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NAN: School Aged Children’s Play

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School age children are able to interact in groups and can play group games. This is because during this stage of development children are able to follow instructions and work in teams. Once children are around 8 or 9 years old, they begin to like games that include competition. 

When outdoors, school aged children enjoy play structures with ropes, poles and bars that they can hang and swing from. They also enjoy pick up games of basketball or soccer or enjoy making up their own games with peers. 

During this stage of development, play should support a child’s desire to be independent. Nannies can help school aged children develop independence by providing age-appropriate and skill appropriate materials. Materials should meet the child’s current skill level and challenge him to move to the next level. For example, if a child is playing soccer and kicking the ball around the yard, nannies can set up cones and encourage the child to dribble around them, putting them closer together as the child’s skill level improves. 

When a child engages in an activity because he enjoys doing it, it’s demonstrative of intrinsic motivation. Nannies can foster a school aged child’s intrinsic motivation by allowing the child to make independent decisions and by providing materials that support his interests. For example, if a child loves to draw, a nanny can provide various types of papers, markers, pencils and crayons for him to explore. 

Nannies can also engage in deeper conversations with a child around topics that interest him. Asking about how a child came to a conclusion or what influenced his response to expand the child’s responses will support the development of observation skills and the child’s ability to problem solve. 

Michelle LaRoweNAN: School Aged Children’s Play