The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of restricting children’s free play on children’slevels of pretend play. The level of play restriction was examined using the following: How manychildren can play in the same area of interest, freedom of using toys, the space available for play, andtime limitation. The participants for this study were selected through two screening steps. First, aquestionnaire concerning the extent of free-play restriction was sent out to 90 teachers in Korea. Ofthese teachers, two teachers with a high degree of limitation and two teachers with a low degree oflimitation were chosen. Second, the 60 children from the classrooms of the 4 chosen teachers wereobserved in order to measure their levels of pretend play. The results of this study found children whowere under the care of the teachers with a low degree of limitation engaged in pretend play morefrequently, demonstrated a higher degree of make-believe actions and subjects, and played in morediverse areas of interest than the children under the care of the more limiting teachers. This studyemphasizes the importance of providing children with an environment where they can play freely.
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