ISSN 2079-6617 (Print)
ISSN 2309-9828 (Online)



Yudina, E.G. (2022). Pretend play as the territory of freedom. Natsional’nyy psikhologocheskiy zhurnal (National psychological journal), 3 (47), 13–25. doi: 10.11621/npj.2022.0303


Background. The issue of children’s role-playing game belongs to the category of eternal in developmental psychology, since it strongly influences not only the theory of child development, but also the practice of preschool education, affects the interests of the family, and, most importantly, to a large extent determines the direction and quality of the child’s development in preschool age. However, we have seen numerous shifts in interest to this topic as societal priorities in child development have changed over the past century. In the 21st century, the discussion around the possibilities and conditions for the emergence of pretend play is of great interest on the part of both parents and the professional community. Play represents a specific resource for the development of a child in a world of uncertainty and an unpredictable future. 

Objectives. The study aims to analyze the current socio-cultural situation in Russian preschool education from the point of view of the role-playing game development in children, to identify the main reasons for the lack of play in kindergartens, and also to present possible parental and pedagogical educational strategies related to the place and possibilities of play in the development of preschool children. 

Sample. The study involved parents of children attending kindergartens from three regions of the Russian Federation. The sample was structured according to the factor of socio-economic situation in the region, as well as the factors “center-periphery”, “city-village”, “type of preschool institution”. The number of respondents varied from 1000 to 1200 each year. 

Method. A number of methods were used in the study. These included literature analysis on the research topic, expert evaluation, written survey (questionnaire, with the method of ranking the alternatives by respondents), statistical data analysis (with the method of variance analysis). 

Results. Based on the analysis of the obtained data, the following results were obtained. The rating of parental educational preferences shows that the conflict between learning activities and children’s play, which is discussed in the literature and is actually present in kindergartens, is not based on the real preferences of parents. The study revealed the phenomenon of imitation play, which is often presented as a real children’s game. An analysis of trends associated with the denial of the role of play in the development of modern children is presented. 

Conclusion. Ways to overcome the conflict between learning and play are discussed. The discrepancies between the real preferences of the family in the field of preschool education and their interpretation by preschool teachers are shown. The actual preferences of parents provide a picture that can be used to establish productive communication between preschool teachers and parents of children attending kindergarten. 

Practical application of the results. All the results obtained in the study can be applied in the practice of preschool education, at the level of preschool organizations. The areas of application of the results obtained include organization of a real, non-imitation, game of preschool children, building up productive communication with the parents of children attending a preschool organization.

Received: 06/15/2022
Accepted: 07/03/2022
Pages: 13-25
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2022.0303

PDF: Download

Keywords: role-playing game; cultural-historical theory; real game; imitation game; educational priorities of Russian families

Available Online 24.08.2022

For citing this article:

Yudina, E.G. (2022). Pretend play as the territory of freedom. Natsional’nyy psikhologocheskiy zhurnal (National psychological journal), 3 (47), 13–25. doi: 10.11621/npj.2022.0303