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Play During Social Distancing

Mon, April 12, 9:30 to 11:00am EDT (9:30 to 11:00am EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Early Education and Child Development Paper and Symposium Sessions


Through a 48-item questionnaire shared via social media, 705 participants from 48 US states reported on their children’s play activities during social distancing (SD) as a result of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Our research question was: How did SD practices, as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, affect children’s play? Descriptive statistics for closed-ended, quantitative items and themes gathered through open-ended, structural coding compose the results. Conclusions show adults took SD guidelines seriously by keeping children at home during the period of SD, thus affecting play behaviors. The increased time children played alone, with an adult, or with technology instead of with their peers may explain the types of play children engaged in, as indicated by caregivers. Implications are presented.