Digital play in the early years

About the project

The project explores current research in the field of digital play to identify gaps and under-theorised areas.

The findings will inform the design of a series of empirical studies to address these gaps and to support the advancement of our understandings of children’s digital play in preschool and foundation year across diverse settings.

The project will be completed in two stages: (1) two systematic literature reviews to analyse empirical research to understand how digital play is described and theorised in academic research in the contexts of preschool and early years of schooling; and (2) development of empirical studies to address the gaps in the research in children’s digital play.

Project aims:

  • review how academic research has described and theorised digital play with young children across diverse settings
  • design new and innovative empirical studies that build on existing research in digital play to explore: the ways in which parents and educators engage with digital play with children; children’s pretend play abilities with the digital; and the ways in which digital play supports children’s language and narrative development
  • support early years educators, parents, community, and curriculum designers to develop a contemporary dynamic theorisation of digital play
  • support ways of embedding digital play in day-to-day teaching and learning

Partners: Early Childhood Australia, St James Parish Primary School, Sebastopol


Contact person – Janelle MacKenzie Contact person – Laetitia Coles