Thursday, 5 May 2011

Good Gracious me! Did you say, On Top!

'Harry and Georgia are throwing small, plastic balls onto the roof of the lean-to and giggling as the balls roll to the edge and fall back down,' (Arnold 2003:43)
Children following an on top schema are interested in the concepts of  'up/down' 'over', 'under' and 'on top'. They normally like to:
This boy climbs a tree in nursery
closely supervised by staff.
No other child that day
copied or wanted to climb
the tree.

  • climb on top of furniture, trees, walls, climbing frames, etc.
  • play with toys on top of tables or cupboards instead of on the floor
  • put items on top of their head, like hats, cones, etc
  • balance on top of objects and walk along like a wall or balance beams
  • pat an adult gently on top of their head to gain attention.
Children pursuing an on top schema are expert at what they do. They are constantly climbing again and again and therefore gain lots of experience. They have a head for heights and will tend to climb higher than their peers. Some staff and parents worry that other children will copy this behaviour; however children will rarely copy behaviour they are not comfortable or confident with.

A cone 'on top' of his head.

Balancing 'on top' of the crates

    This boy climbs up using
    the rope to pull him up

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