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Abstract

This paper explores the meaning of childhood within the realms of play and attachment. Are parental attitudes and expectations, with the use of technology and prescriptive toys, limiting development in children today? Children’s play in homes in the United Arab Emirates is examined to explore how children in this region play and whether the quality of this play supports the development of the necessary attachment with the parents and careers. The paper provides an overview of a pilot research study entitled ‘Parents as Play Partners’, in order to highlight how simple schema-based play with adult support can positively impact attachment and a child’s learning and development. Although this study was a limited pilot, the insights obtained are powerful and could prove invaluable for governments and providers of early childhood education, as well as parents and practitioners in this field.

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