Children`s Experiences with Outdoor, Physically Active Play in After-School Programs
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAmerican Journal of Play. 2023, 15 (1), 35-59. https://www.museumofplay.org/journalofplay/issues/volume-15-number-1/
The authors investigated the outdoor physical play of Norwegian first graders in after-school programs using a study that viewed play from the children’s perspective. The authors identified three themes of the physically active play they observed—“playing with friends,” “no one decides,” and “I can do it.” Their findings highlight the dynamic importance of such play, especially of child initiation in play and of playing with other children. The physical outdoor play fostered fun and playful interaction, leading both to improved communication and movement capabilities. The authors discuss their findings in relation to Scott Eberle’s theoretical understanding of play, findings that indicate the complex conditions that support and extend children’s play in after-school programs and the need to recognize them.