A scoping review of methods and measures used to capture children’s play during school breaktimes

A scoping review of methods and measures used to capture children’s play during school breaktimes

Authors: Lily FitzGibbon, Brooke Oliver, Rachel Nesbit and Helen Dodd

Abstract

Play is linked to healthy child development and is recognised in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. School breaktimes provide regular opportunities for children to play, and as such, they have been the context of a large and interdisciplinary body of research on play. Play research has diverse aims and cuts across many academic disciplines, resulting in a wide range of methods and measurement tools being used in research to capture children’s play. In this scoping review, 105 studies of play during school breaktimes were identified and we describe, synthesise and compare methods used to assess play during school breaktimes, bringing together methodologies from different fields for the first time. Specifically, we captured: the aspects of play that have been measured and described; established tools and coding schemes that have been used; what the measures of play have been used for; and what the quality of reporting of play measures has been. In this way, we anticipate that the review will facilitate future play research and support, where appropriate, more consistent use and transparent reporting of methods and measures.

Journal:
Educational Review
Year:
2024