Play in Middle Childhood: Everyday Play Behaviour and Associated Emotions

Justine Howard*, Gareth E. Miles, Laura Rees-Davies, Emma J. Bertenshaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Downloads (Pure)


Children's reports about their play in middle childhood and the emotions they associate with play have received limited research attention. Using focus groups, this study asked 38 children in the UK about what, where and with whom they played. They were also asked how play made them feel. Children reported a wide range of play behaviours, with outdoor and traditional games being just as prominently mentioned as play with electronic devices. The emotional importance of play in middle childhood was apparent, with children associating play with strong positive emotions, and not being able to play with negative emotions and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-389
Number of pages12
JournalChildren and Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2017


  • Child development
  • Health & well-being
  • Middle childhood
  • Play


Dive into the research topics of 'Play in Middle Childhood: Everyday Play Behaviour and Associated Emotions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this