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Definition

Semiotic play involves playing with the means of representing and communicating meaning (for example, spoken and written language, drawing, music). This includes babbling, wordplay, mark-making, scribbling, doodling, playing with sounds, rhythms and instruments.

See also: Humour

() Test One to add Keyword Tags (Journal Article)

Abstract:
Author/s:
Date:
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Cooperative play
  • Creativity
  • Exploratory play
  • Functional play
  • Games with rules
  • Humour
  • Learning
  • Literacy
  • Mental health
  • Numeracy
  • Object play
  • Parallel play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Pretend play
  • Rough and tumble
  • Semiotic play
  • Sibling play
  • Social play
  • Solitary play
  • Symbolic play
  • Executive function
Research discipline:

Baumer, S. et al. (2005) Promoting narrative competence through adult–child joint pretense: Lessons from the Scandinavian educational practice of playworld (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This paper examines the effects of the playworld educational practice on the development of narrative competence in 5- to 7-year-old children. The playworld educational practice is derived from play pedagogy and the theory of narrative learning, both developed and implemented in Scandinavia. The playworld practice consists of joint adult–child pretense based in a work of children's literature, discussion, free play, and visual art production. When compared to children under a control intervention (conventional school practices without pretend play), children who participated in the playworld practice show significant improvements in narrative length, coherence, and comprehension, although not in linguistic complexity. These findings provide further evidence concerning the role of pretense in the narrative development of young children.

Date:
January 2005
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
20
Page/s:
576-590
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Pedagogy
  • Playful learning
  • Pretend play
  • Semiotic play
  • Teacher/caregiver play
Relevant age group/s:

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:

Fein, G. (1989) Mind, meaning, and affect: Proposals for a theory of pretense (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The present paper develops a theoretical framework for the study of pretense as a symbolic system designed to serve affective functions. The first part of the paper presents a review of three theories which acknowledge the affective function of pretense and constitute the background for the theory proposed in this paper. The second part of the paper presents an affective theory to analyze children's spontaneously generated pretend protocols. A study is then summarized as an illustration of the affective theory and directions for future research are noted.

Author/s:
Date:
January 1989
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
9
Page/s:
345-363
Synonyms:
  • Affective behaviour
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Literature review
  • Pretend play
  • Semiotic play
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Foundation, . (2015) Building children's writing skills through learning through play (Video Recording)

Abstract:

The University of Cambridge and the LEGO Foundation has explored how learning through play helps children develop better writing skills.

You can read about the project in more detail here: https://goo.gl/Wk9aef

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Object play
  • Pretend play
  • Semiotic play
  • Social play
  • Symbolic play
  • Construction play
Relevant age group/s:

Foundation, . (2015) What is Play? Play experts revealing their secrets... (Film)

Abstract:

Adults talk a lot about play, pretending they know what it is and what it's good for. We have asked a couple of real experts about what it is and what it feels…

What is Play? Play experts revealing their secrets... from LEGO Foundation on Vimeo.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Object play
  • Physical play
  • Rough and tumble
  • Semiotic play
  • Symbolic play
  • Construction play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Iizuka, A. et al. (2019) Can cognitive leisure activity prevent cognitive decline in older adults? A systematic review of intervention studies (Journal Article)

McCune, L. et al. (2015) Dynamic systems in semiotic development: The transition to reference (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Semiotic development involves the development of at least two different kinds of meaning: intersubjective and representational. By attending to these two kinds of meaning we are able to predict one of the major transitions in early childhood: the transition to reference. From a dynamic systems perspective we track essential developments which, when all have reached critical values, prompt the transition to referential word production and/or comprehension in the first half of the second year of life. We present the background of the four variables included in the model: (a) representational play, (b) vocalization ability, (c) gesture, and (d) developments in autonomic vocalization culminating in communicative grunts. We further demonstrate their efficacy in predicting the transition in a longitudinal sample of 10 children. Additional study is needed to confirm the role of these developments and to extend the approach to languages other than English and more advanced levels of semiotic development.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
36
Page/s:
161-170
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Exploratory play
  • Language
  • Longitudinal
  • Semiotic play
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

McInnes, K. et al. (2009) Behavioural differences exhibited by children when practising a task under formal and playful conditions (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Play is viewed as central to learning in the early years despite a lack of empirical evidence to support this. Most research has concentrated on adult definitions of play which fail to capture the intrinsic quality of playfulness. To achieve this it is necessary to elicit children's definitions of play. The research discussed in this paper utilises children's definitions of play to create formal and playful practice conditions to demonstrate the links between playfulness and learning. In addition, analysis of videotaped observations indicates behavioural differences according to whether children participate in playful or formal practice conditions. These findings support a behavioural threshold and fluency theory of play. Children in the playful condition exhibited more fluent and purposeful problem solving behaviours than children in the formal condition. Implications for practitioners in educational settings are outlined.

Date:
January 2009
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
26
Page/s:
31-39
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Cooperative play
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Engagement
  • Games with rules
  • Learning
  • Object play
  • Playfulness
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-regulation
  • Semiotic play
  • Social-emotional
  • Construction play
Relevant age group/s:

PEDAL, . et al. (2016) PEDAL Seminar: Self-regulation - Foundation skills for children's healthy development (Video Recording)

Abstract:

Part of the PEDAL Seminar series this video shows the recording of the recent seminar hosted by PEDAL and the Psychology & Education research group at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

Introduced by PEDAL acting Director Dr David Whitebread from the Faculty of Education and presented by Dr Megan McClelland, Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children & Families, Oregon State University.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
Page/s:
Synonyms:
  • Academic achievement
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Games with rules
  • Self-regulation
  • Semiotic play
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s: