The use of play assessment to evaluate the cognitive skills of two- and three-year-old children

Lisa Kelly-Vance, Brigette O. Ryalls, Katrina Gill Glover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Play assessment is increasing in popularity despite the lack of empirical support. The purpose of this study was to explore the use of play assessment with young children and determine its efficacy in determining cognitive levels of development. Eight 2-year-olds and eight 3 1/2-year-olds were observed playing in an unstructured format. Results indicated that Exploratory Play becomes more complex with age and is displayed more than Pretend Play in an unstructured play session. Children's play primarily consisted of Exploratory Play, Pretend Play and Problem Solving and Planning Skills. Several of the Supplemental Subdomains measured by play assessment were not observed to occur in the spontaneous play format. A tendency for increasing complexity of play across time in session was also found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-185
Number of pages17
JournalSchool Psychology International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this