Children's Engagement in Play at Home: A Parent's Role in Supporting Play Opportunities During Early Childhood

LaForett, D. R., & Mendez, J. L.

From the abstract: "This study examined parents’ developmentally appropriate beliefs about young children’s play and parents’ views on their child’s play skills. This exploratory secondary data analysis was drawn from data on low-income African American and Latino parents and their children (n = 109) participating in Head Start programs in the United States. Compared with African American parents, Latino parents were more likely to endorse play as valuable (Play Support) for promoting preschool children’s social skills and school readiness, yet were also more likely to see play as not as important as academic readiness activities (Academic Focus). Parental endorsement of Play Support beliefs positively related to children’s interactive play skills; Academic Focus beliefs negatively related to interactive play. These relations emerged for African American, but not Latino, children. Implications for understanding how culture may intersect with parents’ play beliefs, opportunities to promote children’s play competence, and alignment with play-based pedagogies are discussed."

Citation: LaForett, D. R., & Mendez, J. L. (2017). Children's engagement in play at home: A parent's role in supporting play opportunities during early childhood. Early Child Development and Care, 187, 910-923.
DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2016.1223061