Knowing me, knowing you

the relationship dynamics of infant play

Sheila Degotardi, Emma Pearson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter considers the nature of play episodes in the context of developing relationships among infants, teachers and parents. The chapter begins by reviewing predominantly held theories of play to highlight how such theories have tended to overlook the social world of infants and their relationships. Then, by presenting data from a set of case studies that explored infant interactions in a long day-care context, we illustrate the ways in which infants' play both reflects and supports their relationships with significant others in their lives. The chapter concludes by challenging the reader to examine how individual infant capabilities - as well as connections between children, families and early childhood staff - bothe shape infants' play and support the development of supportive, life-enhancing relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlay in early childhood education
Subtitle of host publicationlearning in diverse contexts
EditorsMarjory Ebbeck, Manjula Waniganayake
Place of PublicationSouth Melbourne, Vic.
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780195569049
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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  • Cite this

    Degotardi, S., & Pearson, E. (2010). Knowing me, knowing you: the relationship dynamics of infant play. In M. Ebbeck, & M. Waniganayake (Eds.), Play in early childhood education: learning in diverse contexts (pp. 46-66). South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.