How we Support Play
At ACE we follow and support the playwork principles. This framework is designed so children get the most out of their games, and us as practitioners, make sure we are capable in assisting children while in the throes of play. They are as follows..
- 1. All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and wellbeing of individuals and communities.
- 2. Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.
- 3. The prime focus and essence of playwork is to support and facilitate the play process and this should inform the development of play policy, strategy, training and education.
- 4. For playworkers, the play process takes precedence and playworkers act as advocates for play when engaging with adult led agendas.
- 5. The role of the playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play.
- 6. The playworker’s response to children and young people playing is based on a sound up to date knowledge of the play process, and reflective practice.
- 7. Playworkers recognise their own impact on the play space and also the impact of children and young people’s play on the playworker.
- 8. Playworkers choose an intervention style that enables children and young people to extend their play. All playworker intervention must balance risk with the developmental benefit and well being of children.
Supporting Rough and Tumble Play
All children play through different ways. (Please see link at bottom of page for a great booklet explaining the different play types.) At ACE we understand that rough and tumble play is a natural part of children’s learning and should be supported as opposed to being taken away. Through this type of play children can gain an understanding of boundaries they, and others have, gain compassion, and understanding of other’s feelings and their own, as well as self-control, being able to recognise when things may get out of hand and stopping.
At ACE Club, we never expect or plan for this type of plan, but understand it’s an important part of children’s development and well-being, supporting in a safe and constructive manner.
When children want to engage in this type of play, it is harder to try and stop it, then it is to let children participate in it. Without the ability to experience rough and tumble, it is more likely children will practice this when there are no adults around to stop them and with little understanding of how to do it safely. (e.g: parks) This therefore creates a potentially dangerous situation. This is why, when children show a preference for this type of play at ACE, we as playworkers are all trained in how to deal, support and guide it, so it stays safe and fun.
We have 3 main rules we stick to when dealing with this play, these are..
- 1) Children have to set clear rules to the game before beginning.
- 2) Children must have a clear purpose to the game and that this does not involve the hurting of others.
- 3) It is always adult supervised, normally carried out for a limited time. Enough that the children get fulfilment, but it stays controlled. (Normally around 20/30 minutes.)
Usually, we see these games carried out through strength testing games (e.g: arm wrestling or tug of war styles games) Whereby the children’s purpose is to see who is strongest. But it is also through simpler games, like tackling in football or chasing games such as superheroes or cops and robbers.
It is important to note that we will never let the children do anything that may intentionally hurt, involve physical fighting or be potentially dangerous to them!