For children, play is essential to life

For children, play is essential to life

However, in order to acquire skills for living in the community, guidance is needed. Therefore, 37 women and men who work with kindergarten children and schoolchildren at the bavarian red cross (BRK) in habfurt were trained during a two-day seminar.

Employees from youth social work at schools, from the lunchtime and homework supervision at the middle schools in hofheim, knetzgau and zeil-sand, and from the kindergarten in konigsberg took part in the multiplier training at the BRK in habfurt. Theater and play padagogue michael keim from the mainspielmobil in obertheres and adventure padagogue christoph auer from fernreuth designed the nine-hour training program. The participants learned new games, game forms and game actions in a playful way. They can use their experience in their daily work and in internal seminars.

Application in the internship at the all-day school

patrick hobner, for example, will use the new game ideas in his work as an intern in the open all-day school in knetzgau. The FOS graduate is currently training to become an educator and has so far been involved in sports, especially with the youngsters. The main focus was on soccer, basketball and catching games as well as outdoor activities. "Of course, the main focus of my work is first of all taking care of the children's needs", he says, "but playing is also very important." He liked the idea of building cities with parquet wood very much. "It awakens creativity in me, too", he has found.

He found the games to get to know the children equally stimulating. "Once everyone paints a picture of themselves and names an outstanding characteristic of theirs, it really sinks in", according to patrick hobner. Working with the woods also appealed to social pedagogue michael bunke, who works in youth social work at the zeil-sand middle school. "On the one hand, the natural material is very much to be buried in contrast to today's mostly technical toys", he stated. "On the other hand, building structures requires creativity." It was also possible to play with the woods in a large group or with younger children and to work in teams. "This game helps to strengthen teamwork and cooperation skills and is also very good for relaxation," he said, he said.

Chain reactions

"I would be happy to play with these woods for a whole day or even for several days with the children in the gym", monika pfeiffer-wagner, head of the day care at the open all-day school in knetzgau, said enthusiastically. He thinks that this game is also suitable for the schools of the bounded all-day classes. But also the other game ideas, such as the design of a "mouse spire", were very interesting of shish kebab, string and masking tape, or the "taskions", in which small pieces of wood are lined up and by pushing on the first piece of wood, all the other pieces are pushed over and, for example, candles can be blown out, a ball can be made to roll or a balloon can be made to burst, she liked very much.

The team is only strong as a team

Michael keim and christoph auer were excellent at awakening the participants' desire to play and getting them excited about new, usually quite simple games involving movement, skill and cooperation with natural materials. They also succeeded in strengthening the team spirit and encouraging the participants to increase their skills. Christoph auer gave everyone the following advice at the end: "always create a lot of space for play and only provide the framework. But remember that only those who like to play can guide others well. So when you play, you must be comfortable."

"It was a very successful event, because many colleagues from different areas met who had not known each other before and everyone can take something away for themselves and their work", summarized christiane gobel, head of the social work team at the BRK.


What all forms of play have in common is that they give children the opportunity to playfully acquire the skills they need to live in the community. Play is the basis of children's learning. The different theories of play each emphasize a different aspect of play. For example, the introduction to life as an adult, the enjoyment of the function of a certain activity, the possibility of recovering from stress and activating idle strengths, the expansion of the ego as the center of the maturing personality, or play as a mirror of life.

Children must be given the opportunity to experience many things through play. This includes experience with materials, with people who show them how to handle them professionally, and with educators who ensure that children in their institutions do not just learn by chance by playing with the toys available the game, which presupposes recognition of the rules of the game, is associated with fun and cheerfulness, contributes to conflict resolution, personality development, deepening of motor skills and abilities, strengthening of self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as communication, the experience of tension and relaxation, making social contacts and trying out different behaviors.