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ERIC Number: ED317314
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Effects of Realistic Versus Nonrealistic Play Materials on Young Children's Symbolic Transformation of Objects.
Trawick-Smith, Jeffrey
This study compared the influence of two play environments on young children's make-believe object transformation behaviors. One environment contained traditional realistic play props; the other contained nonrealistic objects. Subjects were 32 Caucasian children, 17 boys and 15 girls, between 40 and 73 months of age, from working- or middle-class families. Subjects were randomly assigned to same-age, same-sex triads. Each individual was observed while playing in these groups during two 20-minute sessions, one in each environment. All symbolic transformations of objects during play sessions were tallied for each subject. Three types of transformations were coded: simple pretenses, traditionally defined transformations, and symbolic actions in which gestures or body parts were used to stand for make-believe objects. The traditional environment provided male and female sex-typed props, such as tools, trucks, cooking sets, and dolls. The nonrealistic environment included large and small boxes, cement blocks, boards, sticks, and other objects. Findings revealed that in children under 5, realistic materials elicited the greatest number of transformations, as was predicted. It is maintained that the abandoning of such props in favor of nonrealistic materials may deprive children of fundamental opportunities to practice symbolizing. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A