Play and Environment
Assignment 2: Folio
You will create and design plans for two learning environments, based on the following requirements:
• Early childhood—one plan for outdoor environment (0–5 years old).
• Primary—one plan for an indoor play-based learning environment for children at primary school (5–8 years old).
You may further define a specific age group within the indicated age range.
Each of your plans must incorporate:
Overview/description Include an overview/description of the planned environment. Make sure you clearly state the objective of your plans to meet the assignment criteria:
• Describe and analyse the aesthetic and creative features of play environments that invite engagement, active learning and constructive play.
• Describe and analyse the role of features: nature and natural materials in play environment for children aged 0–8 years of age.
Summary of key features of the space/setting Include a summary of key features of the space, including targeted age group, type of environment (indoor/outdoor), and intended objectives of your plan to address the assignment criteria:
• Understand and make assessment of the key aspects and features of play environments that support children aged 0–8 years of age.
A rationale Within a rationale you need to describe and discuss key aspects and features of the play environment that support children’s learning in early childhood, and how these aspects and features are reflected and will be achieved in your plan. Additional key issues you must address include:
• a description and analysis of key aesthetic and creative features of the environment that invite engagement, active learning and constructive play
• a description and analysis of the role of nature and natural materials.
(See terminology below).
Sources Include a range of sources that have inspired your design and an analysis of the aesthetic and creative features and discuss how they support children’s play experiences.
Floor plan Include a floor plan (you may attach sketches or images to illustrate the resources, settings or effects).
Your plans may be focused on an entire place/space or specifically concentrated on one area within that place. For example, you might design a book corner, a sensory play area or a vegetable garden.
This section refers to criteria 4 – take care and time in developing the presentation of this section along with the sources you use. For instance think about how you might annotate the floor plan (design) to support your rationale.
Terminology: Within your assignment ensure you demonstrate your understanding of key words, as well as how you plan the environments actively, utilising these key words and phrases such as:
• key aspects and features
• active learning
• constructive play.
Preparing your folio items
You will prepare your folio as a word document. Make sure that both of your learning environments are clearly marked and differentiated within this document (i.e. each should begin on a new page with a clear title).
The learning material in the second and third themes for this unit (Weeks 6–11) have been specifically designed to support you as you prepare the learning environments for your folio:
• Week 8: Key aspects and features of the play environment – introduces the key features of the learning environment.
• Week 9: Aesthetic and creative features of the play environment – will help you to address the requirement that you describe the aesthetic and creative features of your environments.
• Week 10: Nature, natural materials and outdoor play spaces – will help you to address the requirement that you need to incorporate nature and natural materials into your environments.
• Week 11: Resources and materials – will help you put the finishing touches to your environments by looking at how you can incorporate resources and materials.
You are strongly advised to engage with all resources provided in these weeks and, especially, to participate in the collaborative discussions as these will help you to build your understanding of the key features of learning environments, and to workshop your ideas.
Incorporating visual material into your folio items
As described above, you are required to include visual material (e.g. floor plans, photos or drawings of specific resources). You can either create these using electronic drawing tools or you can simply draw them on paper and then digitise them (e.g. by scanning or photographing any drawings you create).
Once your visual resources have been converted to a digital format, they can be inserted into your word document.
The following resources will assist you as you prepare your folio items:
• The value of assessment by folioLinks to an external site..
• ReferencingLinks to an external site..
• Assignment supportLinks to an external site..
The purpose of this assignment is to design two learning environments for children aged 0-8 years, with a focus on incorporating aesthetic and creative features and nature and natural materials to support engagement, active learning, and constructive play. One plan will be for an outdoor environment for early childhood (0-5 years old), while the other will be for an indoor play-based learning environment for primary school children (5-8 years old).
Plan 1: Outdoor Environment for Early Childhood (0-5 years old)
This outdoor environment for early childhood will be designed to support children’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. It will provide opportunities for children to engage in sensory play, exploration, and imaginative play.
Summary of key features of the space/setting:
This outdoor environment will feature a variety of natural materials, such as sand, rocks, logs, and plants, as well as age-appropriate play equipment, such as a climbing frame, slide, and balance beam. The space will be designed to encourage exploration and imaginative play, with hidden nooks and crannies for children to discover, and open spaces for running and active play.
The key aspects and features of this outdoor environment that will support children’s learning include the incorporation of natural materials and open-ended play opportunities. The use of natural materials will provide opportunities for sensory exploration, as well as encourage children to engage with the natural world and develop an appreciation for nature. The open-ended play opportunities, such as the climbing frame and balance beam, will support children’s physical development, while also encouraging creativity and imaginative play.
The aesthetic and creative features of this environment include the use of natural materials, which provide a visually appealing and calming backdrop for play. The incorporation of hidden nooks and crannies adds an element of mystery and discovery to the space, while also providing opportunities for imaginative play.
The design of this outdoor environment is inspired by the work of landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg, who emphasized the importance of incorporating natural materials and open-ended play opportunities into play environments for young children.
[Insert floor plan image here]
Plan 2: Indoor Play-Based Learning Environment for Primary School Children (5-8 years old)
This indoor play-based learning environment will be designed to support children’s creativity, problem-solving skills, and social development. It will provide opportunities for children to engage in collaborative play, exploration, and experimentation.
Summary of key features of the space/setting:
This indoor environment will feature a variety of open-ended play materials, such as blocks, loose parts, and art supplies, as well as designated areas for specific types of play, such as a reading corner and a sensory play area. The space will be designed to encourage collaboration and experimentation, with ample space for group play and activities.
The key aspects and features of this indoor play-based learning environment that will support children’s learning include the incorporation of open-ended play materials and designated areas for specific types of play. The open-ended play materials will provide opportunities for children to engage in imaginative play, experimentation, and problem-solving, while also fostering creativity and self-expression. The designated areas for specific types of play, such as the reading corner and sensory play area, will support children’s literacy and sensory development, while also providing opportunities for individual play and reflection.
The aesthetic and creative features of this environment include the use of bright colors and natural materials, such as wooden blocks and baskets, to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. The incorporation of designated areas for specific types of play, such as the reading corner and sensory play area, adds an element of interest and variety to the space.
The design of this indoor play-based learning environment is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education,