Marina Semiz

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The aim of this paper is to generate implications for future research based on the overview and analysis of the findings of relevant social sciences and the humanities that focus on toys as artifacts of the material culture of children, and/or childhood, with special reference to pedagogical research. By material culture of children, we mean items and objects that children themselves make, adapt or modify to fit their interests and the needs of their games, whereas the material culture of childhood refers toobjects created by adults for children to play with. Toys can encourage different types of activities necessary for overall personality development, and can help children develop their cognitive abilities, their body and senses, gain knowledge, socialize, cultivate their emotions and appreciation of beauty, and develop their imagination and creativity. The potential of toys that children make themselves is reflected in the upbringing of creative, free, environmentally conscious and active members of society. Additionally,these toys allow children to build play, to perceivetheir own capabilitiesand restrictions, and to express their imagination, creativity and respect toward the environment, life and oneself.Future research approaches should be directed toward: a) toys as artifacts of the material culture of children, i.e. objects that children themselves make and use for the purposes of play, learning and development; b) integrating the perspective of children and adults with regard to toys, because the distinction between material culture of children, and material culture of childhood is conditional; c) understanding social practice, as well as different discourses related to process of making toys of children building toys by themselves, or through cooperation with adults; d) qualitative research on the design and application of educational toyscreated by adults for children to play with; e) examining the possibilities and the potential of integrating the so-called improvised toys into the family and institutional context; and f) initiating evaluative studies and integrating the values and content of local culture into the preschool and school curricula. 


play, toy, culture, material culture of children, material culture of childhood.

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