What is a Playworker?
It says it in our title, ‘play’. This is our primary focus as a playworker. We are trained to provide a varied range of opportunities for children to play, in order for them to get the most out of their experience while in our care.
A playworker should be:
* Behave appropriately
* Be flexible and give children’s ideas a try.
* Be in touch with their inner child.
Why do we do things the way we do?
For example you may sometimes see the playworker standing but not joining in with the children’s play. The reason for this is, a playworker is there to support and facilitate play and will only interact with the children’s play if they have been invited to do so. All other times the playworker will stand and observe. Here is how playworkers know when a child wants them to play.
The Play Cycle
Devised by Sturrock and Else in 1998, the play cycle breaks down how play actually occurs into six parts.
* Metalude – The thought that leads to play.
* Play Cue – The way a child initiates play e.g. making eye contact, facial expression, simply asking another to play, coming up to you and asking you to play a game with them.
* Play Return – Responding to the play cue, ie joining in with their game.
* Play Frame – Where the play occurs (where the play cues and returns have been met).