Play Space for Parental Understanding of Development
Department of Health and Human Services
Agency Tracking Number:
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Small Business Information
APTIMA, INC., 12 GILL ST, STE 1400, WOBURN, MA, 01801
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This project examines caregiver understanding of child development in order to design and test an educational play space geared toward improving that understanding through active, hands-on guidance. The goals of the play space are to improve caregiver understanding of complex development between infancy and kindergarten so they (1) safeguard their children against hazards and (2) facilitate their literacy and intellectual development. The long-term objectives are to create a play space and a software-based authoring mechanism for children's museums, daycares, doctors' offices, or preschools such that they will be able to design their own educational play spaces. Phase I work will include a preliminary review of developmental phenomena related to child safety and opportunities for facilitating literacy and intellectual development for infants through kindergarteners. This review will identify developmental phenomena that are difficult to understand because they are either early or precursor skills, late skills, regressions, affected by context or individual differences, or simply non-obvious. The results of the review will inform observational measures in a Phase I investigation of (1) relevant behaviors that current exhibits in the Pittsburgh Children's Museum elicit from children who visit and (2) caregiver beliefs about development and child abilities. Analysis of the data will suggest developmental phenomena and behaviors that relate to safety and literacy that can be elicited in a museum play space environment and that caregivers are unfamiliar with. These results will form the basis of design recommendations for building a new educational play space in Phase II. Phase II will also include a substantial validation study that seeks to quantify the influence of the play space on caregiver sensitivity to development. The validation study will examine changes that improve child safety and the child's opportunities for intellectual and literacy enrichment.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.