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ERIC Number: EJ1138863
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1838-0689
Imagination and Emotion in Children's Play: A Cultural-Historical Approach
Hedegaard, Mariane
International Research in Early Childhood Education, v7 n2 p59-74 2016
Interpretations of Vygotsky's texts have generally focused on the intellectual aspects of children's development, including his theory of play. This article presents a reinterpretation of Vygotsky's theory of play and draws on this theory of art to include emotions as an important part of children's play. I will argue that in play, children's motives, emotions, and feelings are closely connected with the development of imagination, fantasy, and creativity. Four main points are put forward: 1) Vygotsky's (this issue) theory of play foregrounds imagination as transformative of the relations between objects and meanings and between actions and meanings. It is important to include children's emotions and feelings in the analysis. 2) Emotions and feelings may be included by including the way imagination transforms the tensions that children expressed in play between different motive orientations towards the play theme. 3) The relations between events and feelings may become transformed through children's play so that emotions and feeling become released from events the same way that meaning in play are released from objects, actions. 4) Changes in the way children play throughout their life course have to be seen as an interaction between the institutional conditions and traditions and children's motive orientation. Therefore, the way emotions and feelings become transformed in relation to events changes through children's different life periods. These points are illustrated by drawing upon observations of children's play activity in different age periods and in different contexts.
Monash University Faculty of Education. McMahons Road, Frankston, Victoria, Australia 3199. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A