Play is a fundamental concept in early childhood development and education. As partners in the child’s learning, parents play a crucial role in how play is defined, valued, and practised. The present study explores the constructs of parents’ beliefs about and engagement in young children’s play in two coastal cities in China. A sample of 483 parents of children aged two to four years (M = 36.48 months, SD = 4.86) completed a newly developed instrument, the Chinese Parent Play Beliefs Scale (CPPBS), to assess their beliefs on play, and two other scales to report on the parents’ and children’s play engagement at home. Factor analyses confirmed two factors in the CPPBS–Play for Learning (PL) and Play for Fun (PF). Mediation models found two patterns of parental engagement in children’s play: parent involvement mediated the relationship between their PL beliefs and children’s engagement with (pre)academic-related play, but did not mediate the relationship between their PF beliefs and children’s engagement with entertainment and fantasy play. This finding indicates Chinese parents might support young children’s play as teachers, rather than as playmates.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||European Early Childhood Education Research Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
- young children
- parental beliefs
- parental engagement
- Chinese parents