“Sociodramatic play is the most advanced form of social and symbolic play. In sociodramatic play, children carry out imitation and dramatic and fantasy play together. Sociodramatic play involves role-playing, in which children imitate real-life people and experiences that they have had themselves. Make-believe is also a component because it serves as an aid to imitation. It allows the children to represent real-life events and includes their imaginations in carrying out their roles.” The child’s abilities in sociodramatic play improve with experience, and, as the child plays with different children, play becomes more varied to include new interpretations and ideas.” – WILLIAM H. STRADER

Sara Smilansky, a renowned researcher and a professor from Israel, has researched on the sociodramatic aspect of child’s play. Smilansky has a a lot of publications on play and it’s relation to learning. Initially, Smilansky worked with Jean Piaget, which led to the development of three stages of play, which has been mentioned in the earlier blog, that is sensory motor play, symbolic play and games with rules.

Further, Smilansky reworked on Piaget’s theory of explaining that play does not occur in stages but rather children engage in four types of play which is present at all stages of development. The four types of play are;
Functional play, where children use their muscles and senses to explore things around
Conditional play, where children use the muscles and senses at the same time are trying to be creative.
Games with rules, where children are trying to understand the use of rules in play.
Dramatic play, which according to Smilansky is the most complex form of play involving the imitative capacities of the children.
According to Smilansky, these types of play effects academic success in children. Smilansky worked further on Sociodramatic play of children to understand it’s relevance to learning. According to Smilansky, “Sociodramatic play is also considered as dramatic play children engage in at a social setting”. This play occurs at two levels imitative and imaginative. Imitative is the first level where the child imitates real persons and real situations. Imagination goes a level higher than imitative, when the child begins to enact and create a whole imaginary situation to include whatever they imitate.

Sociodramatic play and the four types of play as explained by Smilansky are the key components for understanding the relation between play and learning.

Smilansky’s research greatly contributed to the world of developmental psychology. It greatly impacted research on the effects of play and learning. The research she’s contributed to says that sociodramatic play allows for preparation for children’s school years. It was also found that the type of background children come from has an effect on sociodramatic play, which affects their learning and academics.

By Dr Srividya K.



“In play, children work together to change the rules to meet the situation they face, which is powerful social experience.” – Joan Almon

Mildred Bernice Parten Newhall, was an American Sociologist and a researcher at the University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development. Parten is very well know for her research on social play among children from the age group of 2-5 years during the late 1920’s. She observed children in a one minute time frame and recorded their behaviours which lead to explaining the different types of play occurring in different age groups. The observation lead her to explaining that play also varies in complexity as the age varies and also depends on the type of interaction the children have among them. Based on her observations Parten categorized six stages of play; Unoccupied, Onlooker, Solitary, Parallel, Associative and Cooperative play.

Unoccupied play behaviour is observed among children from 2-3 years of age, where the child is not involved in any form of play and will be randomly moving around watching or not watching other children in play.

Onlooker play behaviour is usually observed in toddlers where the children are not involved in any play activity but will be very keenly observing and enjoying other children at play. Unoccupied and Onlooker are almost similar.

In solitary play the child or children play by themselves; all alone and do not involve any other children. There is no interaction happening in this stage of play.

Parallel play involves 3 or 4 children playing together with or without the same toys, without any interaction.

Associative play is that stage of play where the child plays by interacting with other children. The child is in a group, sharing materials and interacting but will not be involved in any common activity. Here the child is learning to associate with others.

Cooperative play is the most social form of play where a group of children are involved in a common activity with a lot of interaction, striving to achieve a goal, with different members involved in various roles leading to a meaningful outcome.

Parten’s findings suggests that the children involve in complex activities as they grow and mature and play becomes more complex with age. The stages identified by Parten does not overall disappear as the child matures, she in fact observed that glimpses of earlier stages of play is sometimes observed in children of higher age groups.

By Dr Srividya K.


Tackle Summer Camp 2016

For more details Click here

The summer camp dates are: Shivanapura – 28th to 31st March; JC Nagar – 4th to 7th April; Bellur – 4th to 7th April; Kyalanur – 11th to 14th April; A Narayanapura – 18th to 21st April

  • March, 24th, 2016
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Play based Learning

Arivu’s focus is on improving English reading and comprehension for children in Karnataka middle schools (Grades VI, VII and VIII). Unlike the traditional teacher led instruction, the focus of the programme is to introduce play based learning in schools.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) included the right “to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child” as one of the undeniable rights of children. This is in line with the views amongst many theorists from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, that play has a significant role in the development of children

The English curricula for students which has been designed by experts, is   child-centered. Classes are activity based where students are encouraged to be creative, think out of the box and interact. Teachers play the role of facilitators and not just information providers

Source: Nurturing Early Learners,MoD,Singapore

When we see a child playing with a flower, or in the dirt or kipping or playing tag, we should remind ourselves that what we are looking at is the child-like result of a deep and irresistible urge to interact with and have knowledge of the world and everything in it.

  • September, 19th, 2015
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Digital Learning

We explore various games and videos in the Arivu-Disha class, which helps our minds grow.

Learning facilitated by tablets, is a unique feature of the progamme. Every content class is followed by a digital learning session where students are provided with tables to explore and learn from a range of selected e-content, games and videos.  

Use of tablets aid in high rates of information retention, shorter learning time and  
greater engagement of students in class. The programme encourages a combination of digital content and facilitator led class in schools.

People remember 20% of what they see, 40% of what they see and hear and about 75% of what they see, hear and do simultaneously

Where the Arivu-Disha programme has been launched, it has been observed that students enthusiastically learn, participate, communicate and perform better in class

  • September, 19th, 2015
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Life Skills


Focus on Life skills is integral to the Arivu- Disha programme.

Life skills @ Arivu

Life skills are abilities that help us to adapt and behave positively so that we can deal effectively with the challenges of everyday life.

Arivu’s English content has been designed keeping in mind the need to develop psychosocial skills – cognitive, affective and social skills, amongst students. It is been realised that such emotional and social skills play an important role in the holistic development of a child. When it gets ignored, it often leads to adults who strive to live in harmony with others.

Arivu curricula encourages freedom to think and speak, listen to others, group activities and discussions. This helps students to develop self-confidence, control over their emotions, attitude to respect others views and emotions etc.

Building life skills in children and adolescents and providing them with psychosocial support in schools and other community settings can help promote good mental health.

Life Skills @ Disha

Arming adolescents with required skills and guidance to help them choose a right career path is best done within the education system. ‘Disha’ career guidance programme is to create awareness amongst students about various vocation and academic opportunities.

In addition to this, Disha also provides exposure to options that will help in overall personal growth & development in student’s life.


  • September, 19th, 2015
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Our Classroom


Arivu programme is based on the belief that children learn the best when they are allowed to observe, explore and engage. This is well translated in Arivu classes where learning happens the fun way! Students are exposed to an environment where they learn through play, relate learnings to their everyday situations and create things out of their imagination.

Learning is made meaningful through interesting activities like games, stories, songs, visuals and props.

The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst

lovely things

The Arivu English learning curriculum has been designed by experts from Aarohi Life Education Trust, Hosur, Tamil Nadu; Snehadhara Foundation, Bangalore and Center for Research, Training and Education (CERTAD), Bangalore. Some of the distinct features of the curriculum includes child centric approach, blend of face –to-face classroom activities and digital learning, role of teachers as facilitators, situation oriented and activity based learnings, interactive and exploratory classes, among other things.


Aarohi is a community of self-directed learners – children who decide what they want to learn, how they want to learn, when they want to learn and who use self-assessment. An open learning environment has been created at their campus in Hosur.Arohi logo

Ratnesh, the founder of Aarohi, has worked in the field of children’s education for several years.

These years of experience have taught him that children have an innate ability to learn, and each child learns differently.

Snehadhara Foundation works with children and adults who are differently-abled, their caregivers and families.  It exclusively uses Art Based Therapy to work with these children and adults.Snehadhara Foundation logo

Their approach to education is very focused on the belief that learning is learner led. Since children are spontaneous learners, it obviously follows that there are numerous ways of educating children, than just through logical and linguistic learning.
The role of an educator should just be that of facilitating the learning in children as they open themselves to learning as well.

Center for Research, Training and Education (CERTAD) is a design collective that seeks to create capacity for long term, social, economic and environShrishti logomental change through participative methods and processes drawn from Art and Design.

The multi-disciplinary team, with diverse experiences engage with and empower spaces of public education such as museums, galleries, schools or informal learning centers. They work in collaboration with institutions of higher education and research, organizations in the areas of science, humanities, culture & heritage, and development institutions.

The core philosophy of CERTAD is to help engineer choices children make and to facilitate children beyond this phase. For CERTAD education is the exploration of  the multiple ways of being and expression, doing and making, developing core skills in reading, writing, numeracy and art and connecting oneself with both abstract information and knowledge ,the world and the lived experience.


  • September, 19th, 2015
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Vision Mission

A world where children have opportunities to realise their potential to live a positive, confident, purposeful and socially enriching life.


This can be achieved by promoting opportunities for children to explore, experiment, experience and enhance their capabilities in an environment that fosters security, empathy and freedom through skillful means and social interactions.

  • September, 18th, 2015
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  • Reaching out to over 1300 students, 30 schools in 3 districts
  • Learning English the fun way
  • Exploring the digital world
  • Promoting Life skills


  • Reaching out to 6 schools in 3 districts
  • Providing skills and career guidance to adolescents
  • Building life skills for the future


  • September, 18th, 2015
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What is Arivu-Disha

Arivu-Disha is a 4-year digital literacy and life skills programme. It aims to improve English learning outcomes and career prospects of school children in Karnataka. As the name suggests, the programme has two significant components- ‘Arivu’ and ‘Disha’.

Arivu which means ‘Knowledge’ focuses on improving English reading and comprehension for children in Karnataka middle schools (Grades VI, VII & VIII). Disha means ‘Direction’ is a 2-Year Career Guidance programme for high school students (Grade IX & X) in Karnataka Government Schools. This programme launched in 2015, has been initiated by headstreams in association with Mphasis Pvt. Ltd. and supported by the Department of State Educational Research and Training (DSERT).


  1. To improve English language skills in listening, speaking and reading
  2. To foster the joy of learning by making English language functional, relevant and  meaningful
  3. To develop life skills of students primarily affective, cognitive and social skills
  4. To provide career guidance to students  and enable them to make informed decisions in life


  • September, 18th, 2015
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