Early Childhood Education Studies & Teaching

Plan free play impulse

Written preparation for the targeted free-play impulse

Below you will get an insight into the planning of a targeted free play impulse for a daycare child. In this example, the educational activity was planned according to a process model (cf. Pausewang 2006, p. 163f).

1. Analysis

Description of all development areas

Emotional-social development area

M. mostly plays for himself. When he plays with other children, he does so with joy and over a certain period of time (M. plays, for example, with three other children in the construction site area). He also asserts himself against other children (A. removed the keys from the construction site area while playing with M. While A. turned briefly, M. took the keys back three times in a row, so that M. had his keys back each time) .

Establishing contact with other children is still a little difficult for him. Nevertheless, M. seeks physical contact with other children (takes other children’s hands and often hugs them while playing).

M. copes well with the separation from his parents during daycare. M. reports regularly about which parent brought him to kindergarten and who will pick him up at lunchtime. M. is partially emotionally unbalanced, which is sometimes shown by outbursts of wine. M.’s expression of emotions (facial expressions and gestures) is very pronounced.

Gross motor development area

The gross motor development area in M. is well developed, especially in the areas of locomotion and sitting. Crawling, crawling and walking is possible. Rotary movements of the upper body to change position can be carried out by M. without problems (M. rocks independently on the rocking device in the outdoor play area). M. also lifts, tilts and turns his head. M. moves both arms freely without restrictions. M. runs safely and stably even longer distances on excursions.

Fine motor development area

M. regularly uses the fist grip when playing. M. hardly uses the tweezer grip on either the right or left side and only rarely sets down objects in a targeted manner (grabs a train with the fist grip and puts the train down on a rail in an untargeted manner). M. also eats with a fork and thus takes part in meals almost independently. He only needs help, for example, when cutting meat or spreading hard butter with a knife.

Linguistic development area

M.’s language skills are limited. The vocabulary consists of fewer words than usual according to common development tables. He forms two-word sentences in order to make himself noticeable linguistically (for example, if he needs help or wants something; if he wants toys back: “M. have”). Language comprehension is well developed. M. reacts to being spoken to and understands instructions from the daycare staff.

Cognitive development area

M. is aware of the environment and is clearly oriented in the room (he knows, for example, that he is in the play kitchen area and wants to put fruit and vegetables on plates there, or he looks for a place in the dining room and then wants to put on his bib). He solves puzzles in the age range 2-3 years. He also uses irrelevant objects to solve the problem (in the free game in the outdoor area, M. used a revenge as a replacement for a shovel due to a missing shovel). M. understands the instructions of the educators and implements them in a targeted manner.

Description of the child’s interests & issues

M.’s interest is currently moving to change positions in the play areas as well as transferring quantities (e.g. filling fruit and vegetables into plates and then putting them back in the box). Picture books are also currently of interest to M.

From my point of view, one of M.’s current topics is integrating and interacting with the other children in the group. Because M. currently wants to move around the room and change play areas. He also sits in a play area constantly for a certain amount of time (usually 15-20 minutes), but then he would like to change it several times. During the change, M. does not want to reach the new area as quickly as possible, but rather be on the road for as long as possible and explore the world on foot.

Virtually all corners and areas of the room are explored beforehand. In every play area, M. seeks to play with other children together. He always gives the other children toys so that they can play with them together.

2. Goals

Due to M.’s interests and topic, I plan to focus on the development and education field of the body. My main goal is to differentiate and refine fine motor skills and abilities.

Fine targets

In order to achieve my general goal, I have broken down a total of 3 fine goals. I made the selection of the fine goals based on my analysis in the fine motor area.

  1. Fine target: M. independently puts together two half toy tomatoes.
  2. Fine target: M. fills a dinner plate filled with fruit into another dinner plate.
  3. Fine target: M. uses the tweezers handle on both hands at the same time.

3. Planning

Justification of the planned free spins impulse

Based on M.’s interests and topics, I chose the body development field for the free play impulse. M. sits in the play kitchen area almost every day during free play and explores the world there. Due to his current development, I would like to strengthen his fine motor skills and promote the coordination of both hands.

These activities touch the development fields of body, senses and thinking, whereby the main development field is the body. As an impulse I would like to offer M. the use of toy fruit and vegetables as well as the dishes. To do this, we sit down at the dining table in the play kitchen area. There, M. has the opportunity to take the fruit and vegetables as well as the cutlery and crockery out of the boxes and place them on the table.

I was able to gain previous experience in the play kitchen area with the existing materials during my block internship with other children. Here I was able to find that the children in particular playfully imitate the food. By setting specific impulses (e.g. with the two-part tomato: take a look at what the tomato looks like from the inside), promotion in particular in the areas of motor skills, senses and cognition could be promoted. For these reasons, I saw the planned free play impulse for M. as helpful in promoting his fine motor skills.

Speech impulses

Justification of the impulse design

The planned impulses are based on the set goals and should encourage M. to deal with the available materials. It is not your aim to ask M. directly to carry out the planned fine targets. In order to achieve this goal, the motivational impulses are free of any expected materials. Rather, I was interested in arousing Ms. interest.

The impulse design during the free game is geared towards achieving the goal and should encourage M. to play a game of discovery. Here I set impulses to increase Ms. interest if necessary or to achieve the set goals.

At the end of the free play impulse I suspend my own impulses in order to be able to observe M. in the free play. After a certain time of the free game I inform M. that I will now let her continue playing alone. As a result, M.’s accompanied free game ends less suddenly.

Motivational impulses
  • Hello M. I discovered a lot of great things in the play kitchen!
  • Let’s go to the table together and we’ll have a look!
  • Look at M. what a great box I have here to discover!
  • It’s great how we came to the table together. You ran really well!
  • Can you give me a plate too?
  • Take a look at the tomato. Have you seen this yet?
  • Have you already discovered a delicious banana? Would you like to show me this once?
  • It’s great how you put the fruit on the plate!
Final phase

I stop sending targeted impulses as soon as all set goals have been achieved or if M. no longer wants to take part in my planned free game, since participation must always be voluntary. Here I say to M: “I hope you enjoyed playing in the play kitchen today!”. The end of my participation in the free game follows a few minutes after the suspension of my impulses. At the end I say to M: “I now have to see another child and I’ll come back to you later, then I can watch you again!”

Alternative planning

As an alternative to the planned free play impulse, I could offer M. a joint walk to the climbing room. Although this alternative is mainly based on the general goal of expanding and refining gross motor skills, I can still achieve my goal of strengthening fine motor skills by holding my hand on the bars and changing my grip while climbing.

The alternative takes into account the topic of body and movement of M. as well as the interest in moving and the desire for active movement in space. In this way, the general goal can be achieved alternatively.


No external sources were used in this text

citation suggestion

Götz, S. (2020). Plan free-play sessions. Impulse generation during the free-play session. ISSN: 2748-2979. Accessed on 12/12/2020. Available under:

By Sebastian Götz

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