Rethinking Play


Sofia Avgitidou, University of Western Macedonia, Greece
Mandy Andrews, University of Plymouth, UK


In the context of EECERA Rethinking Play has to be thought provoking and reflecting on issues that relate to developments at scientific, social, educational and policy level; multidisciplinary and open for theoretical and practice based research; sensitive to issues of diversity, and rights and lived experiences of children.

The SIG Rethinking Play discusses several issues among which:

  1. Cultural differences in the concept of play and the valuation of the role of play in young children’s learning and education. Consequences for exchange of ideas with non-western colleagues and the implementation of play-based programmes in non-western countries.
  2. The role of the teacher in supporting and stimulating young children’s play and learning, including the discussion of educational preschool programmes.
  3. Play and learning of children under 3 years old in day care centres

SIG Members:

Andrews Mandy
Sara Araujo
Sofia Avgitidou
Anne-Rieke Boland
Johanna Einarsdottir
Irene Gunning
Maritta Hannikainen
Anna Magnea Hreinsdóttir
Kristin Karlsdottir
Maelis Karlsson-Lohmander
Eleni Loizou
Maria Kyriakou
Lise Lemay
Bert van Oers
Maulfry Worthington


Click to view the 2016-2017 report (pdf) Sofia Avgitidou and Mandy Andrews
Click to view the 2015-2016 report (pdf) Sofia Avgitidou, Natalie Canning & Mandy Andrews
Click to view the 2014-2015 report (pdf) Sofia Avgitidou and Maritta Hännikäinen
Click to view the 2013-2014 report (pdf) Sofia Avgitidou and Maritta Hännikäinen

News & Events

Please send your titles and abstracts for the 27th conference in Bologna, Italy  to our e-mail addresses before submitting them to the conference webpage in order to organise them into symposia.  This proposal is due to the fact that during the last conference in Dublin there were more than 40 presentations on play but very few play symposia.  The thought is that the organisation of our play presentations into symposia will raise the visibility and enhance the discussion of “rethinking play” in the conference.

Activities & Publications

The SIG has proceeded to the publication of a Special Issue in the EECERJ titled “Promoting Play for a Better Future”. Guest editors: Hännikainen, M., Singer, E., & van Oers, B. (2013).

Hännikäinnen, M., Singer, E., & van Oers, B. (2013). Promoting play for a better future. Editorial to special issue for European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 21(2), 165 – 171.

The SIG has also proceeded to the development of a position paper about play which is out forward as an ongoing and open position paper.  Therefore, we invite researchers and academics from all over the world to contribute drawing from their studies in different countries and thus enriching the perspectives included in the paper.

Current SIGs