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PEDAL Hub Library

We’ve rounded up a set of high-quality play resources for you to explore. The library houses a collection of links that will take you to peer-reviewed publications, videos of play experts, and websites that may be of interest to you. You can use the filters below to find the resources that best match your interests. The library can be sorted by format (journal papers, videos, blogs etc.), child age, and type of play. Happy exploring!

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Accessing the Inaccessible: Redefining Play as a Spectrum
Title: Accessing the Inaccessible: Redefining Play as a Spectrum
Abstract:
Publication year: 2018
Date: 02/08/2018
Volume: 9
The SAGE Handbook of Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood Education
The Importance of Play
Accessing the Inaccessible: Redefining Play as a Spectrum

Defining play has plagued researchers and philosophers for years. From describing play as an inaccessible concept due to its complexity, to providing checklists of features, the field has struggled with how to conceptualize and operationalize “play.” This theoretical piece reviews the literature about both play and learning and suggests that by viewing play as a […]

Title: Accessing the Inaccessible: Redefining Play as a Spectrum
Abstract:

Defining play has plagued researchers and philosophers for years. From describing play as an inaccessible concept due to its complexity, to providing checklists of features, the field has struggled with how to conceptualize and operationalize “play.” This theoretical piece reviews the literature about both play and learning and suggests that by viewing play as a spectrum – that ranges from free play (no guidance or support) to guided play and games (including purposeful adult support while maintaining playful elements), we better capture the true essence of play and explain its relationship to learning. Insights from the Science of Learning allow us to better understand why play supports learning across social and academic domains. By changing the lens through which we conceptualize play, we account for previous findings in a cohesive way while also proposing new avenues of exploration for the field to study the role of learning through play across age and context.

Publication year: 2018
Date: 28/07/2022
Volume: 9
Culture-specific links between maternal executive function, parenting, and preschool children’s executive function in South Korea

Background Research on the relationships between parental factors and children’s executive function (EF) has been conducted mainly in Western cultures. Aim This study provides the first empirical test, in a non-Western context, of how maternal EF and parenting behaviours relate to child EF. Sample South Korean mothers and their preschool children (N = 95 dyads) […]

Title: Culture-specific links between maternal executive function, parenting, and preschool children’s executive function in South Korea
Abstract:

Background Research on the relationships between parental factors and children’s executive function (EF) has been conducted mainly in Western cultures. Aim This study provides the first empirical test, in a non-Western context, of how maternal EF and parenting behaviours relate to child EF. Sample South Korean mothers and their preschool children (N = 95 dyads) completed EF tasks. Method Two aspects of parental scaffolding were observed during a puzzle task: contingency (i.e., adjusting among levels of scaffolding according to the child’s ongoing evidence of understanding) and intrusiveness (i.e., directive, mother-centred interactions). Results and Conclusions Maternal EF and maternal contingency each accounted for unique variance in child EF, above and beyond child age, child language and maternal education. Maternal intrusiveness, however, was not significantly related to child EF. Additionally, no mediating role of parenting was found in the maternal and child EF link. However, child language was found to partially mediate the link between maternal contingency and child EF. These results complement prior findings by revealing distinctive patterns in the link between maternal EF, parenting behaviours, and child EF in the Korean context.

Publication year: 2018
Date: 28/07/2022
Volume: 88
Page/s: 216-235
Play Piece: Play and Self-regulation

Self-regulation helps a child guide their thoughts, emotions and behaviours to accomplish a goal – how does play support this important area of development? Read our whole Play Piece here.

Title: Play Piece: Play and Self-regulation
Abstract:

Self-regulation helps a child guide their thoughts, emotions and behaviours to accomplish a goal – how does play support this important area of development? Read our whole Play Piece here.

Author/s:
Publication year: 2018
Date: 28/07/2022
Play, cognition and self-regulation: What exactly are children learning when they learn through play?

This paper explores the particular aspects of learning which might be supported through playful activity and reviews research and theory which link children’s play, and particularly pretence or symbolic play, to the development of metacognitive and self-regulatory skills. Three studies are reported, one observational and two experimental, which have explored this relationship. The observational study […]

Title: Play, cognition and self-regulation: What exactly are children learning when they learn through play?
Abstract:

This paper explores the particular aspects of learning which might be supported through playful activity and reviews research and theory which link children’s play, and particularly pretence or symbolic play, to the development of metacognitive and self-regulatory skills. Three studies are reported, one observational and two experimental, which have explored this relationship. The observational study involved the video-recording of 582 metacognitive or self-regulatory ‘events’ within Foundation Stage settings. The two experimental studies replicated in different learning domains the classic study of Sylva, Bruner and Genova (1976), which contrasted the problem-solving performance of 3- to 5-year-old children who had experienced a ‘taught’ and ‘play’ condition. Evidence from the present studies reported and other studies supports the view that play, and particularly pretence or symbolic play, which might be with objects or other children, is particularly significant in its contribution to the development of children as metacognitively skilful, self-regulated learners. Evidence from the observational study indicated that child-initiated playful activities, in small groups without adult supervision, supported the greatest proportion of self-regulatory behaviours. The experimental studies suggested that the experience of the ‘play’ condition was particularly effective in preparing the children for effortful, problem-solving or creative tasks which require a high level of metacognitive and self-regulatory skill. Metacognitive and self-regulatory development is crucially important in the development of academic skills which involve intentional learning, problem-solving and creativity. An understanding of the relationship between pretend or symbolic play and self-regulation is also helpful in providing clear guidelines for adults working with young children as regards their role in supporting and encouraging play in educational contexts.

Publication year: 2009
Date: 28/07/2022
Volume: 26
Page/s: 40
PLaNS Handbook

This is a free teacher’s handbook based on the work of Dr David Whitebread, Dr Marisol Basilio, and their team. You can view the handbook via the link provided below. To find out more about the PLaNS project, click here: https://goo.gl/Wk9aef Linked with PEDAL, the overall aim of the PLaNS project was to investigate the […]

Title: PLaNS Handbook
Abstract:

This is a free teacher’s handbook based on the work of Dr David Whitebread, Dr Marisol Basilio, and their team. You can view the handbook via the link provided below. To find out more about the PLaNS project, click here: https://goo.gl/Wk9aef Linked with PEDAL, the overall aim of the PLaNS project was to investigate the influence that a playful learning approach could have on 5-10 year olds’ narrative and writing skills. Being able to construct a clear narrative, in fictional form as a story, or in a non-fictional form as a descriptive account or a set of instructions, is a crucial skill, within educational contexts and beyond. There is a major concern that many children do not master these skills as well as they might, having implications for their oral and written narrative skills, and on aspects of their text comprehension (for example, the ability to identify the main points in a story or a factual text). Using LEGO sets, primary school teachers had free rein to develop playful activities to inspire children’s narratives and writing during a full academic year. Children worked together in groups to create stories and develop their writing in several ways – through comic strips, movies, 3D storyboards and more besides. The PLaNS research team evaluated children at the beginning and end of the school year to measure the impact of this teaching approach on a range of skills: writing, oral narrative skills, vocabulary, self-regulation and creativity. Children and teachers were also observed in the classroom throughout the academic year, and interviewed by the research team in order to understand learning experiences from the participant’s perspective.

Publication year: 2017
Date: 28/07/2022
Free play and children’s mental health
Title: Free play and children’s mental health
Abstract:
Author/s:
Publication year: 2017
Date: 28/07/2022
Volume: 1
Page/s: 167-169
Musical play and self-regulation: does musical play allow for the emergence of self-regulatory behaviours?

This paper is a pioneering attempt to bring together the notions of musical play and self-regulation and reports on a study aiming to explore 6-year-old children’s self-regulation during musical play. While musical play is one of the first manifestations of musicality, a fundamental aspect of human functioning [Trevarthen, C. (2000). Musicality and the intrinsic motive […]

Title: Musical play and self-regulation: does musical play allow for the emergence of self-regulatory behaviours?
Abstract:

This paper is a pioneering attempt to bring together the notions of musical play and self-regulation and reports on a study aiming to explore 6-year-old children’s self-regulation during musical play. While musical play is one of the first manifestations of musicality, a fundamental aspect of human functioning [Trevarthen, C. (2000). Musicality and the intrinsic motive pulse: Evidence from human psychobiology and infant communication. Musicae Scientiae, 3(1), 155–215], self-regulation is crucial in children’s learning. Self-regulatory abilities flourish in playful contexts [Bruner, J. S. (1972). Nature and uses of immaturity. American Psychologist, 27(8), 687–708], since play’s specific characteristics promote self-regulatory development. Even though musical play shows these characteristics, its relationship with self-regulation is under-researched. This paper presents observations of ten 6-year-old children while they were engaged in musical play sessions. Having adopted a mixed-methods approach, the results suggested that musical play allowed for self-regulatory behaviours to emerge. An understanding of the link between musical play and self-regulation could inform not only the theoretical underpinnings suggesting a relationship between play and self-regulation, but also current teaching practice in relation to music education.

Publication year: 2015
Date: 28/07/2022
Volume: 4
Page/s: 116-135
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