Children’s play clearly demonstrates the social construction that lies at the center of the developmental process. An interpretive analysis of children’s play on the preschool-kindergarten playground is used to explore the way that a play group establishes a ground for children’s play – a practically grasped, shared sense of reality. Establishing the ground of play entails an active reworking of the playground’s material resources and involves a system for the production and exchange of valued goods. Analysis of the cultural work of play helps us to understand how everyday social activity reproduces the social order that conditions it and leads to the development of particular kinds of self-understanding. There is evidence that character within the game is carried outside the ground of play in which it is produced, allowing for an account of development not as the individual construction of cognitive structures, but as the social production of human individuals.

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