What is a play schema? Does my child have one?


A schema is a pattern of play in young children which can be observed as they explore their world and make sense of it. Some children have several schemas while others have a very dominant preferred one. If your pre school child regularly does something distinctive in their play, the chances are you can think of it as an uncontrollable play urge, also known as a dominant schema. 

When you understand how these are manifested in their play, its fascinating to see how your child is learning about their world and processing it. 

Here as some of the most commonly seen schemas: 

Trajectory 

Rotation 

Enclosing

Enveloping

Transporting

Positioning

Connecting

Positioning 

Orientation 

Transformation 

I'll discuss each of these in a separate blog post and provide some play ideas for you to try. I'd love to hear if your child has a distinctive place schema and how you get on with the play suggestions. 

Jane Reay 


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