• ISSN: 2155-7993
  • Journal of Modern Education Review

Psychosocial Effects of Physical Play in Early Childhood

Yuko Suzuki, Hideki Suzuki
(Aichi University of Education, Japan)

Abstract: This research aims to study the psychosocial effects of physical play among young children. It focuses on the effects of dodgeball games among 5–6 year old children at kindergartens. The Playability Scale of Young Children was used for the assessment of the 5-year-old class, with strong focus on one boy in the class, boy A. Through qualitative review, the process of becoming “fully playable” during physical play was considered from 3 aspects: “psychological and social effects”, “dodgeball playing skills” and “the reaction of other children”. As a result, the following 6 phases were seen in the dodgeball games of 5–6 year old children observed from October 2015 to March 2016. In the case of Boy A, it was found that each factor rose at different phases. Through the encounter with people (other children), things (ball, rules) and situations (trouble), he became “fully playable”. It was also found that children could learn the game of dodgeball in a short time, but it took much longer for them to truly learn to work with others, learn from experience and come up with strategies. It was shown that physical play during early childhood has psychosocial effects and helps to nurture “a resilient mind and inquisitive body”.
Key words: psychosocial effects, dodgeball games, Playability Scale of Young Children, 5–6 year old children

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