children’s play
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2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Nikolai Veresov ◽  
Aleksander Veraksa ◽  
Margarita Gavrilova ◽  
Vera Sukhikh

The cultural-historical approach provides the deep theoretical grounds for the analysis of children’s play. Vygotsky suggested three critical features of play: switching to an imaginary situation, taking on a play role, and acting according to a set of rules defined by the role. Collaboration, finding ideas and materials for creating an imaginary situation, defining play roles, and planning the plot are complex tasks for children. However, the question is, do children need educator’s support during the play to develop their executive functions, and to what extent? This experimental study was aimed at answering this inquiry. The four modes of sociodramatic play were created which differed in the adult intervention, from non-involvement in the play to its entire organization. The play could be child-led (with adult help), adult-led, or free (without any adult intervention); and there was also a control group where the children heard the same stimulus stories as the other groups but then followed them up with a drawing activity instead of a play activity. The study revealed that, firstly, the ways of educator’s involvement in the play differed in their potential in respect to the development of executive functions, and, secondly, this influence was not equal for different components of executive functions. Free play in the experiment was not a beneficial condition for the development of any of the studied components of executive functions, compared to the conditions involving the participation of an adult in the play. Furthermore, the type of adult intervention stimulated the development of various executive functions. The entire organization of the play by the adult had a positive impact of their general development. In contrast, the adult’s assistance in the organization of the children’s play had a positive effect on the development of inhibitory control. The study results can be helpful when considering educational practices within a cultural-historical approach to engaging the potential of play in children’s learning and development around the world.

Courtney Beers Dewhirst ◽  
Casey Cascio ◽  
Erin M. Casey

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Tina L. Stanton-Chapman ◽  
Eric L. Schmidt

Using a mixed-method design, the aims of the current study were to develop an in-depth understanding of (1) children’s social play behaviors on school and community playgrounds, (2) the duration with which children play within varying social play categories, and (3) assessing children’s perspectives of playground activities, their peer relationships, and recommendations for new playgrounds. Six participants were observed for five 30-min observations on a school playground and for five 30-min observations on a community playground. Participants were also interviewed about their experiences and preferences on school and community playgrounds. The direct observation results support and extend previous work, indicating that children’s play skill competence varies by setting. Children demonstrated higher levels of associative and cooperative play on the school playground, but higher levels of solitary and parallel play on the community playground. This difference in play styles by playground appears to be a function of available play partners and is explained by the interview data, which found that children are not comfortable playing with children they do not know.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (10) ◽  
pp. 625
Yiqi Zhang ◽  
Suzannie K. Y. Leung ◽  
Hui Li

Existing studies have explored parental play beliefs in the developed coastal cities in mainland China, leaving parents in developing areas unstudied. This study aimed to understand how these understudied parents view and engage in their children’s play at home, using Bronfenbrenner’s process–person–context–time (PPCT) model. Eight families were interviewed and observed to explore parental beliefs and practices regarding young children’s play at home. Thematic analysis showed that most parents appreciated the importance of play in children’s early development but did not know how to scaffold their children’s play activities. In addition, the high SES families supported child-led play (i.e., free play), whereas the lower SES families adopted traditional rule-based and adult-driven modes. Therefore, more parent education programs and support should be provided to lower SES families in these developing areas.

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