Anatomy of the children's play
Jun 28, 2018
If you observe children, their story games can seem like adults that are simple and monotonous, they are very variable in content( subject matter) and in the ways that children use to build them.
Subjective for the child, the plot game is an easier activity than playing with the rules, because it does not have formalized rules that fetter its freedom, there are no clear obligations towards partners.
Is the child really free in the story game? If we ignore the point of view of the child and look at the matter objectively, of course not. A child who is free from the compulsory requirements of an adult and rigid rules of activity is not free from the social world in which he exists and who determines the content of his game from the established in the society in general and in the group of children in particular gambling traditions( in which they are selected in a certain waythis content is organized).In addition, his freedom is determined by the breadth and depth of knowledge and ideas about the environment, the ownership of ways of doing things that make it possible to translate this knowledge into a game.
What is the content of the game than it is determined, this problem has long been raised by psychologists. Is the world that the child builds in the game, a product of free imagination that has no analogue in reality, or is this world an imitation, a copying of the real, surrounding child of the world? Modern psychological and pedagogical studies indicate that such extreme points of view on the solution of the problem are unjustified. The content of the game is neither an illusion, nor a copy of the real world, but an active, creative recreation of it. Reproduced in the game, events, characters and their actions - all this, of course, are the products of reflection in the child's mind of his real experience: direct acquaintance with the environment, the perception of the content of books read to him, viewed movies and TV shows. However, in the combination, combining the knowledge available to him, the child is quite free. And the older it becomes, the more knowledge and diverse experience it acquires, the more the content of its game goes beyond the immediately perceived.
In the game of younger preschoolers, we most often see the re-creation of family life, actions and relationships of adults and children. In the game of older preschoolers there are adventures and flying saucers, and Indians, and other kinds of collisions, often connecting realistic and fictional elements.
What determines the inclusion of a child of a topic in the game?
The real life situations in which the preschool child appears are different in the degree of their activity and the nature of their involvement in them. All these situations can be divided into 3 types:
- a situation in which the child actively acts on an equal basis with adults( like dad and mom, he eats, dresses, washed);
- a situation in which the child is directly involved, but is the object of actions directed at him by adults( he is treated by a doctor, she is cutting a hairdresser, a chauffeur is driving a car, etc.);
- a situation where children are not included in the activities of adults, do not take part in it directly, but either observe it from the side( builders build a house, the librarian issues books, etc.), or learn about it from stories, tales, TV shows.
All 3 types of situations give food for a children's game. However, to a greater extent, the preschooler's game is associated with the re-creation of situations of the second type. On the one hand, these situations are directly presented to the child both in the action plan and in terms of the relationship between the people included in it( that is, he knows this reality well), and on the other hand, the actions of the adult in these situations are really inaccessible to himhe can not drive himself like a father, treat as a doctor), but at the same time attractive and interesting. The emerging contradiction between the possibilities and desires of the child and finds its solution in the game( hence the professional roles most often appearing in the game of these adults).
The embodiment of this "vital" material in the game can be viewed in two aspects. First, in the aspect of selection and cohesion of the elements of experience, that is, the actual deployment of the plot of the game. Secondly, in the aspect of its realization in external activity - in the actions and speech of the child. It is clear that such an "anatomy" is conducted in order to better understand what the game is. In the very process of the children's game, both these aspects are interrelated.
Let's begin our analysis with the story of the children's game. Events, included in them characters, their actions - these are the elements of the plot, expressing the semantic content of the game. For children's games, their figurative cohesion is characteristic of these elements. For example, the sequence of events in the game does not necessarily reproduce the chronology or logic of real events.
Let's explain this by analogy with the literature. The writer, in order to make his work more expressive, allocate certain accents for the reader, can arrange the real life material in different ways: describe events in chronological order or, on the contrary, after setting the outcome of events, the final, to consider what has led to it;can interleave different narrative plans. In short, the literary plot is a specially constructed "vital"( plot material) material.
But if the writer builds the plot consciously, for the sake of greater expressiveness, persuasiveness of the work for the reader, then the child unfolds the plot of the game, unconsciously structures, changes the material of life in accordance with its accessibility to his understanding, his own whim and interest.the sequence of events in the children's story can be very peculiar, both because of the incompleteness of the child's knowledge, and because of the emotional relationship that singles out individual events as particularly significant and "missing" others.
The game culture of the playing group of children in which it is included also influences the plotting of the child by the child, and the game tradition, i.e., transmitted from one generation to the next generation of game stories, given to the child by the elders and reproduced by him in his own activity. In the latter case, the connection of the child's plot with the "life" material becomes more mediated: the child gets the framework of the finished story, which he unfolds and complements already on the basis of his own experience. For example, one of these traditionally transmitted "archetype" stories is the following: detection of impending danger, threats - elimination of the source of danger( struggle) - a happy ending. In any case, the observation materials show that many children's games( with different specific themes) fit into such a plot scheme. Of course, if a child uses these schemes, then he does it unconsciously. Simply, assimilating the game samples, he intuitively feels that it is necessary to play this way.
If the child is left to himself and does not have any game samples, the plot of his game initially represents a simple imitation of the surrounding life, as he sees and understands it. Usually this is a separate event, repeated many times in the game. An example of this is the endless feeding of dolls, all in turn, or putting them all to sleep.
As the child develops, the plot of his game becomes more complicated - it includes not one but several events( 2-3), which are also cyclically repeated( for example, such a cycle: feed the dolls - put them to bed - wash and then start again).Even with the subsequent complication of the content of the game, cyclicity remains a characteristic feature of children's subjects for a long time.
Another feature of children's stories is the interweaving of various themes in them. Very often, watching the child's play, it is impossible to say exactly what he played. In one game, the life of the family can be reproduced, and the interaction with the seller in the store, and a meeting with the woman-yaga. And the child himself, if asked about it, will most likely point to only one of the topics. These various events do not add up to a single semantic whole, but are strung together one by one, arising from random associations, an object that has fallen into the child's eyes, a rustle outside the door. For example, 4-year-old children begin to play in their mother's daughters."Mom", as she should, feeds her "daughter".But on her eyes comes the toy steering wheel, which immediately determines the turn of the plot: "We went by taxi. .. No, I'm the bus driver now."The noise outside the door distracts the child from "driving the car": "This is a woman-yaga! Come on - we escape from it! "The more events are strung, the less you can see in them the initial collisions of the plot. Each subsequent event may have something to do with the previous one, but the entire sequence as a whole does not have a single meaning, it is constructed according to the type of associative contiguity. By the way, such features of the plot are also characteristic of the children's story, which often unfolds according to the principle: "And suddenly. .." Therefore, it is difficult to predict how the story will unfold by the child, what associations or semantic connections will arise during the game.
Such associative plots, as well as cyclic ones, are potentially infinite. And in these cases, the end of the game is determined not by the logical completion of the game events, but by a very real event that causes the child to change the type of activity( it's time to go to lunch or sleep, mom calls for a walk, etc.).
But there comes a time when everything external and random recedes, and the game story unfolds in accordance with the concept of the child, which will persist throughout the game. And here the "vital" material appears in a twofold form. In some cases - as a rigid limiter, determining the content of game actions and ordering the sequence of events in the game in accordance with the life logic( "It does not really happen, so it can not be played"), In other cases - as a basis and a reference point fora conscious combination of real events in meaning sequences that do not have real prototypes( "In fact it does, but in the game you can do it differently", "I know that this does not happen, but we are playing").
Such subjects( no longer a simple imitation of reality or reproduction of a finished sample, but actually built by the child) is the vertex of the creative play of the preschooler, but in the case of spontaneous mastery of the game, not all children reach it. In order to come to her, the child should not only have a rich stock of knowledge and impressions, but also freely operate with all elements of the plot, and also master the language of the game - playing action in its various forms. We now turn to an analysis of the game action.
The game is an activity that replaces, simulates the "real", therefore the play action that the child carries out in it is double: in its meaning it is "present", and in its external characteristics often has little to do with the present.
Let's consider a common example, which psychologists like to bring, explaining what a game action is. The boy sits in front of an upturned chair and, holding on to two legs, then lowers the chair, then raises it. When asked what he is doing, he answers: "I'm driving a car."In this case, a game action( "driving a car") is carried out with an object replacing the present( car and steering wheel).And since here the replacement object is not similar in its external features to the real one( indeed, the legs of the chair and the rudder do not even remotely resemble each other), then the child's real operations differ dramatically from the actual operations of the chauffeur. It should be said that, nevertheless, more often children try to pick up a game object, which in its functionality would be similar to the present. For example, instead of a thermometer a child will take a stick or pencil with which you can act appropriately, and not the ball.
The above example with the "machine" really illustrates the dual nature of the game action, but still it is only a particular case of it. The range of game actions of children is very wide: from actions with an object replacing the present, to visual actions-movements( where the object is only imagined) -to actions in a purely speech plan. Let us explain this in the example of playing the doctor's actions in the game. The child can take a toy syringe( or a similar object) and prick the partner's hand. He can only reproduce the corresponding movements of the doctor's hands without any object, and, finally, simply describe the action: "Chick! I gave you a shot. "Well, the doctor's kind attitude towards the patient can be recreated mainly through speech: "Do not be afraid, I do not painfully inject".
Thus, the game action in form can be very different( subject-substituting, depicting, denoting), although, in fact, if widely approached, it always replaces the present.
However, the child can perceive the real event recreated in the game in different ways: from the side of the actions of the people participating in it( make the injection so. ..) or on the part of the actor himself( the doctor does something, talks with something...).And can perceive the meaning of the event as a whole, placing it in a series of other events( the doctor heals patients in the clinic, and then goes on call to them home. ..).
Given the focus of the child on different aspects of reality and the very form of gaming, it is possible to distinguish, during the preschool childhood, three gradually becoming more complicated ways of constructing a story game by children.
First is the deployment of a chain of conditional objective actions. They, of course, belong to someone, that is, the child imitates someone in the game, but he himself does not realize it. This method can be called substantive.
At the next stage the child already calls himself the name of a character( during the game, and then immediately starting it), i.e. assumes the role. The conditions of action are still the same as before, but gradually they become more diverse, include more and more role-playing, which is an indispensable attribute of any character. All this means the child's transition to a new way of building the game - role-playing behavior.
Finally, the main thing for a child is not just an imitation of object actions or an image of a character, but the reconstruction of holistic events involving various characters with their actions and relationships, and the connection of these events in different sequences( actually perceived by a child oronly possible, imagined by him).The complexity of the content of such a game requires an increasing use of the notation and explanation. The game goes partially into the plan of speech and imagination. This method, the most complex, "absorbing" both the previous ones, can be called a plot situation.
Sequential mastery of these ways of playing allows the child, on the one hand, to more fully recreate the actions and attitudes of surrounding people, and on the other - to creatively develop the game by freely operating in it various elements of the plot - events, characters, their actions.