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Creative Play. years: 1-3, key area of learning: Physical Activity


This book supports the implementation of Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum (1999) by providing teachers with ideas for planning units of work to meet the identified needs of students. Creative Play suggests ways in which teachers can enhance students' play by encouraging their creativity within the Physical Activity key area of learning. Although the learning experiences present a teaching sequence, teachers are not expected to implement all the suggested activities or necessarily to follow the sequence suggested. To meet the learning needs of their students, teachers may use all or parts of this book over a two-year cycle and may also select activities from other resources.

Why provide opportunities for creative play?

Creativity is the driving force behind the advancement of our known civilisation. Creative people help the world go round; they introduce new ideas, for instance, in education, sport, the arts, science, business, and everyday family life.

Every physical activity in which students participate provides an opportunity to discover something new. Because movement is such a basic characteristic of living things, it is important that all students have the opportunity to both learn to move and move to learn.

Creative play in physical education provides opportunities for students to explore and make sense of their physical dimension and its relationship to their well-being, of their relationships with others, and of the world in which they move. This exploration requires them to monitor and interpret sensory data and respond to it through movement. Creative play promotes the holistic development of students by enhancing their physical, social, mental and emotional, and spiritual growth.

Creative play also includes personal feelings – how students feel about themselves when they move. Students' attitudes to movement are influenced by their family and its cultural beliefs, including values and practices. These values and practices can be shared with others.

Creative play encourages flexible thinking, problem solving, and risk taking within a safe environment. It offers many opportunities for students to learn and develop positive attitudes about exploring movement, both by themselves and with others.

A cross-curricular approach could encourage students to incorporate ideas developed in this context into dance, music, drama, and the visual arts.

Linking to Curriculum

Key concepts

Planning considerations

Learning outcomes

Possible learning experiences

References, resources, and contacts