This paper presents data from the Irish Neighbourhood Play Study. The Irish Neighbourhood Play Study explored the play choices of children from 0 to 15 years of age. This paper reports the findings on the play choices of children and these are presented alongside the levels of engagement within each play type. Construction Play, Motor Play, Fantasy (Imaginative) Play and Social Play are all applied as broad categories with detailed data presented that drills down into what elements of play children are choosing within each category. The developmental benefits of each play type are then explored and discussed. These findings are viewed through an educational lens and contextualised within a curricular context. The critical questions arising from the findings concern the developmental benefits inherent to the types of play children choose for themselves and how these developmental benefits translate to the school context. This paper discusses these critical questions and suggests possible implications for school curricula when adopting play-based approaches.


The Irish Neighbourhood Play Study, play, early childhood education, play curriculum, play-based learning.


Copyright ©2017

Permission granted by IATED for use on ResearchOnline@ND.

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