NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1176093
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1467-7687
The Real Thing: Preschoolers Prefer Actual Activities to Pretend Ones
Taggart, Jessica; Heise, Megan J.; Lillard, Angeline S.
Developmental Science, v21 n3 May 2018
Pretend play is a quintessential activity of early childhood, and adults supply children with many toys to encourage it. Do young children actually prefer to pretend, or do they do it because they are unable to engage in some activities for real? Here we examined, for nine different activities, American middle-class preschoolers' preferences for pretend and real activities. The 100 children we tested (M = 58.5 months, range 36 to 82 months) overwhelmingly preferred real activities to pretend ones, and this preference increased from age 3 to age 4, then remained steady through age 6. Children provided cogent justifications for their preferences. The results are discussed with reference to other domains in which children show reality preferences and with respect to the content of preschool curricula.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A