Young Children and Schemas

    28 November 2018


    Have you ever wondered how your child learns through play?

    And have you ever noticed that your child may love to fill bags, tins, pots or any other containers with things they found? Perhaps you have noticed that they love going ‘round and round’ on play equipment or running in circles? These are all examples of schemas (defined as a pattern of thought or behaviour that organises categories of information and the relationships among them) and demonstrate a particular type of learning style that your child likes.

    A paper shared by Cathy Nutbrown at The University of Sheffield explains the role of schemas in your children’s development.

    Researchers have identified several different types of schemas such as;

    1. vertical – going up and down, such as on an escalator or rolling a ball down a slope
    2. enclosure – putting things inside other things such as playing in tents, storing things inside a container/bag
    3. circular – going round and round, e.g. on a roundabout in a playground
    4. going over and under
    5. going through something
    6. connecting things together e.g. water equipment in a playground

    It is unclear if children work through all the schemas or just focus on one or two. By observing your child’s playing habits you will quickly be able to identify what areas you can focus on for future learning opportunities both at home, on trips and visits and in group settings.

    Next time you are out in one of our parks or visiting our weekly pre-school Tree Tots session why not observe what your child chooses to play with or do? It maybe that you start to notice one of the schemas listed above. Keep a look out for our activity fact sheet which we will be sharing on our blog over the next few days for National Tree Week – it’s a great way to go off exploring with your little one!

    This subject has also recent been covered on the CBeebies website and particularly Twirlywoos. Each episode of Twirlywoos focuses on a different schema.



    • The Parks Trust hosted over 525 events and activities in their parks in 2019

    • Over 180,000 visitors attended an event or activity in MK Parks in 2019

    • 91% of event attendees said they had a Excellent, Very Good or Good experience at our events in 2018!

    Discover our parks

    • Campbell Park

      Facilities:

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      Located at the heart of Milton Keynes, Campbell Park hosts many of Milton Keynes’ major festivals and events. Its imaginative mix of formal gardens, water features, woodland and open pasture mean it’s an ideal spot to enjoy the changing seasons.

      Refreshments
      There are no refreshment facilities in Campbell Park other than during special events. However, there are a wealth of cafes, bars and restaurants in the nearby city centre, theatre district and Xscape centre.

    • Willen Lake South

      Facilities:

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      Willen Lake is Milton Keynes’ most popular park. Visitors take part in watersports activities, go cycling, enjoy the playground, try the high ropes course or simply picnic along Willen’s shores. It’s a great place to entertain all ages of family and friends, whether it’s a visit to the café or restaurant, a stroll, trying a beginners’ course in sailing or hiring a pedalo or bike.

      Refreshments
      The one4six café and The Lakeside Pub operated by Fayre and Square.

    • Howe Park Wood

      Facilities:

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      Howe Park Wood - park.jpg

      Howe Park is probably the woodland mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086. Parts of it may be rare surviving fragments of the 'wildwood' that covered the whole of lowland Britain after the last Ice Age, 6-11,000 years ago.

      Refreshments
      There is a café at Howe Park Wood serving cakes, drinks and cold foods.

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