Teachers’ perspectives on toy value, potential, and utilization in classrooms of two-to-three-year-olds

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Miranda L. Denham (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Linda Hestenes

Abstract: Although toy-mediated play has been the focus of much research over several decades, most work has focused on how parents are engaging with their children while playing with toys. However, teachers at childcare centers are interacting with children and toys or materials on a daily basis. Guided by the theory of affordance and sociocultural theory, the current study sought to explore the perspectives of teachers who engage with young children in object-mediated play and what they believe gives certain toys value. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with ten teachers currently teaching 2- and 3-year-old children at highly rated childcare centers in North Carolina with the aim of understanding how they define a toy in relation to other learning materials, and what makes a toy likely to afford an interaction or likely to promote a child’s development and learning. After inductive and deductive thematic analysis, three main themes emerged: the impact of the toy on children, the teacher’s use of a toy in the classroom, and the design aspects of certain toys. Overall, teachers tended to value toys that can be used in a number of different ways and toys that can capture and hold the attention of children in their classroom. Results are discussed in relation to theory as well as implications for toy design and classroom organization.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Childcare, Toys
Early childhood teachers $x Attitudes
Child development

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