Holding hands: toddlers’ imaginary peer play

Gloria Quiñones, Avis Ridgway, Liang Li

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    This chapter examines the role of imagination in toddlers’ peer play. Research shows that when toddlers interact with peers, they learn to collaborate, share and sustain their interests. The chapter adopts a cultural–historical approach to examining imagination and play. Video observations are used to investigate a group of toddlers playing freely in a childcare centre in Victoria, Australia. The aim of the chapter is to investigate how toddlers develop their imaginary play in a peer group. The findings show that peers enrich each other’s imagination. Toddlers’ imaginary situations that are jointly generated enhance complex forms of participation (e.g., coordinated bodily actions). We theorise the concept of imaginary peer play as a form of consistent transformative action that involves entering and sharing imaginary situations, coordinated actions and joyful bodily communication. Future research should further explore the influence of peer relations on expanding imagination and on promoting collaborative learning interactions instigated by toddlers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPeer Play and Relationships in Early Childhood
    Subtitle of host publicationInternational Research Perspectives
    EditorsAvis Ridgway, Gloria Quiñones, Liang Li
    Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9783030423315
    ISBN (Print)9783030423308
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Publication series

    NameInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
    ISSN (Print)2468-8746
    ISSN (Electronic)2468-8754


    • Toddlers
    • Play
    • Imagination
    • Peers
    • Dance
    • Collaboration

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