to play in any way they want with lack of proper guideline. The act of engaging in open-ended play activities provided children the ability to learn in a natural manner on many fronts, such as – teamwork, linking thoughts with body actions, communication skills, ability to express thoughts and having a sense of accomplishment when achieving a goal.
The right to play for children has its need justified in the inherent development process of students. However, how effectively the right to play for children is protected depends on the specific ways that play is deployed and provisioned in the EYL framework. From having access to EYLF classrooms, I have realized that not all practices of ways to protect children's right to play are good practices.
From my experience with early year students in a classroom setting, I firmly believe that learning process using play can get very focused and efficient if properly designed by experienced teachers and child psychology experts. When making use of this approach, my aim is always to develop play activities that help the students in making use of their cognitive skills, creativity, and teamwork abilities, a practice also supported by literature (Lester, 2016). Such play activities are good practices if developed properly and achieve a balance of fun, the engagement with students, and skill development of students.
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