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Her meticulous attention to details helps situate this work as an outstanding contribution to the literature on play, folklore, and American history. In a recent work, Brown writes about the play of Roma children in Transylvania.

Children on the Home Front

Despite these inhumane living conditions, Brown discovered that these children are not play deprived — rather than engage in playful consumptions in all available spaces and with all available materials. Their play is rich in imagination and creativity and fundamentally does not differ from the play of children in other settings. In a related work, Berinstein and Magalhaes explored the playful consumptions of children in Zanzibar, Tanzania from the perspective of occupational therapy.

For example, they encourage the occupational therapy profession to examine the opportunities for play for children living in developing countries.


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The text highlights the fact that play is both a cultural universal and culture-specific phenomenon. This work presents individual ethnographic descriptions of children at play in diverse settings which ultimately form a cross-cultural comparative work. Inclusive chapters also share a common theme: play is viewed as both a reflection of cultural mastery and play serves as a mechanism through which children acquire the cultural values with which the construct and reconstruct their daily interactions.

In this project, they collected information from mothers in 16 different nations located on five different continents. Controlling for socioeconomic status across countries in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa they found many similar trends. This is interesting given that there were significant differences in language , geography, culture, history and religious beliefs across their sample. For example, mothers believed that both free play and experiential learning opportunities were eroding for children.

Similarly, when children have free time most of it is spent watching television. They also found that imaginative and pretend play was rare in comparison to other play activities and that setting influenced play. For example, children in industrialized nations US, UK, and Ireland engaged in pretend play whereas children in rural and suburban areas engaged in more creative activities such as painting, drawing, and toy play compared with their urban peers. They found that physical settings and available environmental materials influenced play as did cultural values.

For example, although children utilized toys in both settings, Nigerian children used resources in their setting as toys whereas American children utilized manufactured toys more. Also, although winners were treated similarly, cultural norms shaped the way losers were treated.

The raw material supports that cultural norms and physical and social settings were linked to the kinds of play that were observed. Given the ethnographic present, many of the children used toys in their available environments with the exception of Orchard Town in the US. These children exclusively had toys, games, and art materials.


  1. Children on the Home Front;
  2. Museum Programs for Children & Families | AMNH.
  3. Children's Activities - Games - Fort Scott National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service);
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  6. In agreement with Roberts, Arth and Bush , they found that games with rules were observed in more complex societies and competitive games took place at school rather than in the neighborhood. Role play was common across cultures, however many of these activities were imitative of adult activities. Some studies have focused upon particular types of play. In their recent study, Gosso, de Lima Salum e Morais, and Otta compared the pretend play of Brazilian children from five different cultural groups within the same country.

    These included: children from Indian ethnic heritages, the coast, and from urban areas of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Using naturalistic observation and content coding they focused upon the content and the meaning of symbolic transformations in pretend play. They found that although pretend play occurred in all groups, high and mixed SES urban children engaged in more pretense than the other groups.

    They concluded that all children universally engage in pretend play and the differences among cultural groups were expressed more in the content than in the structure of pretend play. In some cultures children's play incorporates elements of music and singing. A particular noteworthy contribution is Kathryn Marsh's extensive cross-cultural work on children's musical play including hand clapping and singing games.

    The text highlights children's active role in shaping their play, the relationship between culture and play, and how children pass along these traditions to each other. Similar to Eifermann's ; work, Marsh's work also makes an outstanding contribution to children's folklore. Campbell and Wiggins' recent international work on children's musical cultures emphasizes the connection music, play, and children's daily experiences. The text includes chapters that address issues of gender, socialization, setting, historical change, and the experiences of children in stressful environments.

    Finally, Darian-Smith and Pascoe's work is one of the most recent texts that addresses the relationship between children, constructions of childhood, and cultural heritage. Of particular relevance are the chapters that respectively explore the changing nature of children's playlore in Australia and the lore and language on the playground. Both of these chapters illustrate how play reflects cultural values and traditions and the position of cultural heritage in shaping children's play.

    In his work on the variability of mother-infant play, Lancy examines psychological and anthropological interpretations on the role and distribution of mother-infant play. He contends that psychological perspectives on mother-infant play lead to conclusions of play as necessary for normal development and important for its positive outcomes. In contrast, anthropological interpretations focus upon the fact that this type of play does not appear with great frequency worldwide and that there are other factors which guide whether this play is supported in a culture.

    Drawing upon a cross-cultural sample from various geographic regions these factors include: temperature, climate, individuals involved in the socialization process, and cultural subsistence patterns. In another work, Lancy draws upon his fieldwork with the Kpelle of Liberia to illustrate how children acquire cultural patterns and meaning through play. The Kpelle culturally value play and expect their children to play "on the mother ground" — cultural spaces and territories in which adults engage in activities related to work. Situated in close proximity to adult role models, children indirectly observe the work that adults do.

    These cultural routines and scripts serve as a mechanism by which children learn about their culture. Lancy argues that such child rearing routines observed in the Kpelle village are universal and not limited to traditional societies, though they may vary by culture. This theoretical work is supported by ethnographically thick and rich detail. It provides empirical evidence to support the cultural variability of play and calls for the need to consider culture based or folk theories of child development.

    As Lancy and Gosso noted, children worldwide engage in playful activities. This is true whether cultures acknowledge, condone, support, and set aside time for play. Berinstein, S. A study of the essence of play experience to children living in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Occupational Therapy International, 16 2 , Brown, F.

    The play behaviours of Roma children in Transylvania. International Journal of Play, 1 , Children at Play: An American History. Howard P. Chudacoff has written an absorbing and engaging book.

    1959 - Children At Play In New York City Slums 220639-08 - Footage Farm

    He attempts, with a high degree of success, to trace the development of children's play in America from to the present. He takes the position that all children, in all times, have pursued play, and that play is an assertion of a child's autonomy. Although adults often had fairly strict ideas about how and when children should play, children often subverted adult intentions, and found their own ways to entertain themselves.

    Throughout the book, Chudacoff tries to maintain a child-centered approach to his topic. He focuses on four different components of children's play: the environment in which it takes place, the materials of play, the youngsters involved, and the issue of control. After presenting this framework, he divides his topic chronologically, first addressing the two hundred years from Most users should sign in with their email address.

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    It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account. The snake squares had pictures of children being disobedient. The player who landed on one of these was sent back several squares. Educational games - Some board games were educational.

    They drilled players on subjects like science, literature, and history. Some of the most popular games, such as Round the World and Geographical Lotto, taught geography skills. Games such as Picture Lotto and Familiar Objects were designed to teach younger children words and objects. The World's Educator was a challenging game for older players. Outdoor games. Annie Over - This game needed two teams, a ball, and some kind of barrier, like a log or a table, or possibly low wall.

    Teams stood on either side of the barrier.

    Museum Programs for Children & Families | AMNH

    The team with the ball was "it. If the child didn't catch the ball, then that team was "it. While the teams are running to change sides, the one who caught the ball tries to hit an opponent with the ball. If he or she succeeds, the child who was hit changes teams. The goal is to eliminate the other team.

    Connecting History

    Baseball - Baseball as a formalized sport was just gaining popularity in the s. It originated with the British games of cricket and rounders. There were many American versions of "Base Ball," with just as many different rules played by children in their villages, soldiers fighting in the Civil War, slave children in the South, and many others. The first formalized rules for the game were introduced in in New York.

    The game probably would have been played by the soldiers at Fort Scott, but the formalized rules would probably not have been followed until the late s or early s. For more information follow the link, baseball history.