The handbook is composed of chapters by authors who discuss the important features of particular types of toys, provide information related to the developmental importance of this type of toy, discuss social and cultural issues engendered by play with such toys, and review the available research on the characteristics and potential impact on children’s developmental progress of toys of that type. Both traditional toys and technological toys are discussed. The handbook is expected to serve both as a reference for educators, parents, toy designers, and other interested readers, and as a catalyst for further research and ongoing toy development. Its purpose includes helping readers to gain knowledge that enables them to more fully appreciate the value of children’s toy play, find out more about the favorite toys they had in childhood and relive those satisfying play experiences, and learn how to foster the learning, physical development, and social-emotional growth that comes from such toy play.
Doris Bergen, PhD, is a distinguished professor of educational psychology emerita at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Her research interests have focused on play theory and humor development, including effects of technology-enhanced toys on play, adult memories of childhood play, and gifted children’s humor. She also is a Miami University Distinguish Scholar.
Section I: Toys as Cultural Phenomena
Chapter 1: The Role of Toys in Promoting Children’s Development
Chapter 2: Developmentally Appropriate Insights from the National Toy Hall of Fame Christopher Bench
Chapter 3: Cultural History of Developmentally Appropriate Toys
Section II: Developmentally Appropriate Toys
Chapter 4: Large Blocks and Building Materials
Chapter 5: Small Blocks and Building Materials
Chapter 6: Bicycles and Other Riding Toys
Chapter 7: Dolls and Animal Replicas
Chapter 8: Finger/Hand Puppets and Marionets
Chapter 9: Climbing Toys and Structures
Chapter 10: Airplanes, Kites, Rockets/Drones
Chapter 11: Balls, Beanbags, Frisbees
Chapter 12: Replica Cars, Trucks, Trains, Other Vehicles
Chapter 13: Science Toys
Chapter 14: Crayons and Paints
Chapter 15: Kitchen/Household Implement Replicas
Chapter 16: Real Life and Fantasy Dress up Clothes and Materials
Chapter 17: Board Games/Technology Augmented Games
James Johnson & Sonia Twari
Chapter 18: Craft/Workshop Replicas
Chapter 19: Indigenous Toys
Chapter 20: Books
Chapter 21: Puzzles and Musical Toys
Doris Bergen & Gail Burnett
Chapter 22: Technology-Augmented Dolls, Animals, and Vehicles
Sohyun Meacham & Myae Han
Chapter 23: Other Technology-Augmented Play Materials
Section 3: Future of Developmentally Appropriate Toys
Chapter 24: Designing Developmentally Appropriate Toys
Chapter 25: Promoting Developmentally Appropriate Toys in a Changing Child Cultural World Doris Bergen
This new handbook focuses on toys as windows into children’s play. Like all good handbooks do, it introduces important fields of research that take the reader to the foundations of all related topics. Bergen, with her wealth of experience in the field, has a thorough knowledge of toys and play. She provides both scholars and teachers with a valuable resource.
This book presents a beautifully curated panorama of children’s toys. History, culture, gender, and development are thoughtfully woven into each chapter, providing both the research and rich description that brings to life the value of each toy profiled, and toys in general, in children’s lives. By cataloging, describing, and reflecting on the meaning of children’s play with toys, a theme emerges: children are protagonists in their own learning, and toys belong to children as means of representing, enacting, and learning. Doris Bergen, from her research on the memories of adults about their play states: “They lived in worlds that they designed and ruled, often for many hours at a time, and the adults at that time allowed them the opportunity to control their own imaginative world.” (p. 284 of draft) Our responsibility, as educators, parents, and advocates, is to ensure that this element of power, and of the child as protagonist, is not lost, and this book provides the resources to support our work.
Doris Bergen provides practitioners, researchers, families, and community stakeholders with a fascinating edited collection about “toy products” and their developmental appropriateness. Each chapter offers the historical and cultural evolution of various toys as well as their roles related to physical, cognitive, language and moral development. Specifically, the handbook addresses the purposes for and uses of toys in STEM, literacy, and technology augmented programs. The reader friendly style and organization makes this a must read for anyone interested in learning about "toys products" and their purposes.
The Handbook of Developmentally Appropriate Toys edited by Doris Bergen provides a comprehensive examination of the artifacts that have comforted, entertained, and inspired us across the lifespan for thousands of years. It is a must read for anyone interested in a comprehensive account of the magic of toys.
This is both a wonderful resource for teachers and parents and a celebration of what makes childhood so joyful—toys. In a single volume, the most important play researchers in the world contribute their insights into the developmental, cultural, and historical meanings of toys. This book will go directly onto our reading list for our early childhood education students.
What are some of the essential elements that are necessary for a child to become fully and joyfully human? This Handbook convincingly provides the engaging, authoritative comprehensive evidence that toys, in all their historic and current varied forms foster this process. We are all “built to play, and built by play,” and the right toys at the right times trigger our intrinsic play natures to the betterment of us all. The current cultural emphasis on virtual play formats and the long term consequences of actual lessened physical interactions is addressed with suggestions for remediation based on credible information about the basics of play as it relates to overall child development.
The Handbook of Developmentally Appropriate Toys, then, should not be read by educators as a recipe book, with simple instructions for one-size-fits-all educational solutions. We should read it, instead, as an atlas, which offers us detailed maps and relevant data of the vast territory that is the world of toys. It is a tool that contains suggestions, recommendations, and examples. But, ultimately, it delegates to our own contextual judgment and expertise the difficult task of deciding what criteria define appropriateness and what approaches are able to encourage forms of developmentally appropriate play.