Theoretical perspective to support developmental stage of children

University: Bucks New University

  • Unit No: 6
  • Level: Undergraduate/College
  • Pages: 16 / Words 3875
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: EC4F05
  • Downloads: 5631
Organization Selected : Early years foundation state (EYFS)
Question :

Children are the important asset for the economy as they are the future of the country. There are many theoretical approaches which support in their development stage. This project is based on application of the theoretical knowledge in respect to child development.

  • Theoretical perspective to support developmental stage of children through plan for different aged children
  • philosophical approaches which contribute in development of child.
  • How the philosophical and theoretical approach support the practice.
Answer :


Play games is pleasurable and enjoyable thing for children. Early years foundation state (EYFS) always encourage kids to take part in various games, this develops their confidence and boost their energy as well. Parents are the first educator and environment is another instructor of the kids (Barrow, 2015). Family members teach kids how to behave and environment makes them able to become more creative. Present study will explain various theoretical and philosophical approaches to play. Furthermore, it will create a plan by using theoretical and philosophical approaches on play to support development stage, needs and interest on children with different age. In addition, it will evaluate these theories and will explain its effectiveness for improvement in own practices.

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1.1 Creating a plan using theoretical perspectives on play to support the developmental stage, needs and interests on children

For the development of children, there are many theories that can be followed so that child can be supported in their developmental stage, needs and interest. In this context, below give are stages and theories that can be used for development of plan:

0-1 year and 11 months: As per Piaget’s stages of cognitive development, child develops through reflexes, senses and manipulate materials. It is important for adults to keep their babies safe and interested. Further, adults need to respond reassuringly to separation anxiety (Crain, 2015). In accordance with Erikason’s stages of psychosocial development, child below one year go through stage of trust and mistrust. It is important that adults provide comfort, support attachment and primary care giving. Adults need to focus on developing trust and comfort by make child recognise different sounds. Child gets to recognise individuals are this way they get to develop and play. The response of babies to sound are immediate which enables them to grow in effective manner.

2-2 years and 11 months: As per this age group, child is able to form idea based on perception. They start to move around and get to recognize individuals. As per Piaet’s stages of cognitive development, babies get to focus on one variable at a time. In order to make babies develop through play, adults should provide large blocks so that they play. Further, real world experience should be given to babies as it enables them to learn and develop effectively. In accordance with Erikson’s stages of development, 1-3 years of child show willpower (Evans, Forney and Renn, 2009). Babies try to put on their efforts so that they are able to move their hands and legs and try to cover certain distance by their own. Adults are required to give simple choice, should be clear consistent and reasonable.

3-5 years: In accordance with Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development, child is at preoperational stage. Childs is able to develop ideas based on perception and they are also egocentric. Adults need to plan on open ended activities and should ask open ended questions. As per Erikason’s stages, child is able to develop through observation. Adults need to set expectations with abilities. Further, focus needs to be made on curriculum on doing and on real things. Adults need to identify the area of interest that their child has and then plan for the activities so that they develop accordingly.

1.2 Use of theoretical perspectives on play which support the developmental stage, needs and interests of children aged

As per the theoretical perspectives, there are different type of activities that can be included so as to support developmental stage, needs and interest of children aged. In accordance with the use of theories, below given are the activities that adults should make their babies to perform:

0-1 year and 11 months: Adults should make their babies to search toys or books. This is a type of activity that can make a child to develop their learning and understanding in effective manner. This is helpful to develop motor skill development and object permanence. Another activity that can be played is stacking cups (Day, Fleenor and McKee, 2014). This is another effective way to develop motor skills. Apart from this, it also enables to develop understanding towards cause and effect. There are clapping activity in which child tries to repeat the adults by clapping. This enables to develop imitation and rhyming.

2-2 years and 11 months: As per theoretical perspective, adults need to make child move own their own so that they can be grow. Making a child play with colors is effective enough to make them grow in natural way. Further, adults should make homemade alphabet sponge letters. This enables to make them recognize the shape and make for each alphabet. In accordance with Erikson’s stages, adults need to make child help in making decisions. Further, child should not be given false choices. Simple choices should be given so that it becomes helpful enough for them to grow effectively.

3-5 years: In this age, adults need recognize the areas in which child has interest. This way, it is helpful enough for them to determine the activities that can be practices so that growth is possible. It is identified that, when areas of interest is identified at so early age, then it becomes helpful to grow in effective manner. Independence to child should be encouraged and expectations with abilities should be set (Zimmerman, 2013). Further, it also seen that child those fall under this age group generally ask lot of questions. It is important that adults answer all questions and make sure that they are provided with appropriate answers. When these considerations are made, then it becomes helpful for the child to grow and develop efficiently.

2.1 Create a plan using philosophical approaches to play which support the developmental stage, needs and interests of children aged:

  • 0-1 year and 11 months
  • 2-2 years and 11 months
  • 3-5 years.

This is on referring to a well-known fact where play is referred to be a significant part of each and every child’s life. It is not only known to develop the child physically, but also assists in their social, emotional as well as mental development, to a great extent. A play based philosophy is effective in terms of developing a creative tendency of learning in children to help them succeed in a dynamic and complex world (Kinniburgh and, 2017). This emphasize the acceptance of purposeful play with support of an effective learning environment. Considering this, there together exists some vital philosophical approaches to play by supporting the developmental stage, needs and interests of children of different age range.

It involves a foremost philosophical approach proposed by Maria Montessori, who believed in the idea of conducive learning with some favorable measures for the children to easily learn from them. This particular approach is based on 3 main groups with 1st namely the “Nido” group, consisting of infants, aged from 0-1/2 years and remains in this group, until they learn to walk (Bertolani, Rinaldini and Tognetti Bordogna, 2014). Another is the group of “infant community” that involves children ageing from 1/2-3 years. Lastly, there exists a group called “casa- dei- bambini” which includes children within an age range of 3-5 years. It is based on a considerate fact of children’s natural desire towards learning with assistance of an enriched surrounding that consists of specifically designed materials and highly educated tutors to help them learn quickly and easily through practical involvement.

Another is Reggio Emilia approach that is greatly concerned about creating an engaging surrounding for the children to learn through arts, as a symbolic language. It is based on the concept of equal cooperation which is significant for attaining success. Also, it is based on 5 principle elements where children’s learning is known to base upon their interests where both the teachers and parents are the co-learners (Baker, 2015). Next is the classroom surrounding which works as a 3rd teacher in the life of children’s to contribute in their learning where the progress of children’s learning is also required to be documented. Lastly, this approach also believes that children can learn in endless ways and the teachers are needed to focus on the same to further build accordant strategies for the same. Below is the plan designed for children classified in the age range of 0-1 year and 11 months (infants), 2-2 years and 11 months (toddlers) and 3-5 years (preschoolers) and involves the concept of both aforementioned philosophical approaches.

Age range

Activities planned

Program goals

0-1 year and 11 months (Infants)

  • Getting friendly by engaging the children in conversations.
  • Being a commentator by describing the objects (James and Prout, 2015). This will also need to use different props to introduce such objects that meets the child’s interest and sparks conversation.
  • Using distinct sign languages and signals or gestures with words.

This is to encourage the skills of language and communication in infants.

2-2 years and 11 months (Toddlers)

Gross motor skills

  • Use of trampolines is evident to improve the balance of toddlers. A mini trampoline at home with effective safety rules such as one that has a jump bar is suggestive.
  • Balloon and bubble play is also effective for toddlers to teach them running and jumping with a sudden shift in their weight and balance. This will help them to learn moving in a requisite manner.

Motor skills

  • Painting is one of the most effective way to strengthen the coordination of children between his or her hands and eyes. Also being known as a manual dexterity, both finger painting and painting using a brush is effective for this purpose. The finger painting will assist the children in using their hands, whereas, the brush will assist the kid to learn holding a brush to gain a greater control of using a tool.
  • Playing with sponges is yet another effective way to strengthen the forearms and hands of a toddler.

It is to refine fine motor skills as well as gross motor coordination in toddlers. This basically intends to improve both large and small movements of children where the gross motor skills refer to the larger ones and fine motor skills to the smaller actions. The motor skills are also known to develop a greater sense of independence in children.

3-5 years (Preschoolers)

  • Herein, some sensory activities will be used to help the kids in exploring their all 5 senses that will involve smell, taste, touch, sight and audibility.
  • Getting in shape as an activity, in which, the preschoolers will be identifying the construction papers that will be cut in different shapes like square, diamonds, triangles and rectangle, etc. This is apparent to increase the spatial as well as creativity skills of the students.

This is to refine the sensory perception of the preschoolers and develop their mathematical as well as literacy related understanding (Rathunde and Csikszentmihalyi, 2014).

2.2 Use philosophical approaches to play to support the developmental stage, needs and interests of children aged:

  • 0-1 year and 11 months
  • 2-2 years and 11 months
  • 3-5 years.

This is to record the observations of the above implemented philosophical approaches to play for supporting the developmental stage, needs and interest of children aged in the aforesaid category of 3 different age range, as specified below-

Age range

Planned activities

Observation in terms of success or failure

0-1 year and 11 months (Infants)

  • Getting friendly
  • Being a commentator
  • Use of various sign languages and signals or gestures with words

On observing the above undertaken activities, the infants have been found to respond positively towards those who tried communicating with them and smiled back at them.

2-2 years and 11 months (Toddlers)

  • Use of trampolines
  • Balloons and bubble play
  • Painting
  • Playing with sponges

Herein, the toddlers were found facing difficulty balancing themselves at once and were seen making efforts (Baligadoo, 2014). It is with a special context of the games that also exhibited a sense of joy in the toddler participants.

3-5 years (Preschoolers)

  • Sensory activities
  • Getting in shape

This together revealed some positive remarks where the preschoolers were seen making a willing participating in the conducted activities. In which, they were trying hard to recognize the cut shapes and make use of their vital sensory organs to identify the flowers through smelling and taste the food and determine it correctly with their blindfolded eyes, etc.

3.1 Evaluation of theoretical and philosophical approaches

Philosophical approaches are such methods that mainly concentrate on basic knowledge, reality. These approaches explain that it is essential for the parents that to provide them rich environment so that confidence of kids can be developed and they can lean many things by playing various games (Eisenberg, 2014). Providing range of objects to babies so that they can explore their hands is considered as one of the best development solution that can fulfil needs of kids and can help them in developing their knowledge as well. Use of rhyming songs is the way that assists in identifying various paths and reacting of beats. For 2 to 2 year and 11 months water play, role play can amaze children and can make them able to express their feelings. Reggio Emilia theoretical approach is based on child centred approach. This theory has explained that interest and creativity can be best elements that can help in development of kids. This approach has supported in improving my own practices (Hofer, 2016). This has helped me in identifying the benefits of observations for the kids and their development. Being a teacher I become able to record development of kids and observe their level of development. I become able to get mastery of each relevant piece such as mental, social, physical improvement in the mind. By using Montessori theoretical approach I have improved my teaching methods. I have learnt that small kids learn from their environment. Children learn from their surrounding thus, being a teacher I have to create such atmosphere that can improve their learning and enhance their interest in activities (Kalat, 2016).

Steiner, High/scope, Reggio Emilia are the three theoretical approaches to play. All these methods have improved my knowledge and understanding about how to deal with kids. I have got to know that collaborative learning is beneficial for the children. This can raise their confidence and they become more participative. I have adopted this method to play with children. Parents are the first educator of kids, practitioners are second and environment is third most essential educator for the kids (Dovidio and, 2017). Whatever parents teach their kids that help them in understanding the external situation but in rich environment they become more creative. They become able to express their feeling easily. This approach has improved my practice and now I provide these kids appropriate surrounding to play. High/ scope theoretical approach concentrate on plan, do, review aspects. By reviewing this approach I have learnt that effective panning is most important aspect because it supports in developing a path for the future growth of the children. Being a teacher it is my responsibility to review their development continuously. Teachers or educators have to spent long time for analysing play activities of babies (Theories of Early Childhood: Maria Montessori, Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky, 2018). These approaches help the person in understanding learning process of kids and providing their opportunities for growth. Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development theory were beneficial because this supports in addressing needs of babies in different stages. Though this is effective theory but it ignores causes of development of kids. This theory does not focus on universal mechanism to resolve any crisis situation. Strength of Erikson’s theory is that this pays close attention on psychosocial development that can be beneficial for entire lifespan of babies (Erik Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development, 2017).

Basic lessons principle of Montessori approach describe that teachers have to spend time to teach basic lessons to kids. They have to take exams of kids so that their readiness can be identified. Teachers have to prepare individual lessons according to needs of children so that it can help in their progress. There are many philosophical approaches that also play significant role in own practice improved. I have learnt that involving third person in the play can make the babies show value of playing (Dovidio and, 2017). Vygotsky, Bruner, piaget are the theorists those who give detail about how to encourage kids to play games. I have developed my knowledge about how to deal with kids with different ages. Now I can organise playing activities for the babies and can contribute well in their development.

3.2 Evaluation of approaches to play provision supports practices

Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development are the most effective theoretical approach for the child’s development. This approach defines 8 stages of development: infancy, early childhood, preschool, school age, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood, and maturity. Infancy is the phase from birth to 18 months in which child develops a trust, feeding is the important event in this stage (Erik Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development, 2017). Between 2-4 years individual gets clothing themselves and toilet training by their parents and educators. These development stages support teachers in understanding learning needs of kids and providing them accurate atmosphere that can be beneficial for their growth and development.

Montessori approach of early childhood is considered as most effective theory for conducive learning (Theories of Early Childhood: Maria Montessori, Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky, 2018). This approach explains that children are ground in spans. These grouping supports teachers in understanding development needs of kids so that teachers can plan activities and games for them accordingly. This theory works on the principle of observation. Observation of development of babies can help in identifying their level of growth and plan activities for them accordingly to their growth. This method also explains that environment needs to be created according to subject area (Dovidio and, 2017). There should be free environment where they can move easily. There should not be any time limit. Such rich atmosphere can develop social and cognitive skills of kids and they can become able to interact with each others effectively.

Play scenario

I have organized adult- led play for the kids. This game has supported in achieving specific outcome of developing thinking and cognitive abilities of babies. I have given them task to create a card for an occasion. I have given them appropriate guidelines for creating a card. Kids were so existed to prepare a card for their close one (Hofer, 2016). Children have to use appropriate colours. I have monitored their activities closely so that no kid can get harm due to use of colours.

Effectiveness of chosen approach

I have adopted Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development and Montessori approach. Both these approaches have supported me in understanding development needs of babies. Thus, I have become able to plan game for them accordingly. Kids like to use different colours because these colours attract them. While designing a card they were playing with each other’s and they were behaving more creative. Erikson theory has supported in addressing psychosocial needs of each child and its impact on their personality development. Montessori approach has helped in understanding periods of development ( Theories of Early Childhood: Maria Montessori, Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky, 2018 ). Both these theories have guided about what kinds of play can be beneficial for different age group of kids. Theoretical and philosophical approaches are helpful in gathering information about development needs of different age people so that educator can plan activities to play for them.

Summary of learning

I have learnt that kids are very sensitive, if they get right environment then they can improve their skills. Being an educator I would have to understand their needs and have to provide them right environment where they can feel free and can learn new things. I have learnt about principles of various approaches and effectiveness of these theories in early child development.

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From the above study it can be concluded that play allows babies to learn and enhance their skills. Furthermore, it is also beneficial for their intellectual, cognitive and physical development. There are various theoretical and philosophical approaches that support educator in developing needs of kids and organizing games for them in such manner so that their development needs can be achieved. Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development theory are the great approach that defines 8 stages of development: infancy, early childhood, preschool, school age, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood, and maturity. This aids in understanding needs of kids and their working on their progress. Observation assists in identifying level of improvement among kids so that teachers can pan next activities accordingly.

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