The role of play in Danish child care

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Children’s play is an immensely central part of child care in Scandinavia. This chapter describes how children’s play with peers and friends is supported by the pedagogical environment of Danish child care. It is argued that play is an existential project for children and that opportunites to play freely teaches children to become part of the social order, to become good friends and to solve differences through negotiation. Throughout the chapter the environment facilitating children’s play is illustrated with reference to typical Danish child care practices and research results on quality of child care. To illustrate how play is a developmental activitity for children, an example of a social fantasy play episode is analysed in order to substantiate the claim: that children’s self-organised play-activities propels social development, authenticity and democratic values.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe nordic social pedagogical approach to early years
EditorsGrethe Kragh-Müller, Charlotte Ringsmose
Number of pages20
Place of publicationCham
Publication year2017
ISBN (print)978-3-319-42555-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-42557-3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
SeriesInternational perspectives on early childhood education and development

    Research areas

  • Early childhood, Leg

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