Understanding nonsocial play in early childhood

Alicia Luckey, Richard Fabes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Nonsocial play continues to be perceived as a behavior that is detrimental young children's development. The research evidence in this area is mixed but lends itself to a more positive view of nonsocial play. Despite the substantial amount of literature available the terminology used fails to be consistent and may prove to be distracting and confusing to practitioners and caregivers. This paper reviews the current literature on young children's nonsocial play. Distinctions among different types of nonsocial play are identified as well as some reasons children engage in these activities. By developing a better understanding of the role of nonsocial play in early childhood caregivers may better understand when children need their help in promoting more social types of play and when intervention may or may not be necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006


  • Child development
  • Constructive play
  • Early childhood play
  • Non-constructive play
  • Nonsocial intervention
  • Nonsocial play
  • Play
  • Solitary play

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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