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Archer, C. et al. (2015) Measuring the Quality of Movement-Play in Early Childhood Education Settings: Linking Movement-Play and Neuroscience (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This article explores the links between neuroscience research, movement, and neurological dysfunction in relation to young children's learning and development. While policymakers have recognised the importance of early development the role of movement has been overlooked. A small scale study was undertaken in four early years settings in a London Borough in order to investigate whether an intervention resulted in improved movement experiences for children. This is the first study to assess the quality of movement-play using a newly developed measuring scale. Results showed that an intervention does result in improved movement experiences for young children. Consistently enhanced results were found in relation to the vital role of the adult at the two intervention settings. For Vygotsky the adult role is critical to the quality of play and learning for the child (Siraj-Blatchford 2009). There is scope for a larger scale piece of research spread across different sectors in order to further test the validity and reliability of the scale.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Volume:
23
Page/s:
21-42
Synonyms:
  • Physical play
  • Play assessment
  • Rough and tumble
  • Teacher/caregiver play

Barnett, L. (1991) The playful child: Measurement of a disposition to play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Discusses the psychometric properties of the Children's Playfulness Scale (CPS; L. A. Barnett; see record 1991-11480-001). The identification of 5 underlying components of the playfulness construct (physical spontaneity, social spontaneity, cognitive spontaneity, manifest joy, and sense of humor) are specified and validated. Factor-analytic procedures confirmed the existence of the general playfulness factor and the 5 dimensions, and reproduced the same factor structure and pattern across independent samples and raters and across 2 types of response format. The relationship between the CPS and other extant play measures was explored. The CPS appears to be a viable measure of young children's playful predispositions.

Author/s:
Date:
January 1991
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
4
Page/s:
51-74
Synonyms:
  • Play assessment
  • Playfulness
  • Scale validation
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Berkhout, L. et al. (2012) Observation Instrument of Play Behaviour in a Classroom Setting (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The objective of this study was to develop an instrument to observe the play behaviour of a whole group of children from four to six years of age in a classroom setting on the basis of video recording. The instrument was developed in collaboration with experienced teachers and experts on play. Categories of play were derived from the literature and daily practice in Dutch classrooms (i.e. sensory, motor, construction, make-believe play and arts-and-games). Analysis of the video with the help of the observation instrument showed that the between-observer reliability was almost perfect. The simple and clearly structured instrument may be used by teachers or in teachers' education.

Date:
January 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
182
Page/s:
1325-1333
Synonyms:
  • Object play
  • Physical play
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
Relevant age group/s:

Brooker, L. et al. (2014) SAGE Handbook of Play and Learning in Early Childhood (Book)

Abstract:

'This Handbook offers diverse perspectives from scholars across the globe who help us see play in new ways. At the same time the basic nature of play gives a context for us to learn new theoretical frameworks and methods. A real gem!'
- Beth Graue, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, USA

Play and learning scholarship has developed considerably over the last decade, as has the recognition of its importance to children’s learning and development.

Containing chapters from highly respected researchers, whose work has been critical to building knowledge and expertise in the field, this Handbook focuses on examining historical, current and future research issues in play and learning scholarship.

Organized into three sections which consider:

theoretical and philosophical perspectives on play and learning
play in pedagogy, curriculum and assessment
play contexts.

The Handbook's breadth, clarity and rigor will make it essential reading for researchers and postgraduate students, as well as professionals with interest in this dynamic and changing field.

Liz Brooker is Reader in Early Childhood in the Faculty of Children and Learning at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Mindy Blaise is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Early Childhood Education at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Susan Edwards is Associate Professor in Curriculum and Pedagogy at Australian Catholic University.

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Cultural context
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Digital play
  • Learning
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical play
  • Play assessment
  • Playful learning
  • Playfulness
  • Playground
  • Pretend play

Bulotsky-Shearer, R. et al. (2016) The validity of interactive peer play competencies for Latino preschool children from low-income households (Journal Article)

Abstract:

In accord with a strength-based, eco-cultural model, the present study examined the validity a the Penn Interactive Peer Play Scale-Teacher report (PIPPS-T; Fantuzzo, Coolahan, Mendez, McDermott, & Sutton-Smith, 1998) for use with Latino preschool children from low-income backgrounds. Capitalizing upon a large, statewide sample of Latino children (N=824, M age = 52.54 months (SD = 8.73)), exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses identified three reliable and distinct dimensions of peer social competence: Play Interaction, Play Disruption, and Play Disconnection. Findings from multilevel models controlling for program, family, and child demographic variables, provided criterion-related validity for the three dimensions with some differential associations to concurrent assessments of children's learning-related and pre-academic skills at the end the Head Start year. Study findings extend prior research, supporting the utility of the PIPPS to assess the construct of peer social competence for Latino children from low-income backgrounds. Implications for early childhood research, practice, and policy are discussed. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
34
Page/s:
78-91
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Cultural context
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Play assessment
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Scale validation
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
  • Socio-economic background
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Chessa, D. et al. (2011) The affect in play scale: confirmatory factor analysis in elementary school children (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The aim of this paper was to study the construct validity of the Affect in Play Scale, an empirically based measure of pretend play, in a group of 519 Italian children ages 6 to 10 years. In confirmatory factor analysis, a correlated two-factor structure with a cognitive and an affective factor was identified. Possible differences in factor scores by sex and age were investigated but no significant differences were found.

Date:
January 2011
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
109
Page/s:
759-774
Synonyms:
  • Affective behaviour
  • Creativity
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
  • Scale validation
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Conner, J. et al. (2014) A Play and Language Intervention for Two-Year-Old Children: Implications for Improving Play Skills and Language (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to develop an intervention for 2-year-old children to enhance play and language skills. The intervention was implemented over a 4-week period and included components of reading, modeling, and positive reinforcement of language and play. Specifically, children were read a story and played with a matching toy set. Participants included 10 children, all age 2, who attended a child care center. Five participants received the play intervention, and five were used as comparison. All children were assessed using the Play in Early Childhood Evaluation System (PIECES), the Preschool Language Scale (PLS), and a Vocabulary Assessment. The results of this study showed that children who received the intervention increased pretend play more than the comparison group and also increased comprehension and expressive communication skills more than the comparison group. Implications for early childhood educators and parents are discussed.

Date:
January 2014
Volume:
28
Page/s:
221-237
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Exploratory play
  • Language
  • Peers play
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Coplan, R. et al. (2014) ‘I want to play alone’: Assessment and correlates of self‐reported preference for solitary play in young children. (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The goal of this study was to develop and validate an interview assessment of preference for solitary activities for use with young children. We also tested the postulation that negative peer experiences would heighten preference for solitude, particularly among young shy children. Participants were N = 193 children (87 boys, 106 girls; Mage = 65.76 mos, SD = 12.68) attending preschools and elementary schools (kindergarten, grade 1) located in south‐eastern Ontario, Canada. Self‐reported preference for solitude was measured with the newly developed Preference for Solitary Play Interview (PSPI). Children also reported their perceived peer acceptance. Mothers provided ratings of children's social withdrawal (shyness and unsociability) and social engagement outside of school, and teachers assessed children's socio‐emotional functioning at school. Among the results, the newly developed PSPI displayed good psychometric properties and evidence of construct/convergent validity. For example, preference for solitary play was positively related to indices of social withdrawal, and negatively associated with social engagement, prosocial behaviour, and perceived peer acceptance. In addition, peer exclusion was found to exacerbate the association between shyness and preference for solitary play. Results are discussed in terms of the assessment and implications of preference for solitude in early childhood. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
23
Page/s:
229-238
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Peers play
  • Play assessment
  • Social-emotional
  • Solitary play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Dansereau, D. (2015) Young Children's Interactions with Sound-Producing Objects (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to observe, analyze, and document the range of young children's interactions with sound-producing objects in order to better understand the nature of such interactions. Of particular interest was whether theories of cognitive play, social play, object play, and existing research on musical play could guide concurrently the interpretation of children's interactions with these objects and whether the interactions were consistent with these theories. Two groups of participants, nine 3-year-old children and seven 4-year-old children, played with sound-producing objects for approximately 15 min once a week for 12 weeks. Participants interacted with the objects in rich and varied ways, including explorations of the objects' sound-producing capabilities and other physical attributes, nonmusical and musical functional and pretend play episodes, and construction behaviors. Movement and singing often were layered upon the children's interactions with the objects. Musical functional play was the most frequently observed behavior across both ages of participants. The children were more likely to engage in solitary/parallel behaviors than group interactions, and group interactions were more common among the 4-year-old children than the 3-year-olds. All behaviors that were anticipated via the conceptual framework were observed, with the exception of group nonmusic exploration.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Volume:
63
Page/s:
28-46
Synonyms:
  • Exploratory play
  • Functional play
  • Musical play
  • Peers play
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
  • Semiotic play
  • Solitary play
  • Construction play
Relevant age group/s:

Delvecchio, E. et al. (2016) Pretend Play in Italian Children: Validation of the Affect in Play Scale-Preschool Version (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Despite the emerging literature supporting the central role of pretend play for children's cognitive, affective and social development, there is a paucity of standardized and validated measures devoted to assess it, especially for preschoolers. In addition, most of the existing tools failed in their attempt to assess the interplay among the different developmental domains which are involved in playing activities. The Affect in Play Scale-Preschool version is a semi-structured measure to assess cognitive and affective pretend play processes in children aged 4-5 using a 5-min standardized play task. This study was aimed to evaluate the construct and external validity of the scale in a sample of Italian preschoolers. A multi-group factor analysis confirmed the adequacy of the two-factor model with cognitive and affective factor for both 4- and 5-year-old children. No differences were found between boys and girls whereas older children reported higher play abilities. Correlations between pretend play, divergent thinking, teacher's measures of temperament and prosocial behavior were carried out. Results supported the use of APS-P as a valid tool for assessing the interplay of cognitive and affective abilities in Italian children.

Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
25
Page/s:
86-95
Synonyms:
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
  • Scale validation
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: