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Canning, N. (2013) "Where's the Bear? Over There!"--Creative Thinking and Imagination in Den Making (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This small scale research project examines opportunities for creative thinking and imagination through den making in a rural private day nursery with its own woodland area on the borders of England and Wales in the UK. The research is underpinned by sociocultural theory and is an ethnographic study of non-participant observations of children aged between three and four years old and early years practitioners involved in supporting their play. The focus is on children's creative play in peer social groups and examines the way in which children explore their environment and utilise their play space and resources to sustain imagination and creativity. The research considers how the environment and den-making context provides opportunities for possibility thinking [Craft, A. (2001). "Little c creativity." In A. Craft, B. Jeffrey, & M. Liebling (Eds.), "Creativity in education" (pp. 45-61). London: Continuum], where children are encouraged to explore "what if?" questions. The research explores the way in which an outdoor environment can support flexible opportunities and resources where children are able to engage in imaginative and creative play, develop their communication skills and build relationships with other children and adults. The research considers children's fascination with the story "bears in the wood" and how early years practitioners facilitated their creative thinking and imagination.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
183
Page/s:
1042-1053
Synonyms:
  • Creativity
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Outdoor play
  • Peers play
  • Playful learning
  • Pretend play
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Construction play
Relevant age group/s:

Fallon, J. et al. (2013) Free play time of children with learning disabilities in a noninclusive preschool setting: An analysis of play and nonplay behaviours. (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Some children with disabilities go to special preschools where adults help them play. The adults who work in preschools sometimes ask occupational therapists for advice to help children play more. Occupational therapists need to know how children play when not helped by adults. This study videoed children playing both with lots of toys and without toys to see how they chose to play. Within the Republic of Ireland, young children with learning disabilities may attend special preschools where they do not share any part of their day with typically developing children. Within these settings, preschool staff support children's play. Clinicians such as occupational therapists may be called upon to assist in progressing their play. To provide appropriate recommendations, occupational therapists must have a clear understanding of what play a child with learning disabilities engages in when not supported by adults. Occupational therapy literature described play as the most common occupation of children with a focus on process‐driven activity. This may be at odds with a model of early intervention, where play is often product‐driven, with the end goal in mind. The aim of this research was to establish what free play, if any, children with learning disabilities engage in when not supported by adults in an Irish preschool setting. Secondly, this study sought to describe what behaviours these children engage in when they were not playing. Finally, this study sought to establish inter‐rater reliability of the Revised Know Preschool Play Scale with this small sample. Systematic observation was used to explore the play and nonplay behaviours of the children involved. A convenience sample was used to identify five children to participate in the study. Results indicated that children engaged in free play within the sensory motor stage of development, as assessed using the Revised Knox Preschool Play Scale. They also spent significant time in nonplay behaviours. The behaviour patterns of the children and time spent in different activities were explored. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Author/s:
Date:
January 2013
Volume:
41
Page/s:
212-219
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Engagement
  • Exploratory play
  • Free play
  • Object play
  • Playfulness
  • Pretend play
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Fung, C. et al. (2012) Consensus or Dissensus? Stakeholders' Views on the Role of Play in Learning (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Across cultures and eras, children have engaged in play as part of the process of growing and maturing into adulthood. Play has been recognized as an effective form of pedagogy to promote learning in the early years. However, beliefs about what play is and how it should be practiced vary across Hong Kong and in other countries. Because Chinese culture places a heavy emphasis on academic achievement, a play-based curriculum has not been widely implemented in the region. Through classroom observations and interviews with key stakeholders in early childhood education, namely parents, teachers, and principals, this study reveals the complexity of views on this matter and uncovers the root cause of the difficulties in supporting play in the Hong Kong kindergartens. These findings may help promote the play-based curriculum in Hong Kong and other countries where play is in crisis. (Contains 1 table.)

Date:
January 2012
Volume:
32
Page/s:
17-33
Synonyms:
  • Academic achievement
  • Academic outcomes
  • Cultural context
  • Playful learning
  • Qualitative methodology
Relevant age group/s:

Yu, S. et al. (2015) The Relationship between Preschoolers' Attitudes and Play Behaviors toward Classmates with Disabilities (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study was conducted to examine the relationship between 32 typically developing preschoolers' attitudes and play behaviors toward their classmates with disabilities or developmental delays. Children's attitudes toward peers with disabilities were assessed using three methods: child interviews, sociometric peer ratings, and a social acceptance scale. Children's play behaviors (e.g., solitary, onlooker, parallel play, associative/cooperative play) and teachers' involvement in children's play were observed during free play over a 10-week period. Results revealed that children's identification of a classmate with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) as having a disability was negatively related to their associative/cooperative play with the classmate. Typically developing children's sociometric ratings of classmates with disabilities were positively related to their associative/cooperative play with classmates with disabilities. In addition, children's sociometric ratings were a stronger indicator of whether a typically developing child would play with a classmate with a disability than was identification of a classmate as having a disability. Suggestions for future research and implications for practice are discussed.

Date:
January 2015
Volume:
35
Page/s:
40-51
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Collaborative skills
  • Correlational
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Object play
  • Peers play
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: