Pretend play and technology: Young children making sense of their everyday social worlds

Susan Danby, Christina Davidson, Maryanne Theobald, Sandy Houen, Karen Thorpe

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Games and activities, often involving aspects of pretence and fantasy play, are an essential aspect of everyday preschool life for many young children. Young children’s spontaneous play activities can be understood as social life in action. Increasingly, young children’s games and activities involve their engagement in pretence using play props to represent computers, laptops and other pieces of technology equipment. In this way, pretend play becomes a context for engaging with matters from the real world. There are a number of studies investigating school-aged children engaging in gaming and other online activities, but less is known about what young children are doing with online technologies. Drawing on Australian Research Council funded research of children engaging with technologies at home and school, this chapter investigates how young children use technologies in everyday life by showing how they draw on props, both real or imaginary, to support their play activities. An ethnomethodological approach using conversation analysis is used to explore how children’s gestures, gaze and talk work to introduce ideas and activities. This chapter contributes to understandings of how children’s play intersects with technologies and pretend play.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultidisciplinary perspectives on play from birth and beyond
EditorsSandra Lynch, Deborah Pike, Cynthia à Beckett
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789811026430
ISBN (Print)9789811026416
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development

Grant Number

  • DP110104227


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