Parent and Child Perceptions of Grade One Children’s Out of School Play

Joanne Shari Lehrer, Hariclia Harriet Petrakos

Abstract


The transition from kindergarten to Grade 1 is marked by a sudden decrease in children’s play time (Broström, 2005; Hartmann & Rollett, 1994). This study sought to examine 69 Montreal-area Grade 1 children’s beliefs about out of school play, as well as their parents’ (N = 56) perceptions of their play. Findings indicate that parents value play for their child’s development and education, for building relationships and self-esteem, for processing emotional experiences, for relaxation, and for fun. Many parents expressed a preference for active outdoor play, as well as pretend and creative play, board games, and puzzles, explaining that they discouraged television and video games, aggressive play, and play with sexual themes. Children reported enjoying active outdoor play, toys, construction and art activities, and video game play, with parents, siblings, friends, and pets. Limitations to play included lack of neighbourhood children, parents or siblings who did not play, and restrictions to inviting friends over.

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