What is it about?

Parent math talk is very important for children's early math development. Previous ways to increase parent math talk typically include extensive training or heavy intervention. The paper investigated one possible alternative: to increase the amount and diversity of parent math talk by modifying the toy materials used in the pretend play activities.

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Why is it important?

The study suggests that small changes in the features of play materials, such as including sets of identical toys, may increase the quantity and quality of parental math talk in play interactions with preschoolers. It also shows that parental math talk is affected by the context of pretend play. These findings point to opportunities for increasing parental math talk without intensive training or explicit instructions.


It was a great pleasure to engages families around southeast China to participate in the current study. I hope the article makes people in the toy industry to consider alternative possibilities while designing toy materials for young children.

Linxi Lu
Boston College

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Minor changes, big differences? Effects of manipulating play materials on parental math talk., Developmental Psychology, May 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/dev0001550.
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