Children’s utilization of toys is moderated by age-appropriateness, toy category, and child age

Melissa N. Richards, Diane L. Putnick, Laura P. Bradley, Kyle M. Lang, Todd D. Little, Joan T.D. Suwalsky, Marc H. Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Play during childhood is essential to growth and learning. Little is known about whether categories of toys moderate play behaviors at different ages, or how children interact with toys that are simple, appropriate, or complex for their developmental level. Two hundred and forty-three children between the ages of 1 and 8 years, divided into four age groups, played with toys that were targeted to their age group as well as toys aimed at one age group younger and older. Toys fell into nine different categories. Whether children fully utilized each toy was evaluated. Analyses examined how children’s utilization of toys was affected by the age-appropriateness of the toy, the category of toy, and the child’s age. Considering all age groups and toys, children were less likely to fully utilize toys targeted toward older children than age-appropriate toys, but this effect was moderated by the toy category and the child’s age.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Developmental Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

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