Playful qualities of toddling style in adult–child interaction

Gloria Quinones, Annuka Pursi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study explores toddling style in adult–child interaction. Toddling style was conceptualised by Gunvor Løkken in relation to toddlers’ playful and social style in peer groups; however, adults’ position was rarely explored. Therefore, this article aims to examine adults’ emotional and playful support in creating, maintaining and developing toddling style. A cultural–historical approach and a multimodal interaction analysis is used for analysing toddling style in naturally occurring adult–child interaction. Video observations were made in ECEC in Australia and Finland. Drawing on three representative empirical cases, we argue that toddling style is a unique embodied way of being together as well as a form of play between adults and children. Findings show the importance of adults’ participation in play for creating a playful community. Implications suggest the important role of adults’ emotional and playful support in maintaining toddlers’ exploration of toddling style, particularly in multiparty situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-489
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Early childhood education
  • emotional support
  • play
  • playful community
  • toddlers
  • toddling style

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