PLAY RESEARCH LABORATORY (PlayLab)
Play research laboratory was founded in 2013 in Vilnius, Lithuania. It continues research activities
started in 2002 in Finland at Kajaani university consortium, University of Oulu.
Play is studied in cultural-historical framework as children’s first independent activity system. Development of research methodology is one of the themes of research activities. Some ideas of nonlinear dynamic systems approach are used in the study of developmental changes of play. Development of self-regulation is studied in the framework of cultural-historical psychology.
Cultural-historical play theory and pedagogy
Children’s play and related aesthetic activities are studied as essential factors of child development. Special focus is on such central developmental phenomena as play motivation, children’s self-regulation, children’s initiatives and crises of psychological development in childhood. Play pedagogy is developed orienting to the concept of the zones of proximal development.
Emotion regulation in pretend play
Children’s affective and emotional life is enriched during play age; emotional experiences become deeper and more sophisticated. Emotional regulation is studied as part of children’s relationship system with other people and as a part of the development of child’s internal life.
Private speech and psychological tools of self-regulation
Private speech and other psychological tools are directed towards individual subject, which aim at changing the subject and subject’s action. Private speech is a specific tool oriented to self-regulation. Play environment is appropriate for the development of psychological tools in general.
Interventions to the development of self-regulation in play
The main goal of the laboratory is to produce recommendations how self-regulation can best be
developed through play activities in different age groups of children. Our special focus is
motivational factors behind self-regulation.