Explain the characteristics of: child-initiated play, adult-led play

Qualification: Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.1: Understand the value of play in Early Years
Learning outcome: 3 Understand play at different stages of children’s development
Assessment criteria: 3.1 Explain the characteristics of: child-initiated play, adult-led play

  • Child-initiated play – play activities controlled by the child (e.g. what they play with, who they play with, the ‘rules’ of the activity
    • Promotes the child’s right to choose their activities
    • Promotes creativity
    • Heightened concentration and motivation
    • Increases confidence and self-esteem
  • Adult-led play – play activities initiated by an adult to aid the child’s development
    • Opportunities for children to learn new skills and concepts that they can incorporate into their own play
    • Opportunities for children to explore new areas or objects that they can incorporate into their own play
    • Promotes language skills as children follow instructions from the adult or from discussion between children and adults or children and their peers
    • Adults will observe children playing and identify areas for development that will be incorporated into adult-led play
    • The child’s interests should also be considered as this will aid motivation and make the activity more pleasurable for them

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