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The Impact of Group Time Toy Discussions on Play Quality 

Findings reLated to the TIMPANI Toy Study

2016-2019


Principal Investigators:
Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, Julia DeLapp
Student Researchers: Alyssa Barry, Nicole Green, Allison Lundy, Dominique McLean, Sayantani Nandy, Leah Slawinowski, Morgan Winship

This study, an outgrowth of the TIMPANI toy study, spanned a three-year period to investigate how teachers' discussions of new play materials during group time affected the quality of children's play with those toys during center time. The study had three different components:

  1. Year 1: Researchers observed and categorized how preschool teachers naturally introduced new play materials in their classrooms. Categories of introduction elements were then correlated with play quality scores.
  2. Year 2: Based on the introduction elements that had the strongest relationship with play quality, teachers were assigned to a specific introduction style for each new toy brought into the classroom, including No introduction, Teacher-only introduction, Introduction with minimal discussion, and In-depth introduction with rich discussion. Introduction styles were then correlated with play quality scores across toys and classrooms.
  3. Year 3: New play materials were brought into the classroom with no introduction the first week. Teachers observed and made notes children's play during the week. The second week, teachers held a discussion during group time about the new play material based on their observation and their judgement about what would be most helpful to support their play. Teacher discussion strategies were correlated with play quality scores.

 

See more Previous Studies

  • Trawick-Smith, J., Wolff, J., Koschel, M., & Vallarelli, J. (2015). The effects of toys on the quality of preschool children: Influence of gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Early Childhood Education Journal, 43, 249-256.

    Trawick-Smith, J., Wolff, J., Koschel, M., & Vallarelli, J. (2014). Which toys promote high quality play? Reflections on the five year anniversary of the TIMPANI study. Young Children, 69, 40-46.

    Trawick-Smith, J., Wolff, J., Koschel, M., & Vallarelli, J. (2014). Which toys promote high quality play? Reflections on the five year anniversary of the TIMPANI study. Young Children, 69, 40-46.

    Trawick-Smith, J., Woff, J., Koschel, M., Valarelli, J. (2015). Toys that promote high quality play. In H. Bohart, K. Charner, & D. Koralek (Eds.) Exploring play. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.