... Don't worry no more buttons today, not to say not been played with, I'm just not going to talk about them. However I am going to discuss the reasons why we are a little obsessed by them currently, and it's all related to schema's, connecting to be precise.
When we observe children we often see patterns in their play and activity, whether we are looking for it or not, these patterns are referred to as schema. For example an infant repeatedly throwing toys out of pram (trajectory schema), toddler filling bags up with toys and moving around room (transportation and enclosure schema) etc. There have been many schema identified but common ones are:
• Enclosure/ enveloping.
• Vertical Trajectory.
There are full descriptions in the links on the post about theCookie Cutter size puzzle, post. Observing children's spontaneous actions and play allows us to identify their dominant schema's and thus plan activities that extend learning by presenting activities through preferred format or engage further by offering more sustained activities around the schema.
"Schemas can be regarded as a window into children's learning.
Generally, when children are playing schematically they are intrinsically motivated to learn, resulting in long periods of concentration. Through their schemas, children are 'fitting' various experiences into their current thinking." (Colette Tait,16 December 2004, Nursery World)
Within your continuos provision ensure a range of resources to support children's current schema and enhance provision with resources that lend themselves to supporting particular schema's in an open ended way. For example with a connecting schema a collection of pegs can be used in a range of ways to enhance play and development and support the schema e.g. to secure sheets for a tent, simply clipping to things, joining papers together, attaching to string to join vehicles, attaching to string to make a fishing rod, pegging out washing etc.
Adult led and enhanced provision can also allow children to develop new skills through their schematic preference if adults are creative in their presentation of resources, providing appropriate activities and equipment. Using PLOD planning can be a useful brainstorming activity to allow you think think of ideas to support individual children's needs through dominant schema.