The first 2 years of life: a developmental psychology orientation to child development and play

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    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Recently considerable interest and research has focused on the content and the development of play in infants, toddlers and young children (Branscomb & Ethridge (2010) J Early Child Teach Educ 31(3):207–221; Jung (2013) Early Child Res Q 28:187–198). As one of the few areas that can be reliably and validly observed in children aged from birth to 2 years, collected data can provide evidence to guide and justify play assessment and intervention efforts. This chapter reviews forms of play that usually emerge within the first 2 years of life, collating the available empirical research on this topic in typical infants from a developmental psychological perspective. Consequently, it will not discuss later forms of play, such as games with rules or sociodramatic play, as these skills are known to develop in children older than 24 months. This chapter begins with a section that considers the empirical evidence relating to early solitary object exploration and functional play. The next section examines the social focus of play, investigating the various forms of adult-infant play; readers are also offered suggestions for research and practice on the basis of the material reviewed. It is hoped that the information contained in this chapter will inform early childhood educators and classroom assistants about the complexity of infant play skill development and infant-adult early play engagement. Early childhood teachers will find this information useful regarding expectations for infants engaged in early play.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMultidisciplinary perspectives on play from birth and beyond
    EditorsSandra Lynch, Deborah Pike, Cynthia à Beckett
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Print)9789811026416
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Publication series

    NameInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
    ISSN (Print)2468-8746
    ISSN (Electronic)2468-8754


    • early childhood educator
    • early childhood teacher
    • fine motor skills
    • play behaviour
    • play skill


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