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Psychological and educational evaluation of toys in Moscow Center of Play and Toys 1933
The author’ s approach to examination of specific characteristics and functions of play and toys is based on the Vygotskian concept. The divergence of real and imaginary situations, when a child begins to act outside the reality domain in the play, and enters the semantic one, is considered as the main feature of the play. The functions of toys are analyzed, which include, primarily and essentially, an expression of his/her own experience and mastering of the world around. The requirements for toys concerning the material they are made of and the ways in which they can be used are formulated. The trends of the modern toy market development are shown and the relevance of their psychological and educational assessment is outlined. The criteria for psychological assessment of toys used in the Moscow City Center at MSUPE are described. At first the ethical and aesthetic filter is applied, which does not admit for further evaluation the toys that are dangerous in terms of psychological impact on the child. Toys that passed through the first step are analyzed according to the following criteria: attractiveness of a toy for a child that sets the motivational grounds for the play; openness of the landmarks, that provide for the developing potential of the play act; operational features of a toy that promote independence of the child act. Toys that satisfy the examination criteria receive a sign “Child psychologists recommend”.
Keywords: play, toy, psychological requirements for toys, figurative toys, landmarks of the play act, toy openness, psychological and pedagogical expertise.