Presentation Title

Exploring the Influence of Gender and Non-Toy Objects on Children's Play Skills

Advisor Information

Lisa Kelly-Vance

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-3-2016 10:45 AM

End Date

4-3-2016 12:15 PM

Abstract

The gender association of toys and other objects that are used to evaluate children’s play skills can have a significant impact on children’s toy preferences and exploration. Children will often display play behaviors that are representative of the toy they are using, and a child’s play skills may not be represented accurately through the use of gender stereotyped toys. For this reason, children’s play skills should be evaluated with the use of toys that do not have a gender stereotype attached to them, such as non-toy objects.

The current study was done to gain insight into how boys and girls play skills compare when using non-toy objects during play, without an adult prompting the substitution. Non-toy objects are being used, thus removing the gender stereotype, which will attempt to level the playing field for boys and girls. It was hypothesized that while using non-toy objects during play, boys and girls will exhibit an equal level of play skill.

Participants in this study were 12 typically developing children between the ages of 32 and 42 months. Children were observed and videotaped playing in a room on the UNO campus with non-toy objects such as cardboard boxes, empty paper towel rolls, sponge pieces, etc. The child’s non-toy selection and a description of the child’s play acts were coded using the Play in Early Childhood Evaluation System (PIECES) coding guidelines. Descriptive results provide information on the highest level of play complexity and other characteristics of the children’s play.

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Mar 4th, 10:45 AM Mar 4th, 12:15 PM

Exploring the Influence of Gender and Non-Toy Objects on Children's Play Skills

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

The gender association of toys and other objects that are used to evaluate children’s play skills can have a significant impact on children’s toy preferences and exploration. Children will often display play behaviors that are representative of the toy they are using, and a child’s play skills may not be represented accurately through the use of gender stereotyped toys. For this reason, children’s play skills should be evaluated with the use of toys that do not have a gender stereotype attached to them, such as non-toy objects.

The current study was done to gain insight into how boys and girls play skills compare when using non-toy objects during play, without an adult prompting the substitution. Non-toy objects are being used, thus removing the gender stereotype, which will attempt to level the playing field for boys and girls. It was hypothesized that while using non-toy objects during play, boys and girls will exhibit an equal level of play skill.

Participants in this study were 12 typically developing children between the ages of 32 and 42 months. Children were observed and videotaped playing in a room on the UNO campus with non-toy objects such as cardboard boxes, empty paper towel rolls, sponge pieces, etc. The child’s non-toy selection and a description of the child’s play acts were coded using the Play in Early Childhood Evaluation System (PIECES) coding guidelines. Descriptive results provide information on the highest level of play complexity and other characteristics of the children’s play.