Gender-related categorizations of toys by preschool children: a study on design features

Kara, Kübra
This study examines the effects of design features of toys on gender-related categorizations of preschool children. Preschool children, who are between the ages of 3-6 years, spend most of their time in play. Play gives children a chance to enhance their development and learning in all domains. Toys as play materials, encourage children to engage in precious play experiences. However there is a clear difference between girls’ and boys’ play experiences and toy preferences. This difference causes girls and boys to demonstrate advance development in certain areas and lesser development in others. To overcome this and make children experience play with different types of toys, it is important to understand children’s thoughts about which toys are for themselves and which are for the other gender. In order to understand children’s gender-based categorizations about toys, in this study, a mixed-methodology research is composed. Initially a product investigation was carried out in four major toy stores in Ankara, investigating the types of toys, the age groups they address and their main design features. Based on the argument that variations in these features define whether the toys are girl-specific, boy-specific, gender-neutral or ambiguous, a further research was carried out in order to observe children in a play experience with toys from all four groups. The findings of the study, which is conducted with five girls and five boys, demonstrate that theme, color and gender of a figure are the most distinctive design features for children to categorize a toy for themselves or not. Moreover, girls and boys have different categorizations about certain design features. With this study children’s thoughts about gender-neutral and ambiguous toys are also highlighted.


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The purpose of this study is to devise guidelines for designing, developing, and using a smart toy for preschool children. Smart toys are technologically developed toys constructed with a meaningful purpose. This study uses the design and development research method. In the analysis phase, the smart toy developed in the pilot study was analyzed. In the design phase, focus group meetings were held with early childhood teachers to determine the objectives, story, and storyboard of the smart toy. In the develo...
Augmented reality-based virtual manipulatives versus physical manipulatives for teaching geometric shapes to preschool children
Gecu-Parmaksiz, Zeynep; Delialioğlu, Ömer (Wiley, 2019-11-01)
The aim of the current study is to compare the effect of virtual and physical manipulatives on preschool children's understanding of geometric shapes. A quasi-experimental research design was employed where children in the experimental group used tablet computers to access Augmented Reality (AR)-based virtual manipulatives, while children in the control group used physical manipulatives. The instruction lasted for a period of four weeks at a public primary school in Turkey with 72 children aged five and six...
Examining the effectiveness of educational tablet pc applications to teach daily living skills to students with intellectual disabilities
Kara, Nuri; Çağıltay, Kürşat; Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology (2015)
The purpose of this dissertation is to design, develop and use of a smart toy for preschool children. Smart toys are technologically developed series of physical toy materials in accordance with the constructed and meaningful purposes. Design and development research method is the overall design of the study. In the analysis phase, semi structured interviews were conducted with early childhood teachers to investigate their opinions as to technology and technology use in early educational settings. Additiona...
Augmented reality activities for children: a comparative analysis on understanding geometric shapes and improving spatial skills
Gecü-Parmaksız, Zeynep; Delialioğlu, Ömer; Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology (2017)
The main purpose of this study is to compare the use of virtual manipulatives such as Augmented Reality (AR) applications to traditional techniques (physical manipulatives) for teaching geometric shapes and improve spatial skills to preschool children. The lesson content was determined, and the materials were designed for children. A quasi-experimental study was conducted in a public primary school with 72 participants. The children were randomly assigned to the experimental and control groups. Spatial abil...
Design characteristics of play areas children’s play preferences
Sevimli Çelik, Serap; Çetken, Hatice Şebnem (null; 2019-08-16)
The aim of this study was to investigate the design of preschool outdoor play areas regarding the children’s play preferences while using behavioral mapping method. During the outdoor play time, a total of 102 preschoolers were observed which lasted one and a half month. For the data collection process, The Playground’s Physical Elements and Environmental Characteristics Indicative Scoring Scale and Parten/Piaget Play Recording Form were used. With these instruments, 6 outdoor play areas were investigated a...
Citation Formats
K. Kara, “Gender-related categorizations of toys by preschool children: a study on design features,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2018.