Object play yields enormous benefits for infant development. However, little is known about natural play at home where most object interactions occur. We conducted frame-by-frame video analyses of spontaneous activity in two 2-h home visits with 13-month-old crawling infants and 13-, 18-, and 23-month-old walking infants (N = 40; 21 boys; 75% White). Regardless of age, for every infant and time scale, across 10,015 object bouts, object interactions were short (median = 9.8 s) and varied (transitions among dozens of toys and non-toys) but consumed most of infants’ time. We suggest that infant exuberant object play—immense amounts of brief, time-distributed, variable interactions with objects—may be conducive to learning object properties and functions, motor skill acquisition, and growth in cognitive, social, and language domains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology