A Louisiana native, Jeanne P. Soileau has been an educator for forty-seven years. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she used oral and video interviews and notes amassed over thirty-five years of research in South Louisiana for her dissertation, “African American Children’s Folklore: A Study in Games and Play.” She collected folklore for the Council for the Arts in Education in New Orleans from 1975 to 1985 and served as an instructor for the Louisiana Voices: Folklife in Education Project from 1998 to 2001. Her publications include Louisiana Folklife: A Guide to the State (1985); Yo’ Mama, Mary Mack, and Boudreaux and Thibodeaux: Louisiana Children’s Folklore and Play (2016), which won the 2018 Chicago Folklore Prize and the Iona and Peter Opie Prize from the American Folklore Society; and What the Children Said: Child Lore of South Louisiana (2021). Key words: Black folklore; child lore; children’s game play; hand clapping; jump rope; The Dozens
Volume 14, Number 1
Welcome to the first issue of volume 14 of the American Journal of Play. This issue begins with an interview featuring esteemed folklorist Jeanne Pitre Soileau, who discusses her remarkable five-decades-long career collecting child lore in Southern Louisiana. In a timely article that considers changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lynn Borenstein explores the important role of imaginative play in teletherapy with children. T. L. Taylor compares digital game play and ethnography and argues that ethnography is a kindred of play. Daniela K. O’Neill and Paige E. Holmes’s broad and multidisciplinary examination of the literature on board games and learning highlights the potential of using board games as educational tools while also calling for new areas of research. The issue ends with remembrances of the eminent play scholars and charter members of the journal’s editorial advisory board, Joe L. Frost and Charles E. Schaefer.
The author describes how, during the COVID-19 pandemic, clinicians embraced telehealth for vulnerable children struggling with intense feelings, learning challenges, and isolation. She suggests that generating playful engagement, however difficult without the toys and comforts of the traditional office, remains crucial. She discusses the stresses of the telehealth experience and the importance of identifying and mobilizing a child’s initiative and agency in this setting. She asserts that, when clinicians maintain empathy and share how they imagine children’s experiences, a joining can occur that lessens the children’s sense of isolation and emotional hurdles. She then concludes that, if a clinician’s imaginative self becomes engaged with that of a child, spontaneity and forward movement are possible even when employing the medium of telehealth. Key words: clinician’s empathy; imaginative play; sense of agency; telehealth.
The author argues that ethnography is a kindred of play. Based on her research of play in digital gaming environments, she draws several parallels between the practices of ethnography and the practices of play. She explores the complexities of play in games and expands our understanding of the work of ethnography as play. Key words: ethnography; fieldwork; games; play; research
The authors conduct a broad, cross-cultural review of the literature in fields such as psychology, education, speech-language pathology, early intervention, and library science concerned with board games and learning in young children. They include experimenter-developed and commercial board games and children’s learning in mathematics, science, and language, as well as social, emotional, and cultural understanding. The authors discuss findings related to teaching and the classroom, speech-language therapy, intervention programs, and home and community settings such as libraries. Pointing to the nascent nature of the research in many areas, they highlight how board games, especially those featuring cooperative play, can foster multidomain learning and offer promising avenues for future research. Key words: board games; learning; play, playful learning; tabletop games; young children
Heidi Gerard Kaduson, Donna Cangelosi, and Charles E. Schaefer, eds., Prescriptive Play Therapy: Tailoring Interventions for Specific Childhood Problems
Lawrence C. Rubin
Ann R. Hawkins, Erin N. Bistline, Catherine S. Blackwell, and Maura Ives, eds., Playing Games in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America
Jon-Paul C. Dyson
Sara M. Grimes, The Hidden Politics of Children’s Online Spaces, Virtual Worlds, and Connected Games
Craig G. Anderson
Lynn Borenstein has a private practice in Northfield, Illinois. She is an instructor at—and supervisor of—the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis Psychoanalytic Education Program (PEP) and an emeritus member of faculty at the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago. She has published a number of articles on clinical child treatment, and her more recent work includes “When More ‘We’ Becomes More ‘Me’: Transitional Objects and Forward Movement in Child Psychotherapy,” “ ‘I Am, I Can’: An Unfinished Writing Duet with Marian Tolpin,” and “The Clinician as a Dreamcatcher: Holding the Dream.” She specializes in consultation with nursery school and day care children.
Daniela K. O’Neill is Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Waterloo and Director of the Children’s Communication Lab in Ontario, Canada. Her research focuses on children’s early language development, its assessment, and its relation to children’s developing understanding of minds, and her work includes First Language; Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research; Journal of Child Language; Mind, Brain, and Education; Developmental Psychology; Cognition; Journal of Cognition and Development; Trends in Cognitive Sciences; Frontiers in Psychology—Developmental Psychology; and Child Development. She is also the developer of the Language Use Inventory (LUI) assessment measure. Paige E. Holmes is working on an MS in Speech-Language Pathology at McMaster University in Ontario. Her current research focuses on the facilitation of communication in acute care among young children and adults with dementia.
T. L. Taylor is a sociologist and Professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT. She is the author of Play between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture (2006); Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming (2012), and Watch Me Play: Twitch and the Rise of Game Live Streaming (2018). She is also coauthor of Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method (2012).