The Play Framework

The Play Framework

The Play Framework is an innovative approach to enhance games, focusing on forms, features, and outcomes of play. It’s particularly impactful in settings involving children and adults in various game types, from tag to team games. This blog explores how to implement the Play Framework across different game types, enhancing the play experience with creativity and engagement.

Tag Games: A Blend of Fun and Learning

Forms of Play in Tag Games:

  • Social Play: Incorporate high fives, rock-paper-scissors, or follow-the-leader activities to foster interaction.
  • Object Play: Use balloons, soft balls, or bibs to tag, adding a layer of fun and coordination.
  • Imaginative Play: Transform the game's context into imaginative settings like boats or castles, where players become different characters.
  • Physical Play: Adjust the playing field’s shape and size to encourage different physical skills like sprinting or changing direction.

Open Loop Games: Expanding Play Horizons

Forms of Play in Open Loop Games:

  • Social Play: Increase social interaction by playing in pairs, threes, or larger groups.
  • Object Play: Introduce varied objects like buckets, cones, and balls to enrich the gameplay.
  • Imaginative Play: Use themes, such as turning cones and balls into eggs in nests, to spark creativity.
  • Physical Play: Utilize equipment like socks and gloves creatively to enhance the physical challenge.

Closed Loop Games: Creating Adventures

Forms of Play in Closed Loop Games:

  • Social Play: Facilitate 'choose your own adventure' scenarios, allowing children to decide the game's direction.
  • Object Play: Offer a variety of equipment like tyres, ropes, and tunnels for inventive play.
  • Imaginative Play: Let children create environments using equipment, like turning spaces into boats or cities.
  • Physical Play: Design games that encourage movement discovery, like navigating through a jungle or space adventure.

Individual Games: Personal Discovery and Achievement

Forms of Play in Individual Games:

  • Social Play: Encourage sharing and displaying individual achievements within the group.
  • Object Play: Provide specific areas and limited equipment for solo play, challenging creativity.
  • Imaginative Play: Create exploration tasks like moving through a jungle or flying through space.
  • Physical Play: Incorporate activities like obstacle courses, target games, or crawling and rolling games.

Copy and Follow Games: Imitation and Interaction

Forms of Play in Copy and Follow Games:

  • Social Play: Rotate partners, involve parents, and celebrate successes together.
  • Object Play: Use diverse equipment like bean bags, ropes, and balloons to link players.
  • Imaginative Play: Theme roles like horse and jockey or surfer and water to enhance the narrative.
  • Physical Play: Add obstacles to navigate in themed landscapes like forests or beaches.

Team Games: Collaboration and Competition

Forms of Play in Team Games:

  • Social Play: Introduce team tasks like counting or actions linked to the game's theme.
  • Object Play: Utilise equipment like woggles, balls, and bibs for team-based activities.
  • Imaginative Play: Theme teams for added fun and engagement, like cops and robbers or dogs and cats.
  • Physical Play: Include games that encourage movement discovery and physical challenges.

Features of Play Across Game Types

Voice and Choice: Ask simple questions, provide options, and let children lead part of the session. Collaboration and Competition: Encourage teamwork and problem-solving, with competition that evolves with the children’s familiarity with the game. Motivation and Enjoyment: Be flexible, fun, and memorable in your approach. Change your pitch, pace, and body language to keep things exciting. Participation: Understand that each child will engage differently. Allow exploration and engagement to vary, fostering a supportive environment for all participants.

Conclusion The Play Framework is a powerful tool to enrich the gaming experience across various types. By incorporating these forms and features of play, games become more than just activities; they transform into dynamic experiences that foster social interaction, creativity, physical activity, and imaginative exploration.

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