The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a study that sought to determine if and how, Conceptual PlayWorlds (modified playworld originally developed by Gunilla Lindqvist) created developmental conditions for children during group time. Over 7 weeks we digitally documented the play activities of children (18 children, 3.0–5.8, mean age of 4.8) and their teachers as they participated in an educational experiment of The adventures of Alice in Wonderland PlayWorld. We gathered 1725 digital photographs, 153.3 hour digital video observations, and 32.5 h of teacher-researcher interviews. The outcomes of the study show how the new play relations changed how group time in the preschool was performed. It was no longer ‘circle time on the mat’ as is the practice tradition, but rather the mat changed its sense to be a new imaginary situation with new rules, actions and roles, where there were players not children or teachers; thus affording extended mature forms of play at group time. It was determined that a Conceptual PlayWorld created unique psychological conditions for children at group time which positively contributed to their development.
- Early childhood