Schematic play is fascinating to watch and can be a very informative way of analysing children’s thinking.
I have written previously about the mixed feelings some practitioners have about schemas – find the blog post here – but schematic play is now identified in the EYFS and can be a powerful learning process for young children. For this reason, I’m going to focus on one very typical type of schematic play – Transporting.
Let’s start a the beginning though. Athey (2007) defines schema as ‘patterns of behaviour and thinking in children that exist underneath the surface feature of various contents, contexts and specific experience’ (page 5).
So when you are looking out for a particular schema, you must observe children’s behaviour and see if that behaviour is repeated in many different areas of play, such as drawings, physical activities, 3D modelling, role play and sand play.
Using the Transporting schema as an example, do you see the children: