“A schema is a pattern of repeated actions. Clusters of schemas develop into later concepts” (Athey, 2007)
The first five years of a child’s life is a frenzy of excitement and action as they explore how things work, and why things happen! They are making sense of the world around them, conducting their own little mini-inquiries as they repeat actions over and over to see what might happen next…all the possibilities that might emerge from this action. These repeated actions, inquiries, or behaviours are referred to as play schemas – the physical doing or representations of ideas that develop into conceptual understandings.
Our Schemas in Play – an Early Years Guide will highlight some of the most common play behaviours that you might observe. It connects these actions to related schemas, highlighting what the child may be learning through this process.
Use this visual guide to:
- Identify possible patterns or schemas in play
- Reflect on your observations of play with your class team
- Deepen your understanding of what the child is learning as they play
- Document and plan informed next steps