Favorite Childhood Game Analysis

619 words | 3 page(s)

One of my most memorable childhood activities was the simple game of tag. The variant I remember most fondly was known as freeze tag, which involved players who had been tagged being required to stay in place until the round ended. The game was played as follows: one person was designated as it, and after a brief head start by the other players, the person who was it would give chase to the other players. The goal was to tag as many other players as possible, which involved simply touching the other player, and each player who was tagged had to remain in place until the round ended. After the round, the last player tagged was the next person who was it.

What I believe I learned from the game was how to follow certain rules associated with the activity, how to coordinate with others, and elements of strategy such as identifying certain hiding places. Because this was a physical game, there was also an element of physical conditioning involved. The game was simple, but this is what made it appealing. The most important social lesson I learned from this game was communicating with others for mutual benefit. This most commonly involved strategizing with other players to avoid being tagged, such as coordinating a strategy where both players would run in opposite directions from the person who was it.

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Freeze tag would fall under the Games with Rules category in Smilansky’s play scale, as there is a need to follow certain rules. While the basic framework of the game was simple, there were often additional rules that accompanied each play session. For instance, certain areas were designated as out of bounds. Players were not allowed to hide as they might in a game of hide and seek. Players who were tagged were considered frozen, and not allowed to move. All of these rules therefore meant we were learning how to follow rules in the interest of having the most fun, as breaking these rules would have disrupted the activity. Playing this game also demonstrated why having rules are sometimes necessary, both in regard to playing the game, but in general life situations as well.

When the Parten and Piaget play scale is analyzed, it can be seen that freeze tag would fall under the Associative category, although there were also elements of coordination. However, Associative Play is characterized primarily through interactions with others, either by initiating an action such as giving chase, or responding to an interaction by fleeing or freezing in place. Associative Play is the type that implements cause and effect parameters: if one person gives chase, the correct response is to flee. If the person fleeing is caught, then the reaction is to remain in place. There were elements of coordinated play in devising strategies among players who were not it, but the central framework of the game can be seen to fall under the Associative category.

Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers can use these scales to identify a series of activities that are balanced in accordance with valuable lessons that can be gained from each. For instance, functional play can teach how different processes work; constructive play can teach children how to make progress on a specific task; dramatic play can teach creativity, and games with rules can teach how to follow rules. Similarly, solitary play can encourage independent problem solving, parallel play can teach how to learn through observation, associative play can teach social skills, and coordinated play can help with communication skills. Each type of play has its value in learning, so teachers who understand the different lessons that can be learned from each style will provide a more holistic education for their students.

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