Encounters with stones: diffracting traditional games

Ririn Yuniasih, Jane Bone, Gloria Quiñones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Traditional games are commonly understood for their long establishment, passed down over generations and characterised by the simplicity of their materials. The aim of this article is to explore traditional games where materials are at the centre, focusing on games with stones. Through a new-materialist perspective, using Barad’s concept of ‘intra-activity’ and Lenz Taguchi’s notion of ‘performative agency’, stones are not seen as passive things or objects for play. Rather, they are considered as an active player of the games. A case study of a multi-age classroom in a primary school in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is analysed. Different encounters with stones are read diffractively to create a space for new ideas to emerge. Through this reading, performative understanding as a new way of looking at traditional games is explored by addressing the complex relations with stones and the continuous intra-activity that takes place in the games. The implications of this research are the consideration of materials and how they are used in traditional games. This, in turn, affects pedagogical practices in which children and materials are coexisting and affecting each other in a learning process.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • diffraction
  • intra-activity
  • new materialism
  • performative agency
  • traditional games

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