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Joanne’s tea party

Joanne (2 years) is playing at home with her mum. She is playing with a tea-set, sharing a drink with some of her toy animals. She gives a steady stream of conversation about what is happening. Her mum repeats clearly what she is saying and is careful to try and interpret correctly. She takes care, attending to the needs of her animals imagining what they are wanting. Joanne sustains this play for ten minutes.

Good for looking at

  • Early pretend play with an adult
  • Social & emotional development - attending to the needs of her toy animals
  • Language development - 3 & 4 word sentences with indistinct pronunciation
  • Effective adult involvement - Mum repeats clearly what Joanne has said and is careful to interpret correctly

“Pretend play provides children not only with the opportunity to begin where they currently ‘are’ but to use their real and imaginary experiences for language and learning.” Moyles 1989

“Young children cannot always find the words to express what they are actually capable of exploring through their internal and personal development of language and thought.” Moyles 1994

  • What is this play situation encouraging Joanne to learn?
  • How does Joanne’s mum help her language development?