Preschool teachers' perceptions of children's rough-and-tumble play (R&T) in indoor and outdoor environments

Rune Storli*, Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores teacher-reported prevalence of rough-and-tumble play (R&T) in preschool and investigates how their restriction to such play varies in different play environments (indoor and outdoor). An electronic questionnaire exploring preschool teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding children's dramatic play themes was conducted by 138 female Norwegian preschool teachers. The results show that the teacher-reported prevalence of nurture/care and house/family types of dramatic play is higher among girls than among boys, while superhero play, pretend fighting, chase games and protect/rescue play is more prevalent among boys than girls. The results also show that play-fighting and chase games are the dramatic play types most restricted by the preschool teachers, and that R&T play is significantly less restricted in outdoor environments compared to indoors. The results are discussed within a Norwegian early childhood education and care (ECEC) context and implications for ECEC practice are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1995-2009
Number of pages15
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • ECEC practice
  • play environment
  • preschool teachers
  • rough-and-tumble play


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