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Schemas – how children learn through play (Part 2)

Schemas – how children learn through play (Part 2)

Does your child love running around in circles? Or perhaps lining toys up in a row? These behavioural patterns, or schemas, are simply the way children learn through play.

In Part One, we explained what schemas are and why we should know about them. We introduced three of the schemas – Enclosure/Containing, Enveloping and Transporting.

In Part Two, we explore other schemas that children go through as they equip themselves with the skills they’ll need later in life. As parents, we can help support their learning by providing them with appropriate toys or other channels of expression.

Connecting and Disconnecting

The connecting schema is observed in children who like joining things together. Give them the opportunity to tie things up together, gluing paper or connecting train tracks. Children going through the disconnecting schema, however, may appear destructive as they prefer taking things apart and knocking blocks down. Allow them the pleasure of doing so with the HABA Zoom City Play Track.


HABA Zoom City Play Track



Inventing different ways to use things and playing an imaginary character – these are part of the transforming schema. Children going through this schema are not afraid to get messy. They love to be covered up in paint and will certainly be delighted with the Djeco Make-up Set available in various designs.

Djeco Make-Up Set - Tiger


Children with a tendency to run, climb up and down or jump from a height are learning through trajectory movements. These may be vertical, horizontal or diagonal. While they enjoy throwing balls and playing on slides in the outdoors, they may need a more appropriate outlet of expression when indoors. Watching marbles roll down ramps or swinging themselves on this Wobbel balancing board are some of things you’ll find them doing.

Wobbel Original


Rotation and Circulatory

Children going through the rotation/circulatory schema like turning things, exploring curves and circles. They’d readily hop onto a Merry-go-round or help you whisk an egg. Playing with cogs or guiding animals on the circular Hape Jungle Train Journey may just be the thing for them.

Hape Jungle Train Journey Set


Positioning is the schema that includes lining things up, ordering and turning things upside down. Children learning through the positioning schema will appreciate toys like this Erzi Stacking Board.


Erzi Stacking Board Freestyle

Giving your child the toys that match the schema they are working through will not only satisfy their tendency for a repeatable action, it will hold their interest as they learn through play.

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