Ouers se persepsie van die waarde van ongestruktureerde spel vir voorskoolse kinders in die Paarl
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Preschool children play an active role in their own development through their interaction with the environment that takes place in the form of unstructured play. Unstructured play is a creative expression of preschool children’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional self and creates opportunities to learn important skills and values necessary for the mastery of their world. The researcher became aware, from practical experience as a social worker in private practice, of more and more preschool children who are exposed to structured play with the aim to promote their development. This aspect can contribute towards preschool children not developing in a natural manner that will lead to the devaluation of unstructured play. The overall objective of this study was to explore and describe parents’ perceptions of the value of unstructured play for their preschool children in order to make recommendations to professionals offering parental guidance to parents, with regards to the value of unstructured play for preschool children. A qualitative phenomenological research design was adopted to explore and describe parents’ perceptions and experiences of unstructured play. Two focus group discussions were conducted and two main themes were identified by analysing the data. The main themes are participants’ perception of the value of unstructured play and participants’ choice in respect of unstructured versus structured play. The conclusion drawn by the researcher is that parents are aware of the valuable contribution of unstructured play towards their preschool children’s development. However, participants argue that certain external factors contribute to their choice of structured play over unstructured play to promote their preschool children’s development.
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