Form and Material of Role Play in Preschool Children



The article addresses the problem of how cultural forms in role play become the means of behaviour change, of overcoming its natural forms. First, the article analyses a cultural means (in this case, a fairy tale) that specifies the general way of testing the meaning of action (the relations between people) in play. Second, it is shown that this general way involves constructing a duple play plot that includes a symbolic call for action and a role response to it. Putting play into the ideal duple form is actually the act of mental development. The unity of motivational and operational aspects of action exists only in the making of duple play. Overcoming its material (natural affects, emotional experiences) through the duple form - that's the mechanism of duple play. The article also describes child play materials and shows the resistance of material to play form.

General Information

Keywords: role play in preschoolers, developed (ideal) form of play, play material, overcoming play material though cultural form

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Elkoninova L.I., Bazhanova T.V. Form and Material of Role Play in Preschool Children. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2007. Vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 2–11. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Lyudmila I. Elkoninova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of the Department of Developmental Psychology named after Professor L.F. Obukhova" Faculty of Educational Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, lecturer Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Tatiana V. Bazhanova, Postgraduate student at the Educational Psychology Faculty at the Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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