Sandra Rejnholdt Gufler
Øster Farimagsgade 2A, 1353 København K, Building: 03.2.203a
My PhD-project investigates rarely studied aspects of play and it is one of two separate but highly interlinked projects with children at 2.5 years (n=75) and children at 5 years (n=75), respectively, that will examine two central transition periods in children´s play with LEGO DUPLO®. The project focuses on children at the age of 2.5 years, which can be characterized as a time in a child´s life where play is blossoming as it represents a period of important changes in children´s mental abilities, such as the emergence of language comprehension and -production. Together with this development the ability to use “symbols” in play develops through the emergence of what is termed pretend play. The project will examine the effect of the child’s attachment, exploration and developmental status on the play. It will also study the role of maternal factors on the play, such as her attachment representation, reflective functioning, support of the child’s exploration and sensitivity. Finally, the possible influence of toy characteristics will be studied through looking at the effect of the use of instructions and emotional cues on the play. As such, the project aims at expanding the current understanding of learning though play by including new foci on child exploration type and parental support of child exploration, interactive and socio-emotional skills (as seen in pretend play) and characteristics of the actual LEGO toy in the child-mother play interaction.