ERIC Number: ED400973
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Play at the Art Table: A Study of Children's Play Behaviors while Drawing.
Escobedo, Theresa H.
This descriptive study examined children's drawings and related language episodes to differentiate drawings exhibiting play from those exhibiting exploratory behavior. Drawings categorized as play were further analyzed to identify constructive and imaginary play. The play theory used as the basis of the study proposes that exploration and manipulation are prerequisites to meaningful play experiences. Because language development shares a cognitive basis with symbolic play, language episodes were used as possible indicators of children's intentional play not evident from actions alone. Four 4- and 5-year-olds participated. Data were collected through video tape, observation notes, and 120 drawings produced during 8 weekly 90-minute sessions. A child-centered, guided-discovery approach was used to introduce children to the art activities. Audiotapes were transcribed and checked against notes and videotapes to coordinate the children's language and actions. After analysis of the drawings and descriptive data, about 68 percent of the drawings were categorized as Meaningful Play (as opposed to Exploration or Manipulation), with about 43 percent categorized as Constructive Play and 25 percent as Imaginative Play. Four-year-olds had a higher percentage of their drawings categorized as Non-Play and a lower percentage categorized as Play than did 5-year-olds. Five-year-olds used Imaginative Play more often than 4-year-olds. The two older children exhibited imaginary and pretend play that included transformation of objects for constructive and pretense purposes. They also evidenced play with words, humor, and games. (Contains 27 references.) (KDFB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A