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  Previous issue (2021. Vol. 10, no. 4)

Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (online): 2304-4977


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 2012

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Approaches to the notion of a play in contemporary foreign psychology 4694


Smirnova E.O.
PhD in Psychology, Рrofessor of the Department of Preschool Pedagogics and Psychology of the Faculty of Psychology of Education, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia

Sokolova M.V.
PhD in Psychology, Senior Scientist, Center of Psychology and Educational Expertise of Play and Toys, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia

Sheina E.G.
Senior Research Fellow, Toys And Play Research Centre, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia

The article introduces the definitions of a play and approaches to its understanding. On the basis of data obtained in several foreign studies the different criteria of play and such approaches to it as cognitive, narrative and socio-evolutionary are examined. The article provides the special analysis of terminological and contentual difficulties in search of play criteria and definition.

Keywords: play; children; concept of play; cognitive development; narratives; pretend play; wide and narrow meaning of play

Column: Developmental psychology

For Reference


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3.   Cheng M.-F., Johnson J. Research on children's play: analysis of developmental and early education journals from 2005 to 2007 [Electronic resource]: Mei-Fang Cheng, James Johnson // Early Childhood Education Journal. 2010. Vol. 37. № 4. P. 249—259. URL: &site=ehost-live

4.   Dender A., Stagnitti K. Development of the Indigenous Child-Initiated Pretend Play Assessment: Selection of play materials and administration [Electronic resource]: Alma Dender, Karen Stagnitti // Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. 2011. Vol. 58. P. 34—42. URL: 57480508&lang=ru&site=ehost-live

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7.   Guide to preparing play strategies. Planning inclusive play spaces and opportunities for all London's children and young people. [Electronic resource]: April 2005. URL: http://

8.   Izumi-Taylor S., Samuelsson I. P., Rogers C. S. Perspectives of play in three nations: a comparative study in Japan, the United States, and Sweden [Electronic resource]: Satomi Izumi-Taylor, Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson, Cosby Steele Rogers // Early Childhood Research & Practice. 2010. Vol. 12. № 1. 12 p. URL: login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ889717&lang=ru&site=ehost-live

9.   McAloney K., Stagnitti K. Pretend play and social play: the concurrent validity of the child-initiated pretend play assessment [Electronic resource]: Katherine McAloney, Karen Stagnitti // International Journal of Play Therapy. 2009. Vol. 18. № 2. P. 99—113. URL:

10. Nielsen M., Dissanayake C. An investigation of pretend play, mental state terms and false belief understanding: In search of a metarepresentational link [Electronic resource]: Mark Nielsen, Cheryl Dissanayake // The British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 2000. Vol. 18. P. 609—624. URL: accountid=35419

11. Rakoczy H. Pretend play and the development of collective intentionality [Electronic resource]: Hannes Rakoczy // Cognitive Systems Research. 2006. Vol. 7. № 2—3. P. 113—127. URL:

12. Rakoczy H., Hamann K., Warneken F., Tomasello M. Bigger knows better: young children selectively learn rule games from adults rather than from peers [Electronic resource]: Hannes Rakoczy, Katharina Hamann, Felix Warneken, Michael Tomasello // British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 2010. Vol. 28. № 4. P. 785—798. URL: http:// ehost-live

13. Stagnitti K. Understending play: The implications for play assessment [Electronic resource]: Karen Stagnitti // Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. 2004. № 51. P. 3—12. URL: 12453151&lang=ru&site=ehost-live

14. Wynman E., Rakoczy H., Tomasello M. Normativity and context in young children's pretend play [Electronic resource]: Emily Wynman, Hanner Rakoczy, Michael Tomasello // Cognitive Development. 2009. Vol. 24. № 2. P. 146—155. URL: http://


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