Computers and play in early childhood: affordances and limitations



Publication Details

Verenikina, I, Herrington, J, Peterson, R & Mantei, J, Computers and play in early childhood: affordances and limitations, Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 21(1), 2010, 139-159.


The widespread proliferation of computer games for children as young as six months of age, merits a re-examination of their manner of use and a review of their facility to provide opportunities for developmental play. This paper describes a research study conducted to explore the use of computer games by young children, specifically to investigate the affordances and limitations of such games and the features of children’s traditional play that can be supported and further enhanced by different kinds of computer play. Computer games were classified and selected according to game characteristics that support higher order thinking. Children aged 5 and 7 were observed playing the games, and findings are given, together with suggestions for further research.