Researching Play: Challenges and Opportunities



The paper provides a brief overview of the materials of the International Council for Children’s Play (ICCP) 27th World Play Conference which focused on the problems and opportunities of researching play in modern children. The paper shows the diversity of approaches to the study of child play and its multiple aspects. The main issues discussed at the Conference were as follows: the definition of play; its impact on child development; consistency of research outcomes; specifics of child play in different countries. Many speakers referred in their presentations to Lev Vygotsky and to the cultural-historical approach in general. Questions related to narrative play and its role and ogranisation were of special interest to the participants. Also, one of the major topics were play environments, both indoor and outdoor. Most of the materials presented at the Conference were applied research associated with particular projects or programmes; among the research methods used the most common were case studies and sociological methods. All in all, the Conference proved that researchers all over the world have a keen interest in child play and continue to develop multiple approaches to its understanding and exploration.

General Information

Keywords: play, child development, play research, impact of play, play environments, multidisciplinary approach

Journal rubric: Scientific Life


For citation: Smirnova E.O., Sobkin V.S. Researching Play: Challenges and Opportunities. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2017. Vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 83–86. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2017130310. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

Information About the Authors

Elena O. Smirnova, Doctor of 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

Vladimir S. Sobkin, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Academician of the Russian Academy of Education, Head of the Center for Sociology of Education, Institute of Education Management, Center for Modern Problems of Modern Education at the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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