Enveloping schema

Have you ever watched a child playing and noticed that they are constantly repeating the same actions and behaviour? Perhaps you know a child who has an urge or fascination with wrapping things up? It doesn’t matter what it it is, they love wrapping things in paper, tissue or cloth and presenting it to you as a gift. 


Maybe you've noticed a child will also love to wrap them selves up too. Covering themselves with layers of blankets, scarves, cushions or perhaps even laying on items of clothing. Wearing several items at one time? 
When children engage in repeated patterns of behaviour, its nothing to be worried about! In fact it’s some to be revered and marvelled at. To watch and observe in wonder and excitement.  Because as a child wraps and layers items, as they are covering things over and enclosing themselves or objects inside or under something else, they are giving us a glimpse of how they are making sense of the world.How they are investigating, learning and discovering. 

Pathways or synapses in the child’ brain are being hard wired and the child is learning through these repeated patterns of behaviour called schematic learning styles of schemas. 

There are many different types of schemas that can be identified in children’s play, some children may not display any and that’s OK. Some children may have various different ones.

A child who is fascinated with wrapping things up, posting things, putting one item inside or under another. A child who love to wrap themselves up or cover themselves in paint or glue. This is called an Enveloping schema. Have you read our other blog entitled ‘ Why do children paint themselves?’ Again in this blog we discuss further the marvellous way in which children learn, play and develop. 

What can you provide for a child who may have an enveloping schematic learning style 

Russian dolls, envelopes, pieces of materials and cloth, blankets, sock puppets, wrapping paper, posting boxes. Nesting boxes, bags, purses and gift boxes. Sheets, tents, tunnels. Play hide and seek.

Allow children the opportunity to cover themselves over to hide under things. Allow children the freedom to paint themselves and not worry if they would rather paint their body than pieces of paper. 

Provide reams of wrapping paper, cello tape, items to wrap up. 

Give children the time space and freedom to engage in their brains favourite way of learning. Through PLAY


Children with an enveloping schema, also love to paint themselves- read another blog here. Enveloping schema

We hope you enjoyed this insight into play based learning.