Early Childhood Education Project Topics

Using Play to Improve Attention Span in Kindergarten 2 Learners in New Edition Using Play

Using Play to Improve Attention Span in Kindergarten 2 Learners in New Edition Using Play

Using Play to Improve Attention Span in Kindergarten 2 Learners in New Edition Using Play

Chapter One

Objectives of the Study

The study was guided by the following objectives:

  1. Establish the effect of play on attention span of Kindergaten 2 Pupils
  2. Examine gender difference in attention span of Kindergaten 2 Pupils taught with play method




This chapter presents the review of literature related to the study carried out by other researchers. It will also discuss the concept of play, play method of teaching, historical emergence of play method of teaching and some theories that are related to play method of teaching.

Conceptual Framework

Concept of Play

Play is one of the most important of all educational activities which deserves to be acknowledged because of its rightful place in formal schooling, beyond the nursery school to which it is too often confined. For play provides the teacher not only with a way of improving his knowledge of the child, but also with a means of renewing his teaching methods.

Play has been defined in numerous ways but is perhaps best understood by knowing first of all what it is not. In this case, play is not a work. Play and work are powerful oppositions. Work, for example, is valued as a necessity that provides the material basis for life. It is also frequently seen as giving meaning to life. Play, in the other hand is often seen as frivolous and lacking the serious purpose of work. Play takes place in the time not given over to work and in some cultures, such time in school is called playtime to distinguish it from time devoted to lessons.

Also, play is described as anything that spontaneously is done for its own sake. (Miller and Almon 2009 as cited in White 2012).  More specifically, it appears purposeless, produces pleasure and joy, and leads one to the next stage of mastery. Similarly, play includes activities that are freely chosen and directed by children and arise from intrinsic motivation. Often, play is defined along a continuum as more or less playful using a set of behavioral and dispositional criteria. Play is regarded what it is when it’s pleasurable. That is Children must enjoy the activity or it is not play. It is intrinsically motivated. Children engage in play simply for the satisfaction the behavior itself brings. It has no extrinsically motivated function or goal.

Play is Process Oriented. When children play, the means are more important than the ends. Play Is Freely Chosen. It is spontaneous and voluntary. If a child is pressured, he will likely not think of the activity as play. Play is actively engaged. Players must be physically and/or mentally involved in the activity. Play is non literal. It involves make-believe.

Play is an activity that is categorized based on style and types. Styles of play are structured and free play. The Structured play is planned, guided and led by adults. Structured play can be useful but there is a risk that if it is too adult-led children will lose interest. Offering the right amount of support is absolutely essential in providing for valuable structured play. Adults can provide support by demonstrating skills that the child can then try out for themselves. Another key ingredient of successful structured play is that the activity is at the correct level for the children. In the other hand, free play is not adult-led. Adults provide equipment, materials and resources for free play, but they do not direct it in any way. Advocates of free play believed that children learn much more from this style of play than from structured play, since they are more motivated by having created it themselves. Johnon, Christie and Yawkey (1999).

The second category of play is based on types which includes; Imaginative play. This includes pretend, symbolic and fantasy play. It is sometimes referred to as role play. Pretend play: in this type of play, children practice and gain understanding of aspects of daily life. Children play in school, shop, hospital, house, post office, restaurant, farm, etc. The role of the adult in pretend play is to provide an array of clothing and props for children to use. Fantasy Play; Fantasy play is most common for children aged 3–8. During fantasy play children pretend to be something or someone that they cannot ever possibly be, e.g. Spiderman or Batman. This type of play should decrease as reasoning increases. Symbolic Play; with this type of play children use objects in their play, but they pretend that the objects are something else. e.g. pretending leaves are salad ingredients. Johnson, Christie and Yawkey (1999). Below is a chart showing the categories of play.






This chapter consists of procedures involved in the research work. The research design, population, sample size and techniques, data collection instrument are the major concern of this chapter. Validity and reliability of data collection instrument were examined and reviewed as well as procedure of analyzing data was examined.

Research Design

The research work is quasi experimental in nature. Quasi experimental research is the type of research design that the independent variable is being manipulated in order to examine it effects on the dependent variable. The main logic of an experimental research design is just to try something and see what happens. Therefore, to be specific, Quasi–experimental research design was used for this study. This is the type of experimental research that allows human characteristics to be measured using independent variable. The design was the best for this study because the attention span of Kindergaten two pupils was observed and measured using play method of instruction. The research manipulated the independent variable which is types of play used by the teacher while teaching and time allocated to play.

The researcher selected one class with two arms from a particular private school from his study area. One class was made the control group while the other was made experimental group through random selection by a class leader of each class. The experimental class received a special treatment and different forms of play activities while the other groups did not. Both groups were taught English language (phonics).

Post test design was used by the researcher to evaluate the pupils. In this type of evaluation there is no any initial observation made. It is used to avoid any compounding variable and it will not be ideal to test pupils on what is not taught to them. Post test design was also advantageous as it is economical.


Population Of The Study

The population of the study consists of Kindergaten two pupils. They are 46 pupils aged between 4-7 years with 25 boys and 21 girls. They are divided into two arms “A” and “B” respectively. Placement into the classes was made randomly.




This research work investigates the effectiveness of play method on the attention span of Kindergaten 2 Learners. This chapter therefore presents the summary of Data collected after weeks of practical teaching with Kindergaten two pupils, analyzing the data using statistical instrument as well as discussions on the findings.




This chapter of the research summarizes the findings of the study, presents conclusion as well as make recommendations.


The purpose of this study was to examine using play to improve attention span in kindergarten 2 learners in new edition using play. The study was guided by three objectives which includes types of play engaged by teachers while teaching, the effectiveness of the play method and gender difference in the attention span of pupils taught with play method. The study was hinged to the cognitive theory of play propounded by Piaget (1962) and Psychoanalytic theory of play by Freud and Erikson (959 & 1963).they explained that play consolidate learning that has already taken place while allowing for a new learning in a relaxed atmosphere. The theories equally emphasis on how the early childhood educators plan and implement their curriculum, set up learning experiences, organize their physical environment with play areas, observe and assess children’s development in play situation as well as reduce anxiety by giving children a sense of control over their world and an acceptable way to forbidden impulses. The study used Quasi-experimental research design and the population of the study was all the forty six (46) pupils in Nursery two of Marina Nursery School and Kidergaten, Kano. The tool for data collection was post test tagged pupils achievement examination conducted after three weeks of extensive teaching. The data was analysed using t. test with the aid of SPSS.

The study sought to establish the effectiveness of play method on the attention span of pupils. The findings espoused that pupils in the experimental class were exposed to play and play materials. Their mean score was better than that of control class who were not exposed to play and play materials. The findings showed that pupils taught with play method performed better academically than those taught with traditional method. Equally, the study examined the gender difference in the attention span of pupils taught with play method. The finding espoused that the mean score of the male pupils is greater than that of the female pupils. This showed that there is a greater improvement in the attention span of the male pupils than the female pupils. In the other hand it determines the type of play engaged by teachers in teaching. The finding indicated that the use of structure play while teaching is more effective. This is because it motivates the pupils and arouses their interest which equally enables the teacher to achieve his set objectives for the lesson appropriately.


The study was aimed to establish the effectiveness of play method on the attention span of primary school pupils. It was therefore concluded that:

  1. The use of play method of teaching had a positive effect in enhancing attention span of primary school pupils.
  2. The use of play materials such as play dough, stencils, letter boards, plastacine and sand play when adopting structural play condense learning.
  3. Male pupils performed better academically when taught with play method.


 Recommendations from the Study

Based on the findings of the study, it is recommended that:

  1. play method of teaching should be made a priority in teaching pupils in lower primary school.
  2. The study also recommends that schools and school managers should provide spacious classroom and play ground within the school premises.
  3. Teacher should create play activities to engage the pupils during every lesson. This will engage pupils into more activities which will enables them use their hands, develop their eye-hand coordination as they usually concentrate carefully on what they are doing.

Recommendations for further Study

For the purpose of expanding the findings, it is recommended that study should be carried out on:

  1. The effectiveness of play method on the attention span of secondary school students.
  2. Another study can be carried out to examine the effectiveness of play method of teaching in public primary schools.


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