Aug 13

Episode 3: Importance of Toys

Welcome to the pretend play podcast. A podcast focusing on the research and application of pretend play and language skills. Today we take on the topic: What is Pretend Play. We begin by discussing playroom organization including the the toys and play schemes we have set up at ACI Learning Centers to most effectively target pretend play. We go on to discuss various definitions of toys in the research and toy selection. Looking at the complexity of toys we discuss abstract toys, sociodramatic toys, toy combinations, and the number of different actions that can be completed with a single toy.   We wrap things up discussing the gender differences in toy selection and preference. 

Thank you for listening! Please visit our website for more information or to purchase the Pretend Play and Language Assessment and Curriculum.

We encourage everyone to reach out to us if you have any questions about the show or suggestions on topics you would like to hear more about.  You can reach out through Facebook or e-mail Melissa at



Cherney I.D., Kelly-Vance L, Glover K.A., Ruane A.M., Ryalls B.R. (2003). The effects of stereotyped toys and gender on play assessment in children aged 18-47 months. Educational Psychology23(1), 95-106.

Doctoroff, S. (2001). Adapting the physical environment to meet the needs of all young children for play. Early Childhood Education Journal29(2), 105-109.

Edwards, C. P., Knoche, L., & Kumru, A. (2001). Play patterns and gender. Encyclopedia of Women and Gender 2, 809-815.

Klemenovi?, J. (2014). How do today’s children play and with which toys. Croatian Journal of Education. 16(1), 181-200.

Lieber, J., & Beckman, P. J. (1991). The role of toys in individual and dyadic play among young children with handicaps. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology12(2), 189-203.

Trawick-Smith, J., Wolff, J., Koschel, M., & Vallarelli, J. (2014). Which toys promote high-quality play? Reflections on the five-year anniversary of the TIMPANI study. Young Children, 69(2), 40-47.  

Venkatesan, S. (2014). Availability of toys for children with developmental disabilities. Journal of Disability Management and Special Education4(1), 58-70.

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