—The main activity in the preschool period is play,
which stimulates development in cognitive, social, motor and
identity areas. Play and toys contribute to gender socialisation –
by the means of play, children form and present their notion of
gender structure of the society and their position in it. The
gender polarization of play activities brings long-term
consequences for children performance, achievements and
interests in different areas. One of the effects can be the quit low
women´s inclination toward mathematical and technical fields
in adolescence and adulthood (despite of more equal talents for
such areas distributed among girls and boys). Therefore it is
important to pay attention to early childhood experience with
toys and play activities associated with math and construction.
Paper presents the study including 453 preschool boys and girls
who were observed during playing and interviewed. The real
preference of toys, verbalized preference of toys and gender
labeling of toys were compared. The results show that
preschool children consider toys as deep gendered artefacts.
The gender borderline creates cars and dolls. The ways how
children play with those toys are discussed with regard to
development of mathematical and technical skills.
—Toys, gender, maths, preschool age.
I. Smetackova is with the Department of Psychology, Faculty of
Education, Charles University, Czech Republic. Contact: Rettigove 4, 110
00 Prague 1, Czech Republic (e-mail: irena.smetackova@ pedf.cuni.cz).
Cite: I. Smetackova, " Roots of Math in Preschool Play Activities: Gender Still
Does Matter," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 5, no. 12, pp. 990-997, 2015.