Schemas: transporting

What To Look For

This schema is characterised by moving (or 'transporting') objects from one place to another.

Whether it's sand in a wheelbarrow, toys in a pram, stones in pockets or water in a container, children displaying this schema will delight in moving it.

They may also like to:

  • watch objects being transported
  • read about objects being transported
  • be transported themselves (in a wheelbarrow, for example).

How To Enhance Learning In This Schema

Talk to the child about what he/she is doing

Give them words to describe what they are doing, such as moving, carrying, positioning, shifting, carting and running.

Look for ways to encourage exploration. Ask questions, like:

  • What do you think will happen if you use your hands to carry the gloop?
  • Can you think of another way to move that?
  • How many of these do you think you can you carry at one time?

Create increasingly stimulating and challenging set-ups

Children need familiarity and repetition, but also variety and challenge.

Without making drastic changes, look for ways to increase the complexity and challenge of a transporting setup.

Provide for groups of children with similar schemas

Look for ways to enable groups of children with similar schemas to play together. They will stimulate each other, providing encouragement and new ideas.

Read books about transporting

Children love to hear and read stories about things they are interested in.

Reading books with transporting themes will extend their transporting vocabulary and give them opportunities to explore new ideas about transporting.

Take pictures and write learning stories

Children learn by revisiting activities again and again. Looking at photos and reading learning stories is a way of revisiting, and an opportunity for children to deepen their understanding of the activity.

Equipment Ideas For Transporters

Transporters will use anything to transport, including hands, pockets, hats – maybe even mouths!

Here are some pieces of equipment they will love:

  • Trains, dump trucksand other vehicles, that can carry objects
  • Buggies and pushchairs
  • Trolleys
  • Riders and go-carts
  • Containers, for carrying water or paint in
  • Forklifts and cranes
  • Tool aprons
  • Watering cans
  • Buckets and spades

Te Whāriki

By supporting a child's schema, such as transporting, you are encouraging their exploration, empowering them in their passion and nurturing their wellbeing. These are three of the strands of Te Whāriki.

To learn more about Te Whāriki, visit the website.


Getting Started With Schemas, By Nikolien Van Wijk

Our thanks to the Auckland Playcentre Shop for permission to use this article. Great play starts here.