What Is Self Directed Play?


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Sarah Devine Profile
Sarah Devine answered
Self-directed play is where children choose to play and choose how they play. It is also where they do so without seeking any form of reward. If children are told what to do as opposed to getting to chose what to do, it is not considered ‘play’. Self directed play is when the child follows his/her instincts to play without the constraints of an adult, computers or anything structured against a natural will to play.
This form of play is very important to a child’s development as it will help to create confidence for the child as well as organisational skills. Self-directed play will allow a child to have confidence to try new things and will reduce boredom for them when left on their own for entertainment. They will develop skills in how to arrange their own time and how to be effective in what they do with it and how they go about doing so.
To allow self-directed play to happen, creating an affective play space is essential whereby the child’s mood must be an important factor. Lighting, images and shape are three main important aspects of an affective play space. Children also love items and object with a comforting feel and anything sensory is attractive to younger children. Colour and materials are important elements to a child’s mood within a room.
A variety of toys will entice a child further to want to play. Examples of such toys are balls, puzzles, blocked shapes, cleaning toys (brooms, toy hoovers etc) play sets such as farms, hospitals etc, lego styled toys, dolls and dressing up clothes.
There are many advantages to this form of play but of course there are some disadvantages. These can occur through too much adult intervention as well as through a lack of inspiration through play space and/or toy collection.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It's an important stage in child development, where the child learns to play games autonomously, without direction from parents or other outsiders. It commonly takes the form of imaginary games or other types of play requiring creativity.

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