Declaration in Defense of Child's Play


General Information

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: document

For citation: Declaration in Defense of Child's Play . Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2011. Vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 110–111.

Full text

Currently, the childhood needs to be protected by experts. Traditional forms of children's creativity and, above all, the play are replaced with television, video, computer, early learning. In many countries time to play is being reduced. It may cause consequences for personality development of children.

Children's play is mostly considered by adults as an entertainment, useless leisure, which stands in opposition with purposeful teaching and learning useful skills. On the other hand, the game is replaced by play techniques and teaching methods, etc. Such approach to play has consequences that effect children’s life. Under the formal democracy and compliance with the spirit of time, it separates the child from the original sources of his/her development.

The play is neither fun nor the method of learning. The real child’s play is free, independent activi­ty, which allows children to build their world and improve themselves. When playing the child learns physical reality, norms and sense of relationships and at the same time shows himself/herself and tries his/her opportunities. Lack of play in childhood leads to a gap of creative activity, possibility for com­munication, dependence of child from the outside world. The well-developed play can be beneficial for general development of the child.

Primarily the experts understand fundamental significance of play in children life. The majority of adults undervalue the role of play in the child's life. The most important task for experts is to inform in all areas related to the creation of favorable environment and tools for child’s play.

The main tool for child's play is toys. Currently, toys are estimated mainly by their safety qualities. However, along with the safety requirements the toy is an essential tool of education and child deve­lopment. A good toy is of great importance in child’s life, it contains a lot of feelings; it is a child’s guide into his/her inner world, a link in communication with others.

Modern society offers an abundance of play materials and even the expert can hardly orient in it. In this regard, the challenge of assessment of psychological and pedagogical qualities of children's toys is now more important than ever.

We believe we should strive to provide children with high-quality toys for a good play. It requires a training of qualified experts and the establishment of an expert service in various cities and countries.


  • To confirm the value of play for harmonious development of child.
  • To carry a qualified expert psychological and pedagogical examination of toys, including their age range;
  • To attract the attention of parents, teachers, public to appropriate toys, popularize them in mass media and thus contribute to the full game of children.

The right to a normal childhood is not limited by material support, and legal rights of the child. The most important right of the child is a right to play as a free children's activity, which requires time, space and appropriate materials. Our general aim is to keep and develop the play and provide the possibility for appropriate toys.

We, the child psychologists and educators, experts in child's play materials from different coun­tries, offer to include the Declaration – provision on the protection of child's play and the psychological and pedagogical expertise of toys – into the package of materials prepared for UNESCO conference on early childhood care and education in Moscow.

From Sweden:

Krister Swensson –Managing Director, Play Design, Sweden AB,

Anders Nelsson – Ph. D. Educational sciences, School of health and social sciences, Halmstad University, Sweden.

From Germany:

Michael Brandl – Therapeutic Educator, Pedagogical Manager, Executive Administrator of “Spiel gut. Arbeitsausschuss Kinderspiel und Spielzeug e.V”,

Etienne Roche – (Diplom-Ingenieur FH) Architekt, Expert und Administrator of “Spiel gut. Arbeitsausschuss Kinderspiel und Spielzeug e.V”.

From Russia:

Smirnova E. – Professor, Head of the Moscow State Center of Psychological and Educational Assessment of Toys,

Abdulaeva E.– Specialist of the Moscow State Center of Psychological and Educational Assessment of Toys,

Sokolova M. – Ph. D. of Psychology, Specialist of the Moscow State Center of Psychological and Educational Assessment of Toys.



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