Characteristics of Role Substitution in Preschooler’s Play with Different Materials Psychological-Educational Studies



The paper compares the role play of preschool children from 3 to 7 years with two different types of play material: play clothes and open-ended materials. The role is understood as a three-part process, including renaming, changing the appearance and playing actions. It is shown that role substitution depends on the object environment: children of the same age play differently in two different object environments. Children 3-5 years demonstrate more integral play in open-ended environment. They call themselves a role-name and their actions and changing the appearance often support it. In comparison children of this age often rename themselves, but rarely realize a new name in play actions in environment with play clothes. Role substitution of children of 6 years are different: children do not play in a open-ended environment, but they realize plots with varying degrees of complexity in play clothes' environment. It could be explained by the structured environment is much safer for this age group. It concluded that open-ended environment is more suitable for play needs of preschool children, because role substitution is accompanied by research, testing activity, which fill the role with emotionally content.

General Information

Keywords: role play, preschooler’s play, play clothes, play substitutions. open-ended materials

Journal rubric: Methodology and Technology of Education

Article type: scientific article


Funding. This work was supported by grant RFBR № 18-013-01226.

For citation: Ryabkova I.A. Characteristics of Role Substitution in Preschooler’s Play with Different Materials Psychological-Educational Studies [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psychological-Educational Studies, 2018. Vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 12–19. DOI: 10.17759/psyedu.2018100302. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Irina A. Ryabkova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Preschool Pedagogy and Psychology, Faculty of Psychology of Education, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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