Our early years experts explain the value of repetitive play and behaviours to look out for and encourage at home.
What is a Schema?
A schema is a repeated pattern of behaviour. Some children display very clear schemas, and some children may have more than one. There are around 36 different recognised schemas.
Have you ever watched your child at play and wondered why they are continually repeating certain actions?
Maybe you can recall watching your child continually drop toys from their highchair, line up objects or fill up bags and move things around different parts of your home.
If so, it is possible that your child is engaging in schematic play. These patterns of behaviour are called schemas. They can vary from child to child, and some children may never display schematic play or behaviours.
Why do we look for schemas?
Schemas can help us understand why children do certain things. By watching how your child plays, it can help you plan activities, provide games and resources that really interest them, engage them in their play and help their learning and development.
Here are some examples of the schemas to look for that you can then use to create further engaged play moments for your children:
Trajectory – straight lines, arcs, or curves
Transporting – moving objects from one place to another
Connection - joining things together
Scattering - tipping out and spreading around
Enveloping - covering or wrapping
Rotation - turning, spinning and rolling
For more information on Schemas
This link includes a short video featuring Professor Cathy Nutbrown, educational consultant who explains what schemas are and how you can identify them.