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Germeroth, Carrie; Bodrova, Elena; Day-Hess, Crystal; Barker, Jane; Sarama, Julie; Clements, Douglas H.; Layzer, Carolyn – American Journal of Play, 2019
The authors consider mature make-believe play a critical component of childhood that helps children develop new skills and learn to communicate. They argue that, although theoretical accounts of play have emphasized the importance of make-believe play for children to achieve social and academic competence, the absence of a reliable and valid…
Descriptors: Test Validity, Test Reliability, Measures (Individuals), Observation
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McDonald, Peter – American Journal of Play, 2019
The author discusses Johan Huizinga's "Homo Ludens" and the animating mood that it calls the "play spirit." He argues that these styles of playfulness represent a major practical and theoretical contribution Huizinga offers contemporary studies of play, and he considers Huizinga's methodology in a reading that runs counter to…
Descriptors: Play, Games, History, Cultural Influences
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Feldman, Daniel – American Journal of Play, 2019
The author demonstrates that war places children's play under acute stress but does not eliminate it. He argues that the persistence of children's play and games during periods of armed conflict reflects the significance of play as a key mode for children to cope with conditions of war. Episodes of children's play drawn from the recent Syrian…
Descriptors: War, Play, Stress Variables, Coping
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Sommer, Maria; Sommer, Dion – American Journal of Play, 2017
The authors note that ancient Athens, in important ways, connected children, toys, and play. But they also find the scholarship of toys sparse and scattered. They discuss obstacles that can skew our modern view of the Greek mind, and they caution that modern eyes should not see play where the Greeks saw ritual and religious devotion. With these…
Descriptors: Toys, Archaeology, Developmental Psychology, Surveys
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Thomson, Paula; Jaque, S. Victoria – American Journal of Play, 2016
Flow experiences (also known as optimal performance) occur when people engage in activities they enjoy. The authors discuss such events in their study that examined a number of healthy, active individuals (performing artists, athletes, and others engaged in a range of recreational activities) and divided these into three groups based on adverse…
Descriptors: Early Experience, Stress Variables, Stress Management, Coping
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Ness, Daniel; Farenga, Stephen J. – American Journal of Play, 2016
The authors consider the strengths and weaknesses of three different visuo-spatial constructive play object (VCPO) types--blocks, bricks, and planks--and their impact on the development of creativity in spatial thinking and higher learning during free play. Each VCPO has its own set of attributes, they note, leading to different purposes,…
Descriptors: Visual Perception, Spatial Ability, Play, Manipulative Materials
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Sandseter, Ellen Beate Hansen; Sando, Ole Johan – American Journal of Play, 2016
The authors point out a basic contradiction: On one hand, we want to keep children as safe as possible; On the other, they suggest, learning to take risks is a normal part of childhood and child development. In Norway, research has shown that early-childhood education and care (ECEC) practitioners have, in the past, taken a permissive approach to…
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Play, Children, Child Safety
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Mechling, Jay – American Journal of Play, 2016
For Sigmund Freud, the terms "dreamwork" and "jokework" denoted the process by which the mind displaces social and psychological anxieties and permits them to emerge disguised in dreams and jokes. This article posits a similar process for "sandwork." Examining the ways people play with sand in its three basic…
Descriptors: Play, Playground Activities, Reflection, Children
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Pendlebury, Kate – American Journal of Play, 2016
The author argues that children's books are not, as commonly held, either didactic or entertaining and that successful juvenile literature teaches what Lewis Carroll, who wrote "Alice in Wonderland," termed "mental recreation." Pendlebury contends that learning and play, far from being opposites, can closely resemble one…
Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Children, Play, Recreational Activities
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King, Pete; Howard, Justine – American Journal of Play, 2016
The authors explore the use of three basic tenets from Self-Determination Theory--competence, relatedness, and autonomy--for a definition of play that resists the current popular call for play to be freely chosen. They explore whether free play truly exists and whether complete choice constitutes an absolute requirement for children to consider…
Descriptors: Self Determination, Play, Student Motivation, Children
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Pellis, Sergio M.; Pellis, Vivien C.; Himmler, Brett T. – American Journal of Play, 2014
Studies of rats and some primates show that rough-and-tumble play among juveniles improves social competence, cognition, and emotional regulation later in life. Most critically, such play makes animals better able to respond to unexpected situations. But not all animals engage in play, and not all animals that play appear to gain these benefits.…
Descriptors: Play, Animals, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Children
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Weisberg, Deena Skolnick; Zosh, Jennifer M.; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick – American Journal of Play, 2013
Play helps children learn language, the authors claim, and they review the evidence for it. They suggest that play benefits children's language development because it incorporates many of the socially interactive and cognitive elements known to enhance language skills. Although much of this evidence proves correlational, they point to a…
Descriptors: Play, Children, Language Acquisition, Language Skills
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Russ, Sandra W.; Wallace, Claire E. – American Journal of Play, 2013
The authors contend that many cognitive abilities and affective processes important in creativity also occur in pretend play and that pretend play in childhood affects the development of creativity in adulthood. They discuss a variety of theories and observations that attempt to explain the importance of pretend play to creativity. They argue that…
Descriptors: Play, Creativity, Psychological Patterns, Cognitive Ability
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Kasari, Connie; Chang, Ya-Chih; Patterson, Stephanie – American Journal of Play, 2013
An article by Angeline S. Lillard and others published in the January 2013 issue of "Psychological Bulletin" about the impact of pretend play on child development raised a number of issues about play studies and child psychology. The article claimed that, contrary to current theories on the subject, the evidence of many studies does not…
Descriptors: Play, Autism, Children, Intervention
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D'Angour, Armand – American Journal of Play, 2013
In this article, the author outlines Plato's notions of play in ancient Greek culture and shows how the philosopher's views on play can be best appreciated against the background of shifting meanings and evaluations of play in classical Greece. Play--in various forms such as word play, ritual, and music--proved central to the development of…
Descriptors: Philosophy, Play, Foreign Countries, World History
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