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Psychological Science and Education

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1814-2052

ISSN (online): 2311-7273

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/pse

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 1996

Published 6 times a year

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Role Substitution in Preschoolers’ Play with Toy Characters 267

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Ryabkova I.A.
PhD in Agriculture, Senior Research Fellow, Toys And Play Research Centre, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2274-0432
e-mail: ibaladinskaya@gmail.com

Sheina E.G.
Senior Research Fellow, Toys And Play Research Centre, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3723-812X
e-mail: leshgp@gmail.com

Abstract
This paper is a part of the research devoted to observing free play with different role-playing materials in preschool children.Here we describe the results of our observations of preschoolers’ play with toy characters (dolls, figures, soft toys, etc.).It was found that there are significant gender differences in this type of play: boys either do not play at all or play in the director’s position; at the same time, if they take on a role, they tend to ignore toy characters.As it is shown, the number of role-playing names is quite high in the children’s play with toy characters.This may reflect the specific function of this type of material in play.Among the prevailing play topics are family, home, pets, everyday life and motives of care and attention in general.Age analysis showed that the number of children with roles increases at 6 years, while at 5 years — when play is at its peak – role substitution in playing with toy characters is rather ignored by children.

Keywords: free play, role play, role substitution, object substitution, toys, openended materials, toy characters, dolls.

Column: Educational Psychology

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/pse.2021260102

For Reference

Funding

The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 18-013-01226.

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