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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Children’s attitudes toward play and children’s play behaviors Toffoli, Louise Marilyn


This investigation studied children's attitudes toward play and their play behavior when engaged in free play on their school playground. Subproblems of this study attempted to determine if there were differences in free play on school playgrounds when considering the variables of; 1. sex, 2. grade, 3. school and 4. sex within each grade. In addition, the compatibility of the questionnaire-interview technique with the observed behavior technique was assessed. Three hundred and thirty-nine grade one, two and three children served as subjects for this study. Two techniques were utilized for data collection; 1. a questionnaire-interview, and 2. observations. The questionnaire interview assessed: children's desire to play, reasons for playing, favorite time to play, favorite spot to play, play behaviors and the type of equipment children use. The observations assessed: children's favorite spot to play and children's play behaviors. The conclusions of this study are as follows: 1. The questionnaire-interview and observation techniques can be successfully utilized to determine selected attitude and behaviors of children. 2. Children play on their school playground because there are fun things, they can socialize (children play with friends who are generally their own age) and because of pleasant feelings. 3. The school playground is mainly used during school hours. 4. Females were more likely to choose an activity because it was fun while the males chose an activity because they could use it in a game. 5. Children's choices of activities and equipment were comparable. 6. Males use the playing field more while females use the blacktop area more - often. 7. Children preferred high energy activities with medium and high energy activities increasing in preference with increases in grade. 8. The equipment area is used most often with both sexes and each of the grades making equal use of it. 9. The males and females showed preferences in play behaviors. 10. Males perform high energy activities more than females who perform medium and low energy activities more than males 11. Grades one, two and three children have different play behaviors. 12. The activities children said they preferred were actually what they were seen doing.

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