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Germeroth, Carrie; Bodrova, Elena; Day-Hess, Crystal; Barker, Jane; Sarama, Julie; Clements, Douglas H.; Layzer, Carolyn – American Journal of Play, 2019
The authors consider mature make-believe play a critical component of childhood that helps children develop new skills and learn to communicate. They argue that, although theoretical accounts of play have emphasized the importance of make-believe play for children to achieve social and academic competence, the absence of a reliable and valid…
Descriptors: Test Validity, Test Reliability, Measures (Individuals), Observation
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Weisgram, Erica S. – American Journal of Play, 2019
The author discusses gender differences in children's play and its relation to the programs of "Sesame Street," which for fifty years has sought to enhance children's physical, cognitive, and social development through playful learning. Gender differences in children's play, she asserts, are vast, and she notes that, consequently, boys…
Descriptors: Sex Stereotypes, Toys, Gender Differences, Play
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Heljakka, Katriina; Harviainen, J. Tuomas – American Journal of Play, 2019
Toys both guide and foster the play--and stimulate the imaginations--of players of all ages. The authors investigate adult use of toys as a point of entry to the world play of both transmedia-connected and stand alone toy characters--dolls, action figures, and soft toys. They point to how adult toy players engage actively in world building in…
Descriptors: Toys, Drama, Imagination, Popular Culture
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Shen, Yih-Jiun; Ramirez, Sylvia Z.; Kranz, Peter L.; Tao, Xinhua; Ji, Yuanhong – American Journal of Play, 2018
The growing interest in addressing the mental health needs of Chinese children through play therapy calls for an understanding of the cultural roots and norms of Chinese families. To help professionals succeed in this traditionally Western treatment when providing cross-cultural play therapy, the authors make recommendations concerning the…
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Mental Health, Play Therapy, Cultural Influences
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Goldstein, Thalia R. – American Journal of Play, 2018
Children have a natural inclination to play and imagine themselves as characters. Research has supported theories that connect this pretend play and related theatrical play to the development of children's social and emotional skills, but the author contends we need further, more rigorous research on whether such play directly relates to such…
Descriptors: Games, Intervention, Dramatic Play, Preschool Children
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Sommer, Maria; Sommer, Dion – American Journal of Play, 2017
The authors note that ancient Athens, in important ways, connected children, toys, and play. But they also find the scholarship of toys sparse and scattered. They discuss obstacles that can skew our modern view of the Greek mind, and they caution that modern eyes should not see play where the Greeks saw ritual and religious devotion. With these…
Descriptors: Toys, Archaeology, Developmental Psychology, Surveys
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Mechling, Jay – American Journal of Play, 2016
For Sigmund Freud, the terms "dreamwork" and "jokework" denoted the process by which the mind displaces social and psychological anxieties and permits them to emerge disguised in dreams and jokes. This article posits a similar process for "sandwork." Examining the ways people play with sand in its three basic…
Descriptors: Play, Playground Activities, Reflection, Children