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ERIC Number: EJ908420
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1350-293X
Affordances in Outdoor Environments and Children's Physically Active Play in Pre-School
Storli, Rune; Hagen, Trond Loge
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, v18 n4 p445-456 Dec 2010
The purpose of this article is to quantitatively and qualitatively explore children's physically active play outdoors in a traditional playground and natural (nature) environment and discuss how these environments influence children's physical activity. Fjortoft has previously explored the relationship between environmental affordances and children's play and development. She suggests that environmental complexity and diversity in nature are highly associated with increased play opportunities and activities. To explore the interactive relationship between children and their material environments, Kytta has theoretically specified and clarified this relationship in the view of ecological perceptual psychology based on Gibson's theory of affordances. To understand how affordances in the play environment influence 3- to 5-year-old children's (n = 16) level of physical activity play, accelerometers were used to measure physically active play, and Heft's functional taxonomy of children's outdoor play environment was utilised in observing how the children actualised the potential affordances in free play. The results show there is no difference in the level of physically active play between the traditional playground environment and the natural environment in this study. Strong correlations of level of physically active play on an individual basis were found among the different days. This indicates that the children's physically active behaviour on an individual basis is similar from day-to-day, relatively independent of the environment. In analysing these results for the potential benefits of physically active play in pre-school, constraints in the individual (personal characteristics), the physical environment (complexity, diversity) and the sociocultural environment (pre-school culture) are discussed. (Contains 1 note, 4 tables, and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A